Monza – Last year at Mugello the Trofeo Pirelli saw a three-way tussle between Peter Ludwig, Wei Lu and Cooper MacNeil. Ludwig triumphed by just two lengths. In 2018, Lu switched to GT racing in the Ferrari 488 GT3 of TR3 Racing, while Ludwig and MacNeil, also involved in the IMSA championship, once again come to the final round of the season with the title at stake.
Parallel path. MacNeil has a 29-point lead, a gap that has been built-up race after race even though the two rivals have mirrored each other almost perfectly all season long. At Daytona MacNeil won Race-1 ahead of Ludwig, but the positions reversed the next day. At COTA, the Scuderia Corsa-Ferrari of Silicon Valley driver beat Ludwig (Wide World Ferrari) in Race-1, while they both did poorly the next day. MacNeil’s victory on Saturday was counterbalanced by Ludwig’s subdued performance, but in Race-2 the Wide World Ferrari driver won while his rival finished empty-handed. This scenario repeated at Montreal and Watkins Glen while MacNeil took 32 points at Road Atlanta against Ludwig’s 34. The 45 points up for grabs at Monza will decide a hard-fought season.
Third challenger. The duel between MacNeil and Ludwig has dominated the year with only one other driver winning a race, the 19-year-old Benjamin Hites with the 488 Challenge of The Collection. The Chilean driver is third. He won Race-2 at COTA and will now have to fend off attacks from Marc Muzzo (Ferrari of Ontario), Naveen Rao (Scuderia Cava-Ferrari of San Diego) and Chris Cagnazzi (Ferrari of Long Island). The two races will be held on Friday at 12.55 pm and Saturday at 4.40 pm.