The second race of Round 5 of the Ferrari Challenge APAC saw the crowning of the first 2017 champion. Martin Berry sealed the 458 Pirelli class by winning both races of the weekend. With track temperatures at a blistering 50 degree Celsius, it was very challenging for the drivers and tires were managed to minimize deterioration. As the Challenge heads to Singapore for the penultimate round, all the categories remain open for a class win except 458 Pirelli.
In the early stages, pole-sitter Huilin Han from China held off the attacks of Philippe Prette from Italy and a determined Japanese Go Max. Close behind, contact between local hero Zen Low and Yanbing Xing from China caused Low to suffer a drive through penalty, putting him out of contention for the podium. In the last lap, there was a valiant attack from Angelo Negro of Italy with Prette but Prette was able to fend off the attack while Negro lost the final podium place to Max.
Lots of excitement in the Pirelli AM class where Yanbing Xing from China battled it out with Angie King of Philippines. Xing started from pole and was attacked by King from the get-go. However, Xing suffered a hit on lap 8, lost his position but still ended up third on the podium. It was a maiden win for King who led from start to finish. Ken Seto from Japan drove a steady race and came in second. This podium position has propelled him to a mere 6 points behind table leader Tiger Wu in the standings.
At the start championship leader Makoto Fujiwara from Japan was in first ahead of Charles Chan of Hong Kong and Grant Baker of New Zealand. Fujiwara led from start to finish. Eric Zang of China who started fourth on the grid began a great comeback and fought a hard battle with Chan. The Chinese driver first overtook Baker, whose fourth place was enough to win the Gentlemen’s Cup, and then even managed to overtake Chan. Chan settled for a third place finish. Kanthicha Chimsiri from Thailand took the Ladies’ Cup.
Trofeo Pirelli 458
It was the sixth win in a row for Martin Berry from Australia when he found himself at the top of the podium once again. Berry started first in his class, led the way throughout the race and steered his Ferrari 458 Challenge EVO for the win. Berry beat Sam Lok from Hong Kong, who finished by a wide 24.773 seconds behind him, while Tamotsu Kondo from Japan finished third.
The next round of the Ferrari Challenge Asia Pacific will return to the Singapore street circuit in support of the Formula One Grand Prix from 16th – 17th September.