The sixth round of the Ferrari Challenge Europe season was staged at the Jerez de la Frontera circuit, in Andalusia, southern Spain, in the province of Cadiz. Jerez is part of the history of Spanish circuits as it was the theatre of many editions of the F1 Grand Prix of Spain in the 90s, then as the location of the European Grand Prix until 1997, when the world title challenge between Michael Schumacher and Jacques Villeneuve took place and saw the Canadian driver win that season. The Ferrari Challenge is the first red one brand appointment to be held in Jerez. The race has taken place on the track dedicated to Ricardo Tormo in Valencia for the past seasons in Spain.
In Jerez, Kessel Racing was on track with two cars entrusted to Fons Scheltema and Murat Cuhadaroglu. In order to get to know the new track better, drivers and their cars started testing it privately on Wednesday. The weekend started to reach its climax with the free sessions on Friday, while on Saturday the first chronometric feedback arrived with the qualifying times along with the first race.
Scheltema, in pole position for the Shell Cup, found his efforts frustrated after a few rounds because of a puncture, probably caused by the debris left by Cheung’s car (AF Corse) in the accident which occurred during the starting phase. Cuhadaroglu started off in thirteenth position and within the first thirty minutes of the race reached seventh position. The second qualifying session ended with Scheltema as fifth, behind pole position driver Loefflad, Di Amato, Cheung and Schiavoni. Cuhadaroglu improved his position on the start with his time ranking eighth, and wrapping up the fourth row on the starting grid.
The race that closed the European season of the red one brand challenge saw Scheltema in third position, behind Loeffled (Stile F) and Di Amato (CDP). Cuhadaroglu, instead, finished his race early after a spin.
RONNIE KESSEL (Team Principal): _“Jerez de la Frontera is a very difficult circuit on which we had no experience in the Challenge until today. Scheltema, like a great fighter, won a splendid pole on Saturday, which was later frustrated by a puncture during the race. Cuhadaroglu keeps improving both his qualifying times and the race pace. Now everybody is going to concentrate on preparing every detail of the last races in Daytona, the World Finals, an appointment which is worth a whole season”.