The drivers of the Ferrari Challenge series wrapped up their third round of 2022 with a pair of races at Watkins Glen. Weather affected the Coppa Shell race as drivers used the wet Pirelli rubber on a surface that began soaked but ended up completely dry 30 minutes later. The Trofeo Pirelli category, meanwhile, enjoyed a dry, albeit humid, race as they worked to improve their positions as the championship nears its half-way mark.
Joe Rubbo (Ferrari of Long Island) took his first win of the 2022 season and first win of the 488 Challenge car era. Drama on the first lap saw Matt Kurzejewski (Ferrari of Westlake) unceremoniously punted by an overeager Keysin Chen (Ferrari of Beverly Hills) and relegated to an early retirement while Chen had a drive-through penalty imposed. Manny Franco (Ferrari of Lake Forest) and Rubbo battled before Rubbo made a pass in the middle portion of the race, with Franco ultimately finishing second. From there, the drama was focused on who would round out the podium as Martin Burrowes (Ferrari of Quebec), Roberto Perrina (Ferrari of Seattle) and Jeremy Clarke (Ferrari of Beverly Hills) diced back and forth. Ultimately, Burrowes claimed the final spot.
In the Trofeo Pirelli Am category, John Horejsi (Ferrari of Vancouver) took the win, leading Dave Musial Jr (Ferrari of Lake Forest) by just over two seconds. Todd Coleman (Ferrari of Denver) provided the final bit of drama in the category as he battled with Aaron Weiss (Ferrari of Central New Jersey) on his way to another podium finish.
A sudden downpour occurred just before the cars were set to depart for their recon laps and turned the Coppa Shell race on its head as teams worked to change tires on their cars from slicks to wets to accommodate the changing conditions.
By the time the 30-plus car field had changed tires, the rain had petered out and warm and humid conditions quickly returned. The track remained appropriate for wet tires at the start, but a dry line quickly formed and tire management became the priority for all. In these conditions, Frank Chang (Ferrari of Seattle) reigned supreme, taking the lead and then building a gap that would last to the end.
Late in the race, Michael Petramalo (Ferrari of Seattle) closed to under a second by the time the checkered flag flew. Charles Whittall (Ferrari of Central Florida) rounded out the podium in third.
The Coppa Shell Am race, meanwhile, saw an intense back and forth as Lisa Clark (Ferrari of Beverly Hills) briefly led, but not all drivers were able to take advantage of the drying conditions. Michael Mathes (Ferrari of Central New Jersey) came out on top with his first win of the 2022 season to date. Tony Davis (Continental Autosports) continued his strong form at Watkins Glen with a second place finish and David Schmitt (Ferrari of Palm Beach) rounded out the top three.
The Ferrari Challenge series continues in support of the Canadian Grand Prix June 17-19 at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, followed by a stop at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in July and Sonoma in September. The season wraps up in October at the Finali Mondiali at Imola.
Watch highlights of day 2 below or click here.