Lisa Clark takes class podium in Ferrari Challenge at Abu Dhabi
Ferrari Challenge specialist Lisa Clark came home with a podium finish in the Shell Winter Challenge class at Abu Dhabi.
The Ferrari Challenge Asia Pacific contested a back-to-back weekend in the Emirates, with Dubai and Abu Dhabi hosting the Italian brand's one make series - as well as the Ferrari Racing Days at the world-class facility at Yas Marina Circuit.
In conjunction with the Asia Pacific championship, the two UAE races were also part of a special Winter Challenge - with drivers from other regional series joined the grid.
In the Shell Winter Challenge class, American driver Lisa Clark was back on track in her eye-catching Gulf-inspired liveried Ferrari 488 Challenge EVO; a series regular, Clark has raced consistently in the North American series and, since 2021, on European tracks as well.
At Dubai, Matt Kurzejewski (Ferrari Westlake) took victory in both races of the Trofeo Pirelli Winter Challenge; in the Shell class, James Geddie (Al Tayer Motors) was the driver to beat and secured race 1 and race 2 wins after battling with Lebanese driver Tani Hanna.
In Abu Dhabi's first race, Jeremy Clarke (Ferrari Beverly Hills) won from pole position, but had to endure the pressure of Kurzejewski, who followed a few tenths behind throughout the race. Kurzejewski had successfully managed to defend second from Carl Cavers at the start, before the leading duo pulled away.
In the Shell class, James Geddie started from eighth overall and second in class - behind Tani Hanna (Formula Racing) - but an incident on the first lap for Hanna - also involving Omar Jackson - paved the way for Geddie for yet another class win. Mohamed Alqamzi was second - while third place went to Lisa Clark, who had started from fifth in class. The American Clark had been hit and spun around during the race, but still managed to advance to a podium spot when Maya Hartge was handed a drive through penalty with two laps to go.
Under the lights of Race 2, Matt Kurzejewski fought back and claimed overall victory from Jeremy Clarke and Yudai Uchida, who also took top honors in the Asia Pacific category and was author of a brilliant recovery from a first lap tangle. In his lights-to-flag victory, Kurzejewski left no gaps to Clarke, who had to settle for second, 1.6 seconds behind. With eleventh overall and third in Shell Cup, Kazuyuki Yamaguchi was crowned Shell Asia Pacific champion.
The Shell Winter Challenge' second race saw the return to victory of Tani Hanna, who kept the first spot in class throughout with a good margin to James Geddie.
From fifth on the grid, Lisa Clark again moved up the order and was able to finish ahead of Mohamed Al Qamzi, rounding out the Shell Winter Challenge with a fourth place, behind Maya Hartge and 13th overall.