MIKE CANTILLON DOES THE DOUBLE AT THE NURBURGRING
Mike Cantillon driving for Team Vertu Racing posted another impressive performance with one pole position and two wins in two races to strengthen an almost unassailable lead at the top of the Driver’s Championship in the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli, Coppa Shell series, at the Nurburgring this weekend. Mike now has a 56 point lead, with only a maximum of 64 points available at the next round which wraps up the Ferrari Challenge season at Mugello in November.
Following his impressive win in Race 1 on Saturday, which in itself wasn’t without incident, Mike started Race 2 from pole position on Sunday on a very damp and cold track that meant the drivers faced the challenge of maintaining tyre temperatures and pressures for the 38 minute + 1 lap race on the iconic Nurburgring F1 circuit. After a safety car start, Mike established a comfortable 6 second lead after only 3 laps and maintained this margin throughout the race to take the chequered flag. Mike’s smooth driving style suits the damp conditions he faced today, but he attributed his race win to the team’s technicians who worked throughout the night to repair his car after an end-of-race incident in Race 1 on Saturday.
Fellow Team Vertu Racing driver, Jamie Constable, had another excellent race in the tricky conditions, having started Race 2 from the back of the grid after his strong qualifying time was disallowed due to him receiving mechanical assistance to recover his car from the gravel traps in Qualifying 2. But, by lap 2 of the Race, Jamie had already stormed his way past several of the back markers and picked up 6 places, but his determination to get back in touch with the leaders meant that he was making some brave overtaking manoeuvres, one of which saw him put two wheels on the very slick grass and then spin into the wall. However, even with a damaged rear bumper and no rear diffuser, Jamie continued to pick up places lap after lap and finished an excellent 7th place and collected some valuable team points.
The Ferrari Challenge Dealer Team GB’s two other drivers, Yannick Mallegol finished in 13th place as he struggled to capitalise on his excellent 5th place qualifying position, while Jack Gerber was involved in some closely fought battles in the middle of the pack which unfortunately saw him end the race before the chequered flag.
The Ferrari Challenge Dealer Team GB also scored another excellent victory in the Coppa Shell series on Saturday evening at the Nurburgring, with a dominant performance by Team Vertu Racing driver, Mike Cantillon who stretched out an even further points lead in his quest to be crowned 2008 Champion. But the race was not without incident even for Mike: with only a few laps to go before the chequered flag, the race was red flagged due to oil spilled on the track, but not before some of the drivers were involved in an accident that meant the race could not be continued so the safety car was deployed.
However, during the safety car period before the red flag was waved, Mike was also caught out by the oil on the track and was unable to finish the race. The official result was declared on the previous lap, which meant that Mike was awarded the win as the leader at the point when the safety car was deployed. With a pole position waiting for him in Race 2 on Sunday afternoon, the team were determined to get the car on the grid for the race and had to work through the night to repair the damage to Mike’s car, with new front wings, sub-frame, radiators and bumper required to ensure the car would be race ready for Sunday. Mike personally thanked all the Team Vertu Racing technicians for their incredible hard work, dedication and commitment to ensure he had every chance of maintaining his momentum as he strives to win the Driver’s Championship in 2008.
Ferrari Challenge World Finals
The Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli concludes the 2008 season at the Finali Mondiali at Mugello in November, where Mike Cantillon also has a chance of competing for the overall Ferrari Challenge World Championship in a special one-off race which pits the drivers from the Italian, European and American series against each other for the most coveted crown in the Ferrari Challenge series. Also on track at Mugello will be the awesome FXX, several examples of Ferrari’s illustrious F1 cars and the Shell Ferrari Historic Challenge.