Round 6 of Ferrari Challenge Europe at Spa saw Tom Fleming close the gap to the championship lead to just 19 points, while James Owen had an eventful weekend with some fantastic overtakes but also unplanned finish in race two….
In Saturday’s qualifying session Tom managed to put it on the front row of the grid in 2nd position, 0.5 seconds off pole, and James qualified a solid 5th in class.
Tom got away well at the beginning of race 1 and was alongside his rival into turn 1, but he had the inside line for the corner so Tom had to settle for 2nd, although he almost lost out to ex-Formula 1 driver Adrian Sutil who was also looking up the inside. However, Tom managed to maintain position and tucked in behind Donno. Over the course of the race, Tom opened up the gap to Sutil in 3rd but while he did close the gap to the first place runner, couldn’t quite get move done, so came home over the line in 2nd.
James ran slightly wide on Turn 1 and ran through the gravel but managed to keep going and rejoin the track. This little excursion cost him a few positions and he found himself in 14th overall. James delivered a commendable performance during the race; he passed Eriksen on lap 5 and Bogh-Sorensen on lap 6 to finish 12th overall and 6th in class. His determination was evident as he came tantalizingly close to Del Favero in 5th place, trailing by a mere 0.6 seconds. Owen’s competitive spirit and skill on the track were on full display, showcasing his potential for further success in the racing circuit. His tight battle in Race 1 added an extra layer of excitement to the event and hinted at his ability to climb the ranks in future races. He closes the gap to P3 in the Am championship standings.
Sunday’s qualifying session presented a challenge as the track was wet but drying, and Tom made the bold decision to go out on slick tyres. This proved to be the right choice, as he put the car on pole, a full 2.2 seconds ahead of P2. James opted to qualify on wet tyres on what was a drying track but put in a fantastic time against other on slicks to start him P5 once again.
In race 2, Tom made a clean start and managed to hold a comfortable lead throughout the race, at most produced a gap of 8 seconds over those chasing him, taking both race victory and fastest lap, scoring maximum points. Again, Tom confirmed his status as a formidable force in the world of motorsport – his impressive performance was a testament to his skill and determination. The championship leader, Donno, had to settle for 4th place resulting in Tom closing the points gap in the championship to 19 points – still in with a chance to win the championship at Mugello next month. James had a gained a position during the race having started from 10th overall, but had an excursion at Blanchimont, a 250kph left-hander and unfortunately into the gravel which prematurely ended his race – fortunately unscathed.
The final round takes place at Mugello on 28th and 29th October at the World Finals; the team waits with bated breath to see if Tom can clinch the title in his first year and if James can secure P3 in the AM class, again in his first year….
The final round takes place at Mugello on 28th and 29th October at the World Finals; the team waits with bated breath to find out what the outcome is going to be in the 2023 championship decider.
View the Ferrari Race Report here.