Ferrari Challenge: Doriane Pin sweeps Silverstone
Doriane Pin completed her third perfect weekend in this year's Ferrari Challenge Europe: the 18 year old Iron Dame led every session, converting two pole positions into two race wins at Silverstone.
In the last few years of competitions, Iron Dames demonstrated that Ferrari Challenge is a series that is too often overlooked.
The all female-project that is taking the sports car racing world by storm, on the other hand, has been making the most out of the Ferrari one-make series, maximising track time for its young talents, as they built experience for the big endurance championships.
With project founder Deborah Mayer being herself a former Ferrari Challenge racer, the platform proved its worth and, in two years, Iron Lynx/Iron Dames became a dominant powerhouse that allowed Michelle Gatting to make history as the first woman to clinch the European title, with Doriane Pin looking to follow in her footsteps.
Pin, 18, has been utterly dominant in her rookie season at the wheel of the Ferrari 488 Challenge Evo. With six pole positions and six race wins out of eight races ahead of this weekend's Silverstone event, Pin eyed another perfect weekend at the home of British motorsport. And she delivered.
A few days after testing at the venue, Doriane was able to lead every single session during the race weekend, thus claiming her eighth pole position and eighth race victory and completing her third perfect weekend this year.
On Saturday morning, the Frenchwoman took pole after a single run in qualifying and then, with a clean start, she was able to defend from John Wartique, who had a great launch from third and was looking aggressive during the opening lap.
Pin, though, brilliantly held on and, after one lap, she had already started to stretch her legs in the lead.
With an outstanding pace of over a second per lap quicker than anyone, Pin opened a 8 second gap before managing the race, as Luka Nurmi fought with Wartique for second. Nurmi, though, would receive a 5 second penalty for track limits and had to settle for third.
Unreachable, Doriane Pin took victory in race 1 by 9 seconds over her closest pursuers.
“I had a great race, the start was good, and I was very close to John Wartique, but then I managed to create a gap and manage the tyres well." - she commented on Saturday afternoon. "I am very happy with this win and for the fact that it came at Silverstone, a track I love, where you can breathe in the special atmosphere."
"The season is going really well, so I would like to try and keep it up.”
And indeed, her season continued on the same trend on Sunday, as Doriane Pin secured another pole position despite Luka Nurmi forced the Iron Dame to some extra work: on a colder and less grippy Silverstone, Pin found the pole lap with six minutes to go, improving Nurmi's previous reference by one tenth of a second.
After the tight qualifying, though, Pin was again unbeatable: she had a perfect getaway and cleared the field, despite some fast laps by Nurmi in the opening stages.
The race remained green even after a contact at the first corner involving Nicolò Rosi, Arno Dahlmeyer and Jack Brown and Pin could build her safe margin - helped by John Wartique closing in on Luka Nurmi.
A great battle for the lead in ProAm saw Marco Pulcini and Ange Barde trading places while, behind them, it was even more heated between Lucky Khera, Omar Jackson and David Gostner. Despite contact, the Italian eventually moved to third in class. He gained one more position when class leader Ange Barde received a drive through penalty, which handed the ProAm win to Pulcini.
Having managed the race at the front, Doriane Pin swept the competition at Silverstone and took her eighth win out of ten races - having missed out on back-to-back victories only at Circuit Paul Ricard.
With a bold pass at the final corner, Luka Nurmi grabbed second place from John Wartique.
The British weekend extended Doriane's lead in the Ferrari Challenge Pirelli Trophy by over 40 points - which gives the young French driver the chance to round out the title battle at the next round at Mugello.
“This has been a super weekend from Doriane; she didn’t know the track before coming here and Silverstone is a very challenging circuit" - commented Andrea Piccini, Team principal at Iron Lynx.
“We’ve pulled away to increase the lead in the championship. It’s looking good with only two rounds left with a big lead, now she only has to control things.”
The next double-header will be held at Mugello, on 7-9 October, before the Ferrari World Finals at Imola on 26-30 October, where the European, Asian Pacific, North American and UK series will battle out for the World Championship title.