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Race report
Ferrari Challenge World Finals

Ferrari | Coppa Shell: Engstler crowns ultra-successful season with World Final win

Franz Engstler (Scuderia GT) crowned an ultra-successful 2022 Ferrari Challenge season with an easy win in the World Final race.

The experienced German, with almost ten years of World Touring Car racing to his name, totally outclassed his rivals in the thirty-minute race: powering away from pole, he immediately put the hammers down and in 18 laps was over 15 seconds ahead.

The race today played out as a virtual copy of the European classification, as runner-up Axel Sartingen (Lueg Sportivo-Herter Racing) finished on the podium, ahead of outgoing champion Ernst Kirchmayr (Baron Motorsport), who was never really much of a threat in third.

The Austrian picked up a 5 second penalty for an aggressive move at the start, when he pushed Thomas Gostner (CDP - MP Racing) towards the edge of the track, and in turn he squeezed his daughter Manuela (CDP – MP Racing) onto the grass.

It proved to be a short race for the Italian, because after this incident she was touched in the rear by Kanji Yagura (Cornes Osaka), even though it was the Japanese driver who came off worse with a spin. Gostner tried to make up time but overcooked her braking at the Rivazza and made contact with veteran Fons Scheltema (Kessel Racing), which put an end to her race.

#103 Franz Engstler, Scuderia GT

#103 Franz Engstler, Scuderia GT

Photo by: Davide Cavazza

Father Thomas finished fourth at the chequered flag, but he was relegated to P5 with a 5 second penalty for exceeding track limits. As a result, Omar Balkissoon (Ferrari Fort Lauderdale) moved one place up the standings and became the best Challenge NA driver, finishing just off the podium.

After his contact with Gostner, Scheltema produced an amazing comeback from the back of the field to get back up to sixth place. The Dutchman actually finished seventh, but gained a position when Brian Kaminskey (Ferrari Long Island) was penalized 5 seconds for launching North American champion Michael Petramalo (Ferrari Seattle) into a spin at the Gresini curve in the final stages of the race.

As for the Asia Pacific contenders, the best was Kazuyuki Yamaguchi (Cornes Osaka) in P7, also gaining a place over Kaminskey. As well as Manuela Gostner, other early retirements for contacts in the first few laps were Claudio Schiavoni (Scuderia Niki-Iron Lynx) and Motohiro Isozaki (Cornes Shiba).

FERRARI CHALLENGE - Imola: World Final Coppa Shell

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