Ricardo Perez races down the front straight in the #2 Ferrari 458 EVO. © 2014 Victor Varela
The hills around the legendary 11-turn, 2.238-mile Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca road course, echoed with the sounds of the mighty steeds of Maranello, as the Ferrari Challenge made their return to Monterey, California on May 16-18, 2014.
Clouds and fog are the recipe that make up the weather in May around the Monterey Peninsula and this weekend was no exception. But fortunately for race fans and competitors, the afternoon cleared to beautiful skies and a crisp, cool breeze, which provided some interesting lighting throughout the day from which to capture the Ferrari 458s.
This year marks the 22nd year for the series, which currently runs on some of the most iconic and challenging circuits in North American, European and Asia-Pacific. The drivers race behind the wheel of competition 458 Italia Challenge race cars, specifically built at the Ferrari factory in Maranello, Italy.
Harry Cheung leads the field for the start of the 1st race. © 2014 Victor Varela
If you are not familiar with the Ferrari Challenge, the series runs two categories, the Trofeo Pirelli and the Coppa Shell. The series is popular with the fans of the marquee, in part because it brings together both track novices who run in the Coppa Shell category and experienced competition drivers, who run the Trofeo Pirelli. Each category has their separate classifications and season ending title. The Ferrari Challenge North America Series is organized by Ferrari North America, Inc., and is sanctioned by IMSA.
Two races were held over the past weekend – the first race on Saturday afternoon, the second on Sunday. The 1st race was won by Harry Cheung (Ferrari of Beverly Hills) who started from pole and led from start to finish claiming the win in the Trofeo Pirelli category. Chris Ruud (Ferrari of Beverly Hills) won the Coppa Shell category.
The 2nd race on Sunday saw Ricardo Perez (Ferrari of Houston) take the win from pole position to claim his second victory of the season. Chris Ruud would go on to win for the second time this weekend in the Coppa Shell, making this his 4th victory for the season.
Ryan Ockey negotiates the Andretti Hairpin in his #89 Ferrari 458 EVO. © 2014 Victor Varela
A series of my images and a report were published at Sports Car Digest, the leading international online journal for sports, racing and vintage car enthusiasts.
You can find it here: Ferrari Challenge – Laguna Seca 2014
Following this race at Laguna Seca, the calendar for the North American series will continue to Montreal, Canada, (during the Canadian Grand Prix at Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve), June 6-8; Mont Tremblant, Canada, June 27- 29; Road America, July 11-13; Watkins Glen, Sept. 19-21; Austin, Oct. 31-Nov. 2; and will end in December with the traditional Finali Mondiali – December 3-6. 2014 marks the first time the Finali Mondiali is being held outside Europe, at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi. The Yas Marina Circuit is also home to the Ferrari World theme park. This is where the top invited drivers from North America will go up against the other leaders from Asia-Pacific and Europe for the overall 2014 title.
Complete Ferrari Challenge information is available at: Ferrari Challenge
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[source: Ferrari Challenge]
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