ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J., March 19 /PRNewswire/ -- The North American Ferrari Challenge Series 2009 season opener will take place on March 20-22 at Miami's Homestead Speedway.
Now in its 16th racing season in the U.S., the Ferrari Challenge Series (utilizing race-prepared F430 Challenge vehicles) offers Ferrari owners the opportunity to compete against other Ferrari owners in a highly competitive racing series at world-class venues throughout the U.S. and Canada, and is regarded as the longest-running series of its type in North America.
The series returns this year with strong driver entries, including all the 2008 front runners and a talented rookie class, drivers have their eyes firmly on the 2009 Ferrari Challenge championship crown.
Among the favorites returning this year are 2008 Challenge champion Roberto Fata, who won the championship in only his third season of racing. Also competing will be 2008 second place finisher Scott Tucker from Boardwalk Ferrari, who recently competed in the 24 Hours of Daytona: his string of pole positions and strong finishes in 2008 makes him a championship contender. The 2007 series champion Mike Zoi is also returning and shall be considered one of the main protagonists for the 2009 crown.
Some of the other strong contenders this year are Ferrari of Beverly Hills teammates Zak Brown and Henri Richard.
The Ferrari of Houston camp is represented by 2008 rookie of the year Mark McKenzie. McKenzie's flashes of brilliance along with a number of podium finishes in 2008 earned him the rookie crown in 2008, which he will try to convert to an overall championship crown in 2009.
This season's participating teams and drivers are:
Ferrari of Houston: Mark McKenzie in car #27, Richard Fant in car #42, Bruce Gingrich in car #7.
Boardwalk Ferrari: Scott Tucker in car #55, Ted Skokos in car #2.
The Collection: Jeff Soffer in car #24, Ugo Colombo in car #23, John Devaney in car #70, Francesco Piovanetti in car #3, Mike Zoi in car #8.
Ferrari of Ontario: Kevin Clayton in car #95, Mike Louli in car #12, John Farano in car #59, Guy DeClerc in car #91, Rob Metka unassigned #, Martin Burrowes in car #46.
Ferrari of Newport Beach: Al Hegyi in car # 78, Steve Hill in car # 33, Osama El Atari unassigned #.
Ferrari of Beverly Hills: James Henley in car # 9, Zak Brown in car # 99, Henri Richard in car #98, Sonny Yu in car #90.
Ferrari of Tampa Bay: Roberto Fata in car # 3, Carlos Conde in car #13.
The season will then continue to Road Atlanta in Georgia [April 17-19], Infineon Raceway in California [May 1-3], Road America in Wisconsin [June 26-28], Mt. Tremblant in Canada [July 24-26] and Motorsports Park in New Jersey [Sept. 18-20].
The Ferrari Challenge is one of the numerous "exclusive" experiences that Ferrari offers its customers -- and whether owners are actually racing in the series, dining in the luxurious VIP hospitality tents, participating in weekend driving clinics or socializing with those that share their enthusiasm for Ferrari, the weekend provides a unique atmosphere and incomparable experience.
General public can enjoy the races, peruse the paddock areas, and enjoy the overall Ferrari-festival type of atmosphere.
The Ferrari Challenge Series is organized by Ferrari North America, Inc., and sanctioned by the Grand American Road Racing Association. Complete Challenge information can be found on www.ferrarichallenge.com. Tickets for the Homestead Speedway Ferrari Challenge weekend can be purchased directly at the track.
Ferrari North America, Inc. is headquartered in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., and is the exclusive North, Central and South American importer of Ferrari vehicles including the 599 GTB Fiorano V-12 sports coupe, F430 Berlinetta, F430 Spider convertible sports car, 430 Scuderia, California Gran Tourer and 612 Scaglietti (luxury performance 2+2). For more information please visit www.ferrariusa.com .
SOURCE Ferrari North America