The Ferrari Challenge World Finals were held this past weekend at the Mugello Circuit in Tuscany, Italy. The world famous track is home to Scuderia Ferrari, the racing team founded by Enzo Ferrari way back in 1929. For the 2015 season-ending event, drivers from 24 different countries converged on the mecca of Ferrari racing and the EMS Race Team was proud to be a part of that.
Just prior to making the trip across the Atlantic Ocean, IMSA.com caught up with EMS Race Team driver James Weiland to preview the competition.
“I drove in the Finali Mondiali two years ago in Mugello, and with time in the simulator recently at GPX Lab in Miami, I am ready to go,” Weiland told IMSA. “The warm up lap is where I feel all the anticipation. You know you are surrounded by very good drivers from all these different countries from around the world. You try to take in all of the colors and all the cars and the beautiful setting while trying to warm up the tires and systems and just waiting for what seems like forever for that green flag. But then the green flag flies, the engines are screaming and it’s time to get down to racing.”
When the green flags flew on Friday, Erin, EMS Race Team’s Ferrari 458 Challenge Evo, was ready to run. As she does throughout the season, Erin proudly displayed the logos of PETA’s Cruelty Free campaign and the Cornerstone of Hope on the rear and front of the car.
During stiff competitions with the top drivers from Ferrari Challenge North America on Friday and Saturday, EMS Race Team did their best to spread the word on each cause with a pair of 1st place finishes.
Weiland and his Ferrari of San Francisco team dedicated Race 1 at Mugello to raising awareness for PETA Cruelty Free. By the time his first Finali Mondiali race of the weekend was over, the Cruelty Free Bunnies were looking back at the competition on their way to the victory. After qualifying 3rd in class, Erin did enough to cruise through the finish line 1st in class and 3rd overall for Race 1 among a field of 37 drivers.
— Ferrari Races (@FerrariRaces) November 6, 2015
On Saturday, Weiland dedicated Race 2 to the great work our neighbors at the Cornerstone of Hope do for the community. Despite another tough fight among a talented field, the Cornerstone logo that adorns Erin’s hood was the first to bust through the finish line once again. With the help of his coach, Conrad Grunewald, and each member of the Ferrari of San Francisco team, Weiland finished 1st in class for a second straight day and 4th overall for the race.
In recap of Race 2 at Mugello, Motorsport.com offered the following:
“Perhaps the most exciting action of today’s race was the duel between James Weiland (Ferrari of San Francisco) and Anthony Imperato (Ferrari of Long Island). From the first lap to the last turn of the 30-minute race, the drivers battled for the lead. Although Imperato tried his chance for the overtaking, the space and strategy just wasn’t enough. Weiland was victorious in the end when Imperato made a mistake coming home third behind Ross Garber. Mike Zoi won the championship.”
“The Ferrari of San Francisco team did a great job getting us ready to race at Mugello all weekend long,” Weiland said. “It was really special to be able to secure two victories, and I can’t thank my team and coach enough for putting me in position to win. But the best part was being able to help raise awareness for the great work our friends at Cornerstone of Hope do for our community, as well as what PETA is able to consistently accomplish with the Cruelty Free campaign. Hopefully we were able to help others learn a little bit about those causes during our trip to Italy.”