After a gorgeous qualifying session, the heavens opened in the middle of the Ferrari Challenge Coppa Shell series opener at Virginia International Raceway, making for a chaotic end to that race and leading to a postponement of the Trofeo Pirelli feature until Sunday.
With ominous skies but dry conditions, the combined Coppa Shell/Coppa Shell AM field rolled onto the track for the first race of the 2021 season. Starting second, Todd Coleman (Ferrari of Denver) stormed into the lead at the start, passing polewinner Dave Musial Jr. (Ferrari of Lake Forest) and pulling out a lead.
Further back, the field was completely jumbled up as drivers jockeyed for space and the optimal line through the first few corners before settling down and beginning to string out.
And then the rain began, slowly at first but quickly picking up intensity. Several cars went off in the treacherous conditions and the race was quickly red-flagged so that drivers could pit and switch onto rain tires.
With the changeovers accomplished, drivers went back out for a thrilling final two laps of green-flag racing.
In the end, Coleman held on, claiming the first win of the Ferrari Challenge Coppa Shell season, narrowly beating out Musial Jr. and Charles Whittall (Ferrari of Central Florida) who rounded out the podium in third.
In Coppa Shell AM, meanwhile, it was Brandon Kruse (Ferrari of Central Florida) who bested pole sitter Franck Ruimy (Ferrari of Beverly Hills) to win, while Lance Cawley (Ferrari of Atlanta) opened the year in fine fashion, finishing third.
Tomorrow’s activities will run to a compressed timetable due to forecasted weather conditions. The Trofeo Pirelli race originally scheduled for this afternoon will begin instead at 9:15 a.m. (all times Eastern) followed by the second Coppa Shell race at 10:05 a.m. and concluding with the second Trofeo Pirelli race at 10:55 a.m. Grids for the second races of the weekend will be set using the drivers’ second fastest lap time from today’s qualifying sessions.
All racing sessions will continue to be streamed as usual on live.ferrari.com and the @FerrariRaces Facebook page.