Mike Zoi, racing a Ferrari F430 for the Florida-based Shelton Ferrari team, has won the 2007 Ferrari Challenge Championship.
Mike Zoi, a Miami resident used three wins and consistent podium finishes to beat Lawrence Stroll to the title, 230 points to 182. Roberto Fata, who also won three races, finished third with 172 points.
Zoi, racing for the Florida-based Shelton Ferrari team, opened the season with a win in the first race at the Miami-Homestead Speedway. Stroll won the second race the same weekend in his Ferrari of Quebec entry, opening the year-long battle.
Neither driver won at the Infineon Raceway in Northern California; instead the victories went to Scott Tucker (Boardwalk Ferrari) and John Horesji (Ferrari of Beverly Hills). The series then moved cross-country to Virginia, and Zoi took the lead with a pair of wins at VIR.
There were more new faces atop the podiums in Canada. Allie Ash, the Ferrari of Washington driver who raced at the very first Challenge event in 1993, won the support race for the Canadian Grand Prix. Ash received his trophy from Ferrari's Formula One boss Jean Todt. Roberto Fata took his first win (for Ferrari of Long Island) at Mont Tremblant, as did John Farano (Ferrari of Ontario).
West coast rounds
The Challenge moved west again to the California Speedway near Los Angeles for the final North American race. Zoi's consistent top finishes had given him a slight lead over Stroll, who had also been a consistent top finisher until he had to miss one of the Mont Tremblant races. Challenge newcomer Zak Brown won in his first race and Tucker took a thrilling last-lap victory over Horejsi. Zoi raced defensively and Stroll encountered problems, solidifying Zoi's championship lead with only two races remaining.
Ferrari Challenge World Finals
Those races were at the Ferrari Challenge World Finals, at Ferrari's track at Mugello, Italy. Stroll was unable to make the trip, so by starting the Italian races Mike Zoi became the 2007 Champion. Fata's pair of wins gave him third in the Championship, while Tucker's pair of podium finishes at the Finals tied him with Horejsi for fourth.
Zoi, Stroll and Fata will be presented with their Championship awards at a dinner in New York in December.
The 2008 Ferrari F430 Challenge will kick off at the Miami-Homestead Speedway on March 6th, 2008.
About the Ferrari Challenge
The Ferrari Challenge is organized by Ferrari North America, and sanctioned by the Grand American Road Racing Association. Drivers compete in specially built racing versions of the Ferrari F430, with preparation and race support handled by teams formed by authorized Ferrari dealers in North America. Preparation rules are very specific, and the series is intended to emphasize driving skill among lady and gentleman drivers. Sponsorship and support for the series comes from Motorola, Pirelli, Sabelt, Shell, and Avantair.
F-MAZDA: 2007 champions West Coast series crowned
F-MAZDA WS: Buttonwillow notes