Clarke clinches Ferrari Challenge UK championship
Jamie Clarke was crowned the first Ferrari Challenge UK champion at Silverstone in September after a tense season-long battle with the runner-up in the Trofeo Pirelli class, Jason Baker. Meanwhile, Toby Flannagan secured the Coppa Shell title for gentleman drivers.
The inaugural Ferrari Challenge UK championship consisted of eight races at some iconic British tracks, beginning at Brands Hatch in May, moving to Snetterton in June and Croft in July, before the championship-decider at Silverstone in September.
Baker fought off Clarke to claim victory in both races at the opening round at Brands Hatch, and followed this up with another two victories at Snetterton, with Clarke once again claiming two second places. The momentum shifted to Clarke next time out at Croft, who won the only race of the weekend for his first victory of the season, after the second race was cancelled on safety grounds due to a damaged barrier.
Going into the final round at Silverstone, Baker appeared to be in a dominant position, having accrued a 15-point lead in the championship. But with Baker missing the first race, Clarke seized the opportunity presented to him, taking another race win. This meant there was everything to play for in race two, and with Clarke on pole and Baker lining up just behind him in second, the stage was set for a gripping finale. A torrential downpour before the race only added to the drama. The duo fought hard from lights to flag, but Baker was unable to find a way past the resilient Clarke, who crossed the line as the first Ferrari Challenge UK champion.
The Coppa Shell class was even more hotly contested, with three drivers being separated by just five points after the third round at Croft. The previous races had produced five different winners, and the erratic nature of the championship was demonstrated by the fortunes of Toby Flannagan. His weekend at Silverstone began with victory in race one, followed by a 16th place finish in race two, and ended with him being crowned the Coppa Shell champion, 14 points clear of Gary Redman in second.
In the dealers’ championship, Maranello Sales came out on top, ahead of Dick Lovett Swindon and Stratstone Manchester.
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