Over the weekend – Sepang International Circuit played host to an all new season of the prestigious Ferrari Challenge Asia Pacific race series. We are of course, no stranger to this series as 2015 marks its fourth season in the region, with Sepang being one of the most highly anticipated rounds in the season.
This year, the series kick-starts in Malaysia with Race 1 & Race 2; before moving along to the next leg in Fuji Speedway, Japan in the following month.
Dominating the first round of the Trofeo Pirelli class was Steve Wyatt from Australia, who finished in an impressive racing time of 36:26.774. Starting in pole position, Wyatt held strong throughout the race, scoring the fastest race lap time of 2:14.889 and increasing his distance in front of Philippe Prette from Hong Kong who finished second. Finishing third was Renaldi Hutasoit from Indonesia.
Throughout the years, the Ferrari 458 Challenge has gone through various improvements; in the race for quicker lap times and a more challenging competition. This year, the teams are running an all-new aerodynamic setup that puts the race cars to an all-new level. According to Steve Wyatt – the new setup runs an average of 3-5 seconds a lap quicker than the previous aero package around Sepang.
Under the scorching hot weather; Sepang proves to be a challenging battleground, not only of the cars but for the drivers behind the wheel.
The 21 drivers in the field once again showcased pure driving exhilaration during Race 2 with interesting overtaking maneuvers and fierce battle. Following his win in Race 1, polesitter Steve Wyatt from Australia once again stood proudly on top of the podium steps, winning first overall and in his Trofeo Pirelli class. He beat his nearest competitor by 13.62 seconds. In second position was Indonesian David Tjiptobiantoro, who moved up to the higher classification from Coppa Shell this year. Following in third place was Renaldi Hutasoit, also from Indonesia.
With that; the first round of the Ferrari Challenge Asia Pacific ends, putting the drivers all prepped and high on adrenalin for the rest of the season to come.
As this only marks as the first round of the season, there is still a long way to go through. Many drivers will be looking to have their say in the title fight in the coming races and with the next round of the Asia Pacific Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli set to take place on April 24 – 26 in Fuji, Japan; we can’t wait to see how the results may change.
Words & Photos: Qhalis Najmi