KRIEG SWEEPS FERRARI 430 CHALLENGE AT PORTLAND (PORTLAND, OR, August 6) Defending Ferrari Challenge Champion Emmanuel Anassis has a sufficient lead in the 2006 Championship so that missing the Portland event did little harm to his title efforts.
KRIEG SWEEPS FERRARI 430 CHALLENGE AT PORTLAND
(PORTLAND, OR, August 6) Defending Ferrari Challenge Champion Emmanuel Anassis has a sufficient lead in the 2006 Championship so that missing the Portland event did little harm to his title efforts. His absence, though -- due to a business conflict -- meant the possibility of a new driver on the top step of the podium. John Krieg did indeed take his first-ever win, and his second as well; the Ferrari of Houston racer drove his Ferrari 430 Challenge to a clean sweep of the top awards, with Pole Position and both overall victories.
At the beginning of the event on Friday it appeared that a Californian might take at least one of the wins. Ferrari of Beverly Hills teammates Jay Lee and John Horesji topped the time sheets in three of the four practice sessions that day with Steve Goldman, another Californian racing for the Auto Gallery team, taking the other.
By the final practice on Saturday a new name topped the time sheets. Krieg was fastest in that session and then took pole position in qualifying by only 4/1000 of a second over Lee. Horesji was less than a tenth behind Lee in third, with Bill Cotter (Ferrari of Seattle) just a few hundredths further back in fourth. All were driving Ferrari 430s.
The older Ferrari 360s race in their own class, and in that group Ferrari of Ontario's Michael Louli, the class points leader, took pole over Jimmy Pugliese, from the Ferrari of Long Island team.
Krieg may have had a slim margin in qualifying, but he used it to full advantage in Saturday's race, first of the weekend. The Texan led every lap of the 30 minute race, winning by five seconds over Lee. Rusty West, Goldman's Auto Gallery teammate, took the final podium spot after a race-long battle for the spot with Joel Quaid (Ferrari of Orange County) and Lawrence Stroll (Ferrari of Quebec). Horesji had been in the mix but a small penalty dropped him to sixth in the final results, just ahead of Cotter. Louli and Pugliese finished one-two in the 360 class.
Saturday's results set the grid for Sunday's 45 minute race, so with the win Krieg gained the top starting spot for that race as well.
Lee took an initial lead in Sunday's race, but officials ruled that it had been gained by short-cutting the course through the chicane. The resulting penalty dropped the Beverly Hills driver from contention. Krieg faced challenges from several drivers but again led from the third lap on, with a winning margin of over seven seconds.
Allie Ash, a Ferrari of Washington driver who participated in the first-ever Ferrari (348) Challenge event in 1993, finished second after a close battle with Cotter in third. Steve Winfield (Auto Gallery), in his first year of racing, Patrice Brisebois (Ferrari of Quebec), and Scott Tucker (Boardwalk Ferrari) completed the top six. John Horejsi had again been in contention for a top spot until eliminated by another driver, who was penalized for the contact.
Louli repeated his win in the 360 class over Pugliese, extending his lead in the class championship.
The Portland event was the final event in North America for the 2006 Ferrari Challenge Championship. The series finishes at the World Finals at the famed Monza Autodromo in Italy on October 27-29.
The Ferrari Challenge is organized by Ferrari North America. Drivers compete in specially built racing versions of the Ferrari 430 and 360 Modena, 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 driver skill among lady and gentleman drivers. Sponsorship and support for the series comes from Motorola, Bose, Piaggio Aero, Pirelli, Sabelt, and Shell.
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