Father and son dodge Ferrari carnage to sweep Hampton Downs
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Philippe Prette and his son Louis have completed a clean sweep of the Ferrari Challenge Asia-Pacific Series at Hampton Downs.
Louis romped home in both races, but as a 'guest' driver to the series he isn't listed as a race winner. Victories therefore went to the second-place finisher, which in both races was his father Philippe.
The day was punctuated by a significant crash in the opening race of the day, when a sudden shower caught out several drivers on slick tyres at turn one.
Fellow Italian Angelo Negro took on the most damage, after his 488 machine slammed the inside barrier and took on heavy front and rear damage that ruled it out for race two.
The crash halted the race with a red flag, helping hand the Prette duo their first 1-2.
Race two was a much cleaner affair, despite equally tricky conditions as the track went from a wet start to a dry finish. Louis led every lap, as he had done in race one, but things were more challenging for his father.
He spent the race recovering from an early mistake at the Carousel, having to fend off and pass Japanese driver Go Max and Hong Kong driver Alex Au.
He eventually did so, finishing a comfortable fourth. This left Max and Au to battle among themselves for the balance of the race — a memorable display of driving from both resulting.
Behind the leading battling, the best of the Kiwis was Grant Baker. The Skull Racing Ferrari claimed a best finish of 12th in race two, which doubled as second in the Shell-AM sub-class.
The top finishers were quick to praise the Waikato circuit, complimenting the track's passing opportunities in the post-race press conference.
"It's very fun to drive the track in these conditions," said Philippe Prette. "Because the car is moving around, it's really interesting."
"The track looks tricky, but it's not because there are many places for overtaking. The first feeling was 'where can we pass?', but after that it's very easy."
The series will now travel to China for round three of their 2018 series at Shanghai.