In the second race of Round 5 of the Ferrari Challenge APAC series, track temperatures were at a blistering 45 degree Celsius, which made it very challenging for the drivers and tires were managed to minimize deterioration. This race saw Tani Hanna from Lebanon moving a step closer to sealing the Coppa Shell class championship with his sixth win of the season. In the Trofeo Pirelli class Renaldi Hutasoit from Indonesia notched up his second victory of the season while local hero Atsushi Iritani took the spoils in the Coppa Shell AM class.

Trofeo Pirelli. It was a walk in the park for pole-sitter Hutasoit as he seemed to be competing in a race of his own. He kept his lead from the green light right to the chequered flag. Behind him, Philippe Prette, from Italy, Go Max from Japan and Alex Au from Hong Kong were locked up in a fierce battle for podium, but none were able to close up to the leader. Unfortunately, Go Max spun during lap 9 and Prette grabbed the opportunity to secure second place while Au had to settle for third position, though this was enough to keep him at the top of the table standings.

Coppa Shell. The Coppa Shell race was just as spectacular. At the start Tiger Wu from Chinese Taipei was in first ahead of Hidehiko Hagiwara from Japan. However, Tani Hanna, who started eight on the grid, showed his championship winning form when he fought his way up into the lead pack and stayed on to win in his class. Behind Hanna, the battle was between Hagiwara and Wu until they made contact at the last lap which ended their hopes of standing atop the podium steps. Naoryu and fellow compatriot Kazuyuki Yamaguchi, then seized the opportunity to forge their way ahead and took second and third positions respectively. Hagiwara eventually settled for fourth. With the win, Hanna has further solidified his position at the top of the table standings.

Coppa Shell AM. In the Coppa Shell AM classification, Race-1 winner Kent Chen from Chinese Taipei was in first ahead of Atsushi Iritani from Japan and Andrew Moon from South Korea. It was a one-two battle between Chen and Iritani but the latter executed some spectacular overtaking moves which gave him the win and Chen had to settle for second position while Moon took third position. Grant Baker from New Zealand took the Gentlemen Cup. Rookie Ran Zhang from China, who impressively powered her way from 30th position on the grid to 24th took the Ladies’ Cup for the first time.

Race Schedule. 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 14th – 16th September.

Autor: Miguel Angel Solá