Ferrari Challenge Podium Highlights Weekend for Scuderia Corsa

This past weekend marked another time this season in which Scuderia Corsa was in two very different parts of the country competing in both the TUDOR United Sportscar Championship as well as the Ferrari Challenge. While the weekend would bring a number of challenges for both sides of the team, things would finish on a very high note for the team in the Ferrari Challenge. 

At the Circuit of The Americas near Austin, Texas, drivers Alessandro Balzan and Jeff Westphal would face one of the more difficult weekends they have encountered this season. Starting the race, Westphal would make up several positions in the first hour of the race before pitting from ninth position to hand the cover over to Balzan. 

With fast work in the pits by the Scuderia Corsa team and speed on the track, Balzan would pass three additional cars to move the Ferrari to sixth position. However, a punctured tire and a failure of the A/C system meant additional pit stops and one extra driver change which caused the car to lose several positions. At the end of the race, Westphal saw the checkered flag with the Ferrari in 11th position. 

At the Ferrari Challenge race at Watkins Glen International, in Watkins Glen, New York, Scuderia Corsa fielded a pair of Ferrari 458 Challenge Evoluziones. John Horejsii would compete in the Trofeo Pirelli class, while Chris Ruud entered the weekend as the championship leader in the Coppa Shell class. 

Both drivers would deliver their strongest race on Sunday. Horejsi qualified in third position in Trofeo Pirelli class, his best qualifying performance of the season, and would ultimately finish in sixth position. Ruud qualified fifth in the Coppa Shell class, and finish in third position. 

Ruud’s third place finish means he has nearly clinched the season championship in the Coppa Shell class. 

“I am glad to be at Watkins Glen for the first time this weekend with Ferrari on such a historic track,” said Ruud. “I am also glad I was able to continue my streak of a podium finish at every circuit so far this season thanks to a last lap pass of my friend Robert Herjavec.  The weather today was tricky with rain making the surface very slippery for some parts of the track.  I am looking forward to our last US race as part of the Formula One weekend at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin in the beginning of November.” 

Scuderia Corsa team owner Giacomo Mattioli had mixed feelings about the weekend but was pleased to see things end well at Watkins Glen. 

“While our team faced a number of challenges this weekend, everybody at Scuderia Corsa pushed hard to deliver the best results possible for our team and our drivers,” said Giacomo Mattioli, owner of Scuderia Corsa. “We definitely had a rough day in Austin, but everybody pulled together to make the best of the situation. And in Watkins Glen, both John and Chris also had some difficulty on the first day but did an exceptional job of driving on Sunday especially when you consider the weather that came into play. Chris is also on the verge of securing the Coppa Shell championship and we can’t wait to see him do that!”

The final race of the TUDOR Championship will be the 10 hour / 1000-mile Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia on October 4. The Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli will hold its North American finale at Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas on October 31-November 2 as part of the Formula 1 World Championship weekend. 

Adam Sinclair