After an incredible sunny and warm day on Saturday, the tables turned on the drivers of the Ferrari Challenge series on Sunday when wet and cooler conditions set the stage for a fantastic end to the fifth round of the 2022 season at Indianapolis.
The weather conditions in fact set up a bruising day that forced drivers to find their best as a poorly timed deluge actually forced the cancellation of qualifying for the Coppa Shell category, while the Trofeo Pirelli session was cut short by incidents that brought an early end and jumbled the field.
The drivers, however, paid no mind as they put on an excellent show of daring and courageous driving in their Ferrari 488 Challenge Evo cars.
Jason McCarthy (Wide World Ferrari) took the win in a wild Trofeo Pirelli race that saw a red-flag interrupt running half-way through the 30 minute contest.
After starting behind Martin Burrowes (Ferrari of Quebec), McCarthy and Burrowes engaged in an entertaining back and forth as the New York-based McCarthy was clearly faster, though Burrowes had plenty of tricks to make things more difficult on the opening lap.
However an incident further back would soon neutralize the field as the safety car was required. Upon the restart, the two again diced for the lead, but immediately a second safety-car was required as a significant accident further back brought the proceedings again to a slower pace. Ultimately, race control decided to red-flag the session to facilitate a lengthy repair.
After those repairs were affected, the race got back underway and immediately McCarthy continued his attack on Burrowes, making good on his threat with just over 10 minutes remaining.
While McCarthy set about making a gap, Burrowes slid further back, but successfully held off a dueling Joe Rubbo (Ferrari of Long Island) and Matt Kurzejewski (Ferrari of Westlake) who were hotly contesting the final podium finish.
By the checkered flag, it was McCarthy 5 seconds ahead of Burrowes, who was a further second ahead of Rubbo. In the AM category, Aaron Weiss (Ferrari of Central New Jersey) continued to prove himself as the master of changing and wet conditions, taking another win on the season.
He led home Todd Coleman (Ferrari of Denver) by just over a second. Coleman really started to reel Weiss in towards the end of the race, but it was ultimately not enough. Custodio Toledo (The Collection) rounded out the podium some seconds further back in third.
Michael Petramalo (Ferrari of Seattle) further extended his Coppa Shell class lead in the championship with another win on Sunday.
He led home Chuck Whittall (Ferrari of Central Florida) and Brian Kaminskey (Ferrari of Long Island) who finished in second and third respectively.
After qualifying was cancelled due to heavy rain, drivers were well aware that the rain would almost certainly affect their race a few hours later, and sure enough, the race was declared wet and all drivers made use of the wet Pirelli tire option.
Petramalo set about building an advantage after making a clean start, but Kaminskey was well motivated as finishing behind would mean even more ground to make up at the upcoming rounds.
That being said, it was Whittall with a very strong turn of pace, ultimately dispatching him and setting about after Petramalo. But it wasn’t meant to be and Petramalo put further distance between himself and Kaminskey in the championship.
In the Coppa Shell AM category, Rey Acosta (The Collection) earned a much deserved win, leading home Frank Szczesniak (Ferrari of Tampa Bay) by less than a second and Tony Davis (Continental Autosports) just a few tenths behind that.
In a dramatic final few laps, Szczesniak tried everything to get by, but Acosta managed his gap and car positioning perfectly to earn the win.