Trofeo Pirelli Winner MacNeil Provides Saturday Highlight at Ferrari Challenge with Thrilling Overtake on Corkscrew Turn
While Churchill Downs hosted the Kentucky Derby, motorsports fans visiting the Monterey Peninsula were engaged with Prancing Horses that emblemize the beautiful racing machines at the Ferrari Challenge at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. The one-make Ferrari Challenge North America series awarded winners on Saturday, May 5, with a second race set to conclude action on Sunday.
Saturday Race 1 winners are Cooper MacNeil (Trofeo Pirelli), John Boyd (Trofeo Pirelli AM), Thomas Tippl (Coppa Shell), John Megrue (Coppa Shell AM), and Martin Burroes (458 Challenge). Scuderia Corsa-Ferrari of Beverly Hills boasted two winners in MacNeil and Tippl.
Top honors for the premier category, Trofeo Pirelli, appropriately went to MacNeil on the first day of race decisions since WeatherTech, the vehicle accessory manufacturer founded by MacNeil’s father David, entered a naming rights agreement for the race track with the County of Monterey.
MacNeil changed the dynamic of the race with 12 minutes remaining when he overtook Marc Muzzo on the Corkscrew. The famed Corkscrew turn, named as such because the esse descends nearly six stories in a 450-foot stretch of asphalt, is the site of legendary racing moments such as “The Pass” when Alex Zanardi overtook Bryan Herta at the 1996 CART finale.
Joining MacNeil on the Trofeo Pirelli podium were Muzzo and Joseph Rubbo. Trofeo Pirelli AM, a category that competes on track at the same time with drivers of amateur distinction, was won by John Boyd with the Ferrari of Denver team.
Coppa Shell action found Thomas Tippl standing tall among the grid of 23. The driver from the mighty Scuderia Corsa-Ferrari of Beverly Hills outfit drove the turbocharged No. 121 to a quicker pace on the 2.238-mile road course than second-place finisher Mark Fuller over the 20-lap race. Richard Baek from the Ron Torkin Gran Turismo team shared the podium, while John Megrue earned the win in Ferrari Coppa Shell AM. Actor Michael Fassbender finished fifth overall.
The 458 category belonged to Martin Burroues. Burroues held off a fight from Trevor Baek, who finished the race 0.647-second behind the leader. Burroues shared the podium with polesitter and Ferrari of Ft. Lauderdale teammate Francesco Piovanetti, who came in third.
In addition to witnessing the supercars battle on the famed road course, families and Ferrari enthusiasts alike enjoyed a paddock experience that featured a Ferrari concours, a go-kart track, fan pictures taken on the podium, and teams with accessible pit displays.
The event will concluded tomorrow with qualifying in the morning and Race 2 in the afternoon. Tickets are only $20 with children 15 and younger admitted free.