Ferrari wins in Long Beach once again as Beretta grows championship points lead after rough and tumble race
Long Beach, Calif. (19 April 2015) – R.Ferri Motorsport RACING WITH FERRARI returned to the top step of the Pirelli World Challenge podium again on Sunday as Olivier Beretta emerged from a street fight to win the Grand Prix of Long Beach with the No. 61 R.Ferri Motorsport RACING WITH FERRARI Ferrari 458 Italia.
The win is the third World Challenge victory of the season for the team, which has grown its lead in the championship with five of 16 races in the championship now in the books.
Beretta started the race from pole position, and claimed the lead at the start. The opening lap set the tone for the 24-lap race, as the yellow flag waved shortly after the racers leapt from the standing start. A series of restarts brought several successive incidents as the 40-car multi-class field fought for positions.
The No. 61 Ferrari held the advantage through all 24 laps, but a close moment saw Beretta cede the lead for as he fell to third. However he made a decisive move inside to regain second place, but the room ran out and the leader was forced to the side as Beretta regained his place at the point.
Multiple restarts gave the field the chance to claim the lead, but Beretta was able to fend off all challengers to score his third win of the season.
“It was difficult because each time you went under yellow, you had to restart everything,” said Beretta. “Each time on the restart, it is a challenge. I’m happy with the result, I just feel sorry for Johnny (O’Connell)—we went three wide into the corner and there was contact. I am sorry for him–I don’t think it was my mistake, it was just that on a street race right there, we could not be three wide. This (Pirelli World Challenge) is a very good series, a very good championship. I have a very good team, they work very hard to give me this car. It is good for Ferrari. This is the last year for this 458 Italia, so we need to win the most that we can.”
The win now has moved the team to a 58-point advantage as the series prepares for a quick turnaround with a cross-country trip to make ahead of next weekend’s double-header event at Barber Motorsports Park.
“It is great to get a win,” said team owner Remo Ferri. “This was a bit of a mess today (with so many yellow flags). We could have raced more and I would have liked to see more racing laps, so I am a little bit sorry for the fans. But we won the race, so I am very excited. The team did a great job and Olivier (Beretta) drove well so it was a good result for us here at Long Beach with the Ferrari.”
Up Next: Barber Motorsports Park, April 24-26 for Rounds 6-7.
Long Beach Grand Prix Pirelli World Challenge BROADCAST: CBS Sports Network Sunday, April 26, 3:30 PM ET0