The Ferrari Challenge series will cap off its North American season with a visit to California Wine Country and the 2.52-mile Sonoma Raceway. Just an hour north of San Francisco, this classic and challenging course offers the best attributes of any Ferrari Challenge weekend — an immense on-track challenge for the drivers plus a fabulous setting and environment to enjoy after each day at the track. Of course this weekend will perhaps require a bit more of the drivers than most other weekends as temperatures are forecast to approach 100 degrees Fahrenheit during the weekend. That combined with a tricky, low-grip circuit and the 670hp on offer from the Ferrari 488 Challenge Evo will ensure that every driver will be pushed to their limits over the course of the weekend.
Jason McCarthy (Wide World Ferrari) leads the Trofeo Pirelli category with 84 points on the back of back to back wins at Indianapolis in July. The wins, McCarthy’s second and third on the season, come on the back of building momentum for the New York-based driver as his prior win came in a caution-disrupted race at the prior Challenge weekend in Montreal. The margins in the category are incredibly tight however, as Jeremy Clarke (Ferrari of Beverly Hills) sits just two points shy with 82 to his name. The California-based driver had a remarkable weekend at Daytona, taking a win and a second place finish. He has followed that up with another win in Montreal and two other podiums.
Meanwhile, Matt Kurzejewski (Ferrari of Westlake) sits in third with 75 points. Searching for his first win of the season, Kurzejewski has made do with tremendous consistency, earning five podiums to date. All of that, however, belies what has been a tremendously competitive Trofeo Pirelli category in 2022. Six different drivers have taken the top step of the podium at various points through the season and plenty more than capable.
In the AM category, Dave Musial Jr. (Ferrari of Lake Forest) leads with 93 points, leading Todd Coleman (Ferrari of Denver) and Alfred Caiola (Ferrari of Long Island) each on 87 with Aaron Weiss (Ferrari of Central New Jersey) a bit further back in fourth with 80 points. The season for Musial Jr. has of course been the most successful to date with two wins and three other podium finishes, with the best results coming in Montreal with a win and podium in the two weekend races.
Coleman has bracketed the season to date, earning a win at the first race of the season in Austin, and earned a win and a podium himself at Indianapolis. Many of Caiola’s best results came early in the season, particularly at Daytona where he earned his own win and podium. A surging Aaron Weiss will also look to capitalize on his recent momentum with a good result at Sonoma after a win in the most recent weekend at Indianapolis.
Michael Petramalo (Ferrari of Seattle) has enjoyed a dominant season to date, with podium finishes at all but one race this season. The dominance has earned him a sizeable 22 point lead over Brian Kaminskey (Ferrari of Long Island) who started the season strong but has since seen a dip in form. With a maximum of 34 points on offer in a given weekend, Petramalo will look to maintain his form during the weekend at Sonoma and may potentially claim his first Ferrari Challenge championship.
In the Coppa Shell AM category, Tony Davis (Continental Autosports) enjoys a similar advantage of 27 points over Lisa Clark (Ferrari of Beverly Hills) who sits in second. Starting the season with two podiums, Davis earned a further three wins and three additional podiums en-route to his sizeable points advantage. Lisa Clark has enjoyed her best season since she joined the championship, earning four podiums to date and all but confirming her status as championship runner up.
Testing sessions for the championship got underway on Wednesday and Thursday followed by official sessions starting on Friday. The Sonoma circuit will be open to the public on Saturday and will enjoy a full day of on track action including Qualifying in the morning, a grid walk for fans at 12:55pm PT and then racing action starting just after at 1:30pm.