Ferrari Challenge will make its third stop of the 2022 North American championship at Watkins Glen International, one of the most historic and demanding circuits in all of North America. Stretched over 3.45 miles (5.552 km), the circuit in its current form took shape in 1992, but prior iterations date back to 1956 and the course was home to the U.S. Grand Prix from 1961 to 1980, with Ferrari taking three wins. Today, over 60 Ferrari 488 Challenge Evo cars will take part in racing action throughout the weekend, with a further 30 cars participating in Club Challenge and Club Competizioni GT lapping sessions.
After an up and down weekend for many in the Trofeo Pirelli category, the outlines of the championship content that will define the rest of the 2022 season are starting to come into focus. At the head of the field is relative newcomer Manny Franco (Ferrari of Lake Forest), who sits on a healthy 12-point margin heading into the weekend. He leads Jason McCarthy (Wide World Ferrari), who despite a best finish of third to date has used his consistency to accrue 34 points and leads Marc Muzzo (Ferrari of Ontario) in third. Muzzo’s season also has followed the rollercoaster of the Trofeo Pirelli category as he took a double podium result with one win at Circuit of The Americas, but failed to replicate those results in a difficult Daytona weekend. Further back, Jeremy Clarke looms after he followed a torid weekend at COTA with a first and second place finish at Daytona and is a further two points behind Muzzo in fourth.
In the Trofeo Pirelli Am category Alfred Caiola (Ferrari of Long Island) also has a healthy lead of 15 points above his nearest rival, Todd Coleman (Ferrari of Denver). Caiola’s three podiums is the most of anyone in the category and has him in a relatively comfortable spot with two race weekends complete. Last year’s Coppa Shell champion Dave Musial Jr. (Ferrari of Lake Forest) currently has residence in the third position in the championship, one point behind Coleman, but he ended his Daytona weekend with a win so surely he will be looking to carry that momentum into the weekend.
Brian Kaminskey (Ferrari of Long Island) is off to an incredible start in the Coppa Shell category and leads that championship, with a podium in every race run so far. He leads Michael Petramalo (Ferrari of Seattle) by 13 points at this point in the season. Petramalo’s 42 points are only one better than Paul Kiebler (Ferrari of Central New Jersey) who was advanced after the Daytona round from the Coppa Shell AM category to Coppa Shell and thus keeps the points he earned previously in his new category. Thus setting up a fascinating question if he will be able to maintain his excellent results in the more competitive environment.
In the Coppa Shell Am category, Anthony Davis (Continental Autosports) leads the championship with 36 points after Kiebler’s promotion. With podiums in three out of four contests and one win to his name, Davis is certainly a strong contender, though; he is followed by Lisa Clark (Ferrari of Beverly Hills) who trails by a single point. Clark has leveraged consistency and maximizing opportunities to find herself in the midst of a championship hunt. Dan Cornish (Ferrari of Austin) is in third, again on the back of consistent results and two podium finishes to date.
Club Competizioni GT returns
Another feature of the 2022 edition of Ferrari Challenge at Watkins Glen is the return of the Club Competizioni GT. Crafted to allow drivers from all over the world enjoy their Ferrari GT race cars on track, the Club previously joined the North American Challenge series at Circuit of The Americas and also Daytona International Speedway. This weekend, cars including six examples of the Ferrari 488 GT Modificata will take to the Watkins Glen circuit in dedicated lapping sessions totaling up to over eight hours of on-track running over the course of the weekend. Subsequent stops for the club include Japan’s Suzuka circuit in June and Indianapolis and Hockenheim in July.
On-track action began on Wednesday with testing sessions through Thursday and official practice sessions on Friday. Qualifying and racing will dominate both Saturday and Sunday with all sessions streamed live on live.ferrari.com