New 488 Challenge Makes Powerful North American Debut at Ferrari Challenge at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca By: Mazda Raceway
MONTEREY, Calif., May 14, 2017
— The 60th anniversary season of racing at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca was signaled by the roar of a stampede of Prancing Horses echoing through the rolling hills of the Monterey Peninsula on May 12-14.
The Ferrari Challenge returned to the world famous 11-turn, 2.238-mile road course for the first time since 2014. The one-make series packed some punch with the new 488 Challenge making its North American debut. A record field of entries filled a paddock that was also home to a rolling museum of beautiful creations from the Italian automaker on the Ferrari Challenge Concours d'Elegance.
The 488 Challenge delivered on the promise of even quicker lap times. The first turbocharged entry and sixth different car in the 25-year history of the series also features technological improvements in the areas of aerodynamic packaging, chassis, and engine mapping.
The drivers who took home the most hardware were Peter Ludwig and Joe Rubbo. Ludwig, an experienced GT racer who is a rookie in the Ferrari Challenge series, was the class of the field in Trofeo Pirelli beginning with a pole position on Saturday that he parlayed into a wire-to-wire victory in Race 1. He held off Ricardo Perez on Sunday to score the Race 2 victory. Rubbo scored wins at each race for the Ferrari of Long Island team in the Trofeo Pirelli 458 EVO class.
Brent Holden (Trofeo Pirelli AM) and Barry Zekelman (Coppa Shell) scored Race 1 victories on Saturday. During Sunday action, Marc Muzzo charged to the front in Trofeo Pirelli AM, and Karl Williams edged Zekelman for the top of the podium in Coppa Shell. Robert Picerne earned the Gentleman's Cup. Lisa Clark took Ladies Cup honors during both days of action.
The Ferrari Challenge North America heads to Montreal June 9-11. Ferrari enthusiasts will have another prime opportunity this season to engage with the automaker at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca when Ferrari's 70th anniversary is celebrated during the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion August 17-20.
The 2017 major event season at Mazda Raceway continues next weekend with the inaugural Spring Classic vintage car race and historic motorcycle exhibition on May 19-21. Race cars with historic significance from the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s will race for podium finishes. Run groups that include Formula One, Can-Am, and Trans-Am will bring the thunder while Historic Stock Cars and other groups will make a rare appearance on the iconic road course.
For more information and ticket prices, go to MazdaRaceway.com.