The Ferrari Challenge Comes To Montreal45.5017° N, 73.5673° W
"The Ferrari Challenge is an ever-youthful championship, fresh and full of energy"
Inaugurated in 1993, the Ferrari Challenge race has three series, Europe, North America and Asia with three categories for each race: Trofeo Pirelli, Trofeo Pirelli Am and Coppa Shell. The schedule for the year consists of six races within the respective continents and a seventh and final meeting in Monza, Italy, at the Autodromo Nazionale.
The stage was set on Saturday for the Ferrari Challenge during the Canadian Grand Prix. The thirty-eight 488 Challenge cars and its drivers were ready to compete. It was nothing but bright sun, clear skies and dry tarmac for the qualifying and race that was about to transpire.
We were invited by Ferrari to take in the event and go behind the scenes at the Ferrari Challenge paddocks.
As we walked through the grounds, we could see that final preparations were being made to the 488s and the drivers going through their pre-race rituals. We spotted actor, Michael Fassbender, who made his racing debut in 2017 with Ferrari North America, relaxing by a stack of Pirelli tires.
Located across the river from Montreal’s downtown core, the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is one of the fastest in the world and puts even the most experienced drivers to the test. With that said, the aftermath of the qualifying laps resulted in minor incidents and a few frustrated drivers.
When it came time for the race, we witnessed the full extent of their aggressiveness, along with the awesome performance of the 670-horsepower producing 488s. As they barrelled through the twelve twists of the circuit, the race was not without numerous incidents and daring passes.
In the end, it was Thomas Tippl of Ferrari of Beverly Hills that secured a win with Mark Fuller of Ferrari of Westlake crossing the finish line in second. Michael Fassbender followed shortly by coming in third; adding points to his overall standing in the Coppa Shell series. Fassbender is currently third place in the Coppa Shell series.
The Ferrari Challenge returns to action on July 26th at the historic Watkins Glen International Speedway in upstate New York.
Learn more about the Ferrari Challenge here.
Words & Photography: Jon Carlo Tapia