Recently, WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca was the venue for the much awaited Ferrari Challenge Weekend, and even though there were no general admission spectators, the energy and excitement of competitive racing still hung thick in the air. Even the campers who decided to rough it out on the hillsides were given a rare treat as they watched all the action that happened.
“We are so pleased to see our kickoff event go so well. Seeing cars race is only part of what makes these events so exciting, it’s really the spectators that complete the whole picture. I believe next year’s season is going to be a good one for race fans and I’m looking forward to it,”
John Narigi, WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca’s President and General Manager
The exciting weekend was the fifth of the six races that were planned for the Ferrari Challenge. The next race will be in October at Sebring, before the November finale which will be held in Misano, Italy. All four classes, Trofeo Pirelli, Trofeo Pirelli Amateur (AM), Coppa Shell and Coppa Shell Amateur (AM) competed in the races that were held on both Saturday and Sunday. By the end of the weekend, there were eight different winners that were announced.
On the first day of the race, Saturday, Cooper MacNeil had a great start on pole for Trofeo Pirelli’s first race. However, after encountering problems with his power steering, Ross Chouest did not hesitate to grab the victory. For the Trofeo Pirelli AM class, Brent Holden secured the victory. For the Coppa Shell and Coppa Shell AM classes, Jim Booth and Dave Musial Jr. were the first-place winners, respectively.
On the second day, Sunday, Cooper MacNeil finally took the Trofeo Pirelli podium finish that eluded him the day before. The Trofeo Pirelli AM class had Dave Musial, with Bradley Horstmann coming home as the Coppa Shell’s day 2 winner, with Michael Watt taking the trophy home for Coppa Shell AM day 2.
One of the several teams that raced in the Ferrari Challenge Series, the Scuderia Corsa, had several cars that encompassed various professional and amateur classes. One of their drivers is Cooper MacNeil, who competes in the Trofeo Pirelli class with the No. 63 car. The series appeals to a lot of the “gentlemen and lady drivers” as it allows them to practice and improve their skills on some of the most technical tracks in North America.
Another Scuderia Corsa driver is Neil Langberg who has been with the team since 2016 driving for the Coppa Shell amateur class. His passion for the race matches his dedication for the Race for RP (Relapsing Polychondritis) platform.
RP is a rare and under-studied autoimmune disease that attacks the cartilaginous structures in the body like the nose, skin, eyes, ears, brain, and heart valves. His dedication to creating awareness of the disease stems from back in 2011 his wife, Nancy Linn, was diagnosed with RP. To raise awareness, the very first “Race for RP” decal was placed on Langberg’s race car back in 2015. It wasn’t long before other drivers took notice, and even teammates like Cooper MacNeil, had the decal.
“Motorsports is what really blew it up for us. We originally started as a smaller awareness campaign, but it was motorsports that really flipped the script for us. People across the world were suddenly aware of what we’re doing and wanted to know what they could do to help.”
President and Director of the Relapsing Polychondritis Foundation David Bammert
With the awareness and support that their cause has generated, the foundation was able to establish the University of Pennsylvania Relapsing Polychondritis Fund which aims to develop more effective guidelines for the diagnosis, treatments, and work towards a cure. True to their motto, the Relapsing Polychondritis Foundation is racing to raise awareness and speed up research.