The Ferrari Challenge Asia Pacific has arrived in the UAE for Rounds 2 and 3 of the series. This weekend, the series kicks off with the first of its two-leg tour of the UAE at the iconic Yas Marina Circuit, home of the Abu Dhabi F1 GP. For the second leg, the racing pack of the Prancing Horse’s 8-cylinder berlinettas arrives at the Dubai Autodrome to join the Dubai 24H weekend.
Ready to go again. For this weekend’s race at Yas Marina Circuit, a very peculiar line-up has gathered, boasting drivers from all the regional Challenge series organized by the Maranello-based marque. Winners of the APAC Coppa Shell and Coppa Shell AM classes in the first round, held in November in Mugello, Jay Park and Kirk Baerwaldt will try to keep momentum. In order to succeed, they will have to fend off the attacks of a very competitive group of Ferrari Challenge Europe drivers like Roman Ziemian, flying the flag of local dealer Al Tayer Motors.
In the meantime, Challenge North America driver, Brett Jacobson (Ferrari of Houston), will join the Coppa Shell Am, a hard-fought class that will also host the Scuderia Praha entry of Rene Matera as well as three drivers from the UAE: Mohamed Al Quamzi, Andrew Gilbert and Abdulrahman Addas who will graduate from the local Club Challenge series, a programme run by Ferrari Middle East to introduce the Prancing Horse’s most sporty customers to the thrills of circuit driving.
Going for the overall win, drivers from the Trofeo Pirelli AM class will be the ones to watch for the fastest lap times around the Yas Marina Circuit. It will be a European match, with France represented by Ange Barde (SF Cote D’Azur Cannes) and Denmark by the Formula Racing entries of the world champion Christian Brunsborg and Claus Zibrandsten.
An Iconic Venue. The world famous Yas Marina circuit has been home to the Abu Dhabi F1 GP since it’s completion in 2009. The circuit was designed by Hermann Tilke to combine high-speed action with outstanding levels of safety and flexibility, with numerous circuit configurations and world-class off-track facilities nestled around and under the eye-catching W Abu Dhabi Yas Island Hotel in Yas Marina.
More recently, it has played host to the Gulf 12 Hours and 4 Hours of Abu Dhabi endurance races, among other global racing series such as GP2. In the Gulf 12 Hours, a Ferrari GT racer took the crown every year from 2014 to 2018, with a 458 Italia GT3 taking 1st place in 2014 and 2015, and a 488 GT3 winning in 2016, 2017 and 2018.