The pocket rocket: Doriane Pin wins the Ferrari Challenge title in hectic Mugello races
18-year-old Doriane Pin brought home the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli title after a dominant season: with two third place finishes at Mugello, the Frenchwoman succeeded Michelle Gatting and became the second female champion in the series, with Iron Dames taking back to back titles.
Doriane Pin is a star in the future – and very few in the industry still had any doubts about her talent. A dominant season in Ferrari Challenge and few appearances in the main line up in GTWC and ELMS definitely launched the 'Pocket Rocket', as she's nicknamed, as very much a star of the present.
The sixth round of Ferrari Challenge was held last weekend at the fast and undulating Mugello Circuit, one of the universities of motorsport, where Dorian Pin had the chance to wrap up the European title, thanks to a 39-point lead over second-placed John Wartique, amassed throughout a season that featured 8 race wins over 10 races – as well as 8 pole positions.
Coming off 4 perfect weekends – when she had led all sessions, claiming race wins, pole positions and fastest laps – Doriane put herself to work immediately from the practice sessions at Mugello, as she aimed to seal the title with one weekend to spare and under the eyes of the whole Iron Lynx and Iron Dames team: her teammates Rahel Frey, Michelle Gatting and Sarah Bovy in fact made it to Mugello to support Doriane.
Pin took both pole positions on Saturday and Sunday morning and would line up on the best spot on the grid, in front of a big crowd of fans of the Italian marque.
After taking the first pole position of the weekend, though, Doriane Pin had a difficult start: she lost some speed on the main straight and lost a few positions at the San Donato corner once the green flag waved; she would slot into third place by the end of the first lap.
As soon as on the second lap, the red flag was out for a massive shunt at the end of the main straight: Marco Pulcini (Formula Racing) lost control of his car and violently hit the inside wall, with his car bouncing back on track upside down.
Luckily, he was able to walk away from the crash without injuries, as all the Ferrari 488 Challenge lined up in pitlane. The track was soon restored and the race resumed with 27 minutes to go. The second rolling start saw Doriane maintain her third position; the driver of the #83 pink Ferrari tried to reduce the gap from Thomas Neubauer (Charles Pozzi - Courage) and Eliseo Donno (CDP Best Lap), in order to gain as many points as possible to her main rival, in fourth place.
On one of the most demanding tracks on the calendar, a few more mistakes were made by the less experienced drivers and the Safety Car was deployed again just a few minutes later. Doriane managed to finish the race in third place, which postponed the title celebrations.
“I didn’t do well at the start. I was in third place when the red flag was raised and it was difficult to start again. However, we did a great job, securing crucial points for the team, which is a positive for tomorrow” – Doriane said.
Race 2 wasn't too different from Saturday's one: Doriane Pin did an amazing job in qualifying, clinching the second pole of the weekend – and the tenth of the season – but struggled at the start and lost two positions. This time, she had the chance to fight back and took advantage of the fresh tyres in the opening laps.
The safety car, though, halted her attempts when Nicolò Rosi (Kessel Racing) parked his car on track after a mechanical failure. At the restart, Doriane Pin held third place and battled with Thomas Neubauer until the second SC was out: Race 1 winner Eliseo Donno had in fact spun in the gravel.
Pin finished the race again in third place – but, only needing a fourth place to seal the deal, she was finally crowned 2022 Ferrari Challenge Europe Pirelli Trophy champion.
With the title safely in her hands, Pin drove smartly and never took risks, showing maturity.
Her season was brilliant: she displayed incredible pace right from the start and impressed everyone with her speed in every round.
“Winning the title is a powerful feeling. It was the season’s goal and we achieved it. I speak in the plural because the credit goes not only to me but to the whole team and the people who worked to achieve this. I am very proud and hope this is the first in a long series of titles” – a very happy Pin said.
Doriane's title made the whole team proud, as her work throughout the year was impeccable and brought to the squad the second driver championship in a row, after last year's achievement by Michelle Gatting.
With the whole team sporting a pink celebrative shirt in her honor, Pin was welcomed by the Iron Lynx family under the podium and celebrated with everyone her well deserved title. "Doriane just winning the championship is a monumental moment for women in motorsport, especially in such a dominant way with two races left in the season." – Deborah Mayer said “This result makes me incredibly proud and we look forward to more success in the future”.
"I am very proud to be an Iron Dame and I can’t thank the Iron Dames project enough for believing in me and giving me this chance. I wouldn’t be here without their support, as it isn’t only down to me it is a real team effort."
The Ferrari Challenge will be back for its season finale in Imola during the Ferrari World Finals on the last weekend of October, where Doriane will try to clinch Iron Dames' first world title.