Ferrari Challenge Asia-Pacific: Max wins at Mugello
Go Max converted a superb start into victory in the opening Ferrari Challenge Asia-Pacific race at Mugello, which finished behind the safety car.
From third on the grid, M Auto Hiroshima driver Max got a superior launch at the rolling start to pass front-row starters Philippe Prette and Yanbin Xing into turn one, and was never headed thereafter.
Having briefly fallen to fourth after making slight contact with Xing, series champion Prette had fought back to second by lap three, but the Blackbird Concessionaires HK driver never looked like closing on Max and was three seconds behind when an accident for Coppa Shell-Am driver Ray Wu brought out the safety car with two laps to go.
Leading Coppa Shell driver Makoto Fujiwara (Cornes Shiba) also made a good jump from fourth on the grid to take second when Prette and Xing touched, but was unable to resist Prette’s challenge and had to settle for third at the finish, ahead of Nobuhiro Imada (Rosso Scuderia).
However, the result gave Fujiwara the points lead in the Shell classification by one point, with pre-event leader Kazuyuki Yamaguchi (Cornes Osaka) finishing fifth.
Shell polesitter Xing faded in the latter stages and eventually finished sixth.
The highlight of the race was the thrilling three-way scrap for honours in the Shell-Am class, as Kent Chen soaked up huge pressure from Wu and Andrew Moon to take victory with ninth overall.
Wu had fought his way past Moon and with two laps left got a run on Chen into the final corner, the long left-hand hairpin at Bucine, only for Chen to edge him onto the grass. Wu lost the back end and spun across Chen’s nose into the barriers, putting him out of the race.
Ferrari Challenge North America: MacNeil wins after Hites penalty
Ferrari Challenge Europe: Carroll takes third win of 2019