MONTREAL GRAND PRIX 2018
Montreal, Canada– June 12th, 2018 – New Country Competizione enjoyed another successful weekend in Montreal with four podiums in total between Ross Chouest aboard the #25 Westport Yachts 488 Ferrari participating in the Pirelli Am category and Peter Ludwig aboard the Datto / Strategic Micro Systems / Kemperle Pirelli Pro entry of the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli series in North America.
With the added fan base of the FIA Formula One World Championship watching, Ross Chouest embarked on the difficult twists and turns of Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on Friday with only two twenty-minute practice sessions. Improving all weekend long, he qualified 5th in class while Peter Ludwig qualified in 2nd, behind championship leader Cooper McNeil.
Chouest had a good start in race one and gained valuable positions. Unfortunately, Chouest could not avoid an accident that unraveled in front of him but managed to keep going and finish on the podium in 3rd. Ludwig had a trouble free race but could not quite match pace and move around the leader, which left him in 2nd place.
The grid for race two was determined by the results from race one. New Country Competizione fine-tuned the car setups in between races and both drivers were very competitive. Ludwig was in a position to pass the leader, McNeil but multiple accidents among the rest of the field and full course yellow prevented a real fight between the two competitors. Chouest continued finding speed throughout the 12 turns of Circuit Gilles Villeneuve and finished on the podium again in 3rd.
Peter Ludwig is still second in the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli series in North America standings, trailing McNeil by only 17 points. Ross is coming back towards the front, now in 5th in the Pirelli AM category.
Peter Ludwig - Driver: "We closed out Montreal F1 weekend with another second place in race two. We figured out our car setup a bit late in the game this time. The adjustments made on the cars platform for race two were a great improvement but the lack of green flag laps didn’t give us the time to challenge our competitors. Now, onward to Watkins Glen for rounds nine and ten July 27-29th. We’ll come back stronger and definitely smarter."
Ross Chouest - Driver: "The team at New Country did a fantastic job preparing the car for me and it ran great all weekend. I had never raced at this track so I really enjoyed the challenge to learn a new track in limited practice time due to F1, especially a track with limited runoff and concrete walls everywhere. Overall, I am happy with the result considering the circumstances and looking forward to Watkins Glen."
Eric Bachelart - Team manager: "We enjoyed racing in Montreal in front of the F1 crowd. I am proud of our team and our drivers. Ross did an excellent job on a new track for him and he made good progress in the Championship. We struggled with Peter in qualifying and race 1 but we made some adjustments on his car for race two that put him in a position to fight for the win again. We’ll get ready for a test in Watkins Glen to prepare for the race weekend."
NCC SCORES WIN, POLE POSITIONS AND FASTEST LAPS AT LAGUNA SECA
Monterrey, California – May 15, 2018 – New Country Competizione had a very successful weekend at Laguna Seca after entering five cars with Peter Ludwig in the Datto – Strategic – Kemperle #11 car in the Pirelli Pro category, Ross Chouest in the Westport Yachts #25 car in the Pirelli AM category, Danny Baker in the EM Logistics #221 458, Bill Kemp with Kemp Signature Homes #228 458, and Brian Davis in the #282 458.
Day one saw different misfortunes amongst the drivers. Danny Baker and Bill Kemp qualified in the top 10 in the 458 class while first-time competitor, Brian Davis, started in an encouraging 13th place. Ross Chouest qualified 3rd and Peter Ludwig 2nd in the Pirelli Pro class but Ludwig had to start from the pit lane with a 10-second penalty following an incident during the previous race at Circuit of The Americas.
Race one brought top ten finishes for all NCC 458 drivers with Baker finishing in 7th, Brian Davis in 9th for his first ever race, and Kemp in 10th. Peter Ludwig came through the field having started from the pits, but could only finish 9th on a challenging track to pass his competitors. Despite finishing 9th, Ludwig scored the fastest lap in the race. Ross Chouest had a spin as his tires degraded, but brought home 7th.
Day two saw Chouest and Ludwig qualifying both in pole position respectively in the Pirelli Am and Pro categories. Chouest posted the fastest lap of the weekend from the entire field. The 458 drivers, Kemp and Davis kept improving under Bakers experienced guidance and they all qualified in the top 10 with Kemp in 8th, Baker in 9th and Davis in 10th.
Race two reaped the win of Peter Ludwig with the fastest lap, and Chouest just missing the podium after an off-track excursion in 4th. Kemp finished with a fantastic 5th for his second appearance in the series followed closely by Baker in 6th. Davis struggled with his tires but continued on to finish 13th in the 458 class.
Driver – Ross Chouest: “New Country Competizione did a fantastic job preparing my car and supporting me. I qualified relatively well (3rd and pole) and ran 2nd in most of race one and 1st most of race two. Unfortunately, I did a poor job of managing my tires and made a few costly mistakes so I did not get the finish I hoped for but I am looking forward to Montreal to redeem myself.”
Driver - Danny Baker: “It was a decent weekend for me. There was a lot of traffic on the track during both qualifying runs and I ended up P7 on Saturday and 9th on Sunday. I’m looking forward to better results at Watkins Glenn in July.”
Driver - Brian Davis: “It was a great team effort. I’m very grateful to Eric and the New Country Competizone Team on an outstanding job preparing for a great weekend of racing. In both races, our entire 458 team either qualified or finished in the top ten. Peter and Ross in the 488’s both started on the pole in their classes on Sunday and Peter took home the win. Those results aren’t by chance and I’m proud to be part of the New Country Competizone family.”
Driver – Bill Kemp: “There was nothing easy about this weekend in Laguna and just about every driver on the team experienced some sort of obstacle or setback. Despite the uphill battle, the team advanced in points and narrowed the gap for 1st place thanks to Peter Ludwig’s Sunday win. Congratulations to Brian Davis on his debut to Ferrari Challenge and successfully completing both races in the 458 class.”
Team Manager - Eric Bachelart: “We had lots of fun in Laguna working with all our drivers. Peter and Ross were the fastest drivers in the Pirelli Pro and Am categories and I enjoyed watching the progress of our new 458 drivers Bill and Brian working so well with Danny. The team did a very good job all weekend long and it was certainly a very enjoyable weekend.”
NEW COUNTRY COMPETIZONE LEADS CHAMPIONSHIP GOING IN TO WORLD FINALE
New Country Competizione had a successful weekend in Homestead with two podium finishes in the Ferarri Challenge of North America Trofeo Pirelli Am category, and a firm grip on the championship lead of the Trofeo Pirelli category.
Running five cars in total, New Country Competizione was happy to welcome Ross Chouest to the roster who won his first ever Ferrari Challenge race and found himself on the podium again after placing third in race two. Chouest’s finish in race one marked one of the most memorable highlights of the weekend as he made his pass for the lead in his Ferrari of Palm Beach 488 Challenge car on the final lap.
Peter Ludwig struggled with tire degradation throughout the entire weekend, but that didn’t stop him from defending his championship lead. Finishing fourth in both races keeps Ludwig and his #11 Ferrari 488 Challenge car in the top spot of Ferrari Challenge of North America with a gap of five points.
Todd Morici had his third race weekend with New Country Competizione in the #72 Ferrari 488 in the Trofeo Pirelli Am class. Morici had a very strong showing in race one with a sixth place finish. Pushing hard in race two, Morici went off the track, but was able to continue and claim another sixth place finish.
Coming off a great performance in Austin, Texas, Danny Baker was competitive in both races in the #221 458 Challenge EVO. Finishing in the top ten, Baker claimed fifth place in race one and eight in race two. Also in the EVO class, Matt Brown had his first race ever and drove the #227 458 Challenge car. Brown got in some competitive laps and built great race experience while keeping his nose clean all weekend.
New Country Competizione has found great success in the North American portion of the 2017 championship. Now, Ferrari Challenge heads to Mugello, Italy for the grand finale of the season. Peter Ludwig will hit the pavement in Italy starting October 25th.
Peter Ludwig – Driver #11
“We struggled with our tires consistency over the weekend and that affected our performance in the races. I am glad we kept the championship lead though and I hope we'll confirm our participation in Mugello in the coming days to have a fair chance of wrapping the title there".
Ross Chouest – Driver #25
“I thoroughly enjoyed my first weekend racing Ferrari Challenge with New Country Competizione racing team. The car only recently arrived in the U.S. last week and the team did an excellent job preparing the car in a very short time for Homestead. With the help of my driving coach, Aaron Povoledo, Tim Neff, and Eric Bachelart we were able to quickly make adjustments to the setup of the car and allow me to finish P1 in my first race and P3 in my second race. I look forward to Daytona and racing the 2018 Season with New Country Competizione.”
Todd Morici - Driver #72
"After not being in Miami for quite some time, there were no significant changes in the track with the exception of the outrageously high humidity and temperatures which were difficult for tire management. I struggled with the setup of the car and in fact I think we went the wrong way with the suspension adjustments. I had better time by over a second with the original set up we started with. I felt good after the finish of my first race, P6 overall, and while I struggled with a very loose car, I had great results. The second race didn’t go quite as well. There was a major crash on the first lap first corner. Fortunately it was behind me and no one was hurt but my result was far worse finishing well in the back of the pack only after my traction control system failed and prevented me from exiting the corners with any sustainable speed. The traction control would stop the car from accelerating quickly but it was great to practice in these conditions. A big thank you to my Team New Country Competizione, Eric Bachelart, my Sponsors, Estrella Insurance Drive with the STARS, JPW LLC, The Responsive AUTO INSURANCE COMPANY and Morici Motorsports LLC!"
Matt Brown – Driver #277
“Expectations of my first race; be committed, be consistent and finish. Now, there's only one direction to go from this point; up in placing.”
Eric Bachelart – Team Manager
“Our team keeps on growing and everybody did a really good job in Homestead. Ross was truly impressive and we could not have dreamt of a better start. Matt Brown discovered the series as well and he did really well, especially considering it was his first race weekend ever. Danny has been improving all season long and he is a strong contender amongst the 458 category. Todd was fighting really hard in race one while he was under a lot of pressure from competitors behind him. Peter kept his championship lead, but unfortunately he did not manage to go back on the podium as he struggled with heavy tire degradation all weekend long. This season has been a lot of fun with fantastic team work and incredible support from the New Country Motor Cars group."
New Country Competizione Holds on to Championship Lead After Road America
Plymouth Wisconsin, United States, August 15, 2017 - New Country Competizione brought three Wide World Ferrari's to Road America and ended up with two podiums at the fourth round of the Ferrari Challenge North America Championship. Peter Ludwig’s consistent top five finishes have kept him in the lead of the championship point standings.
Ludwig qualified his #11 Ferrari 488 Challenge in second place to start the first race of the weekend. After a good fight between the top three positions, Ludwig ultimately held his grid position and finished in second to claim yet another podium. Race two brought on a more challenging race for Ludwig as he started from fifth as he was unable to get a clear lap in the second qualifying session and end up in the same position. Despite missing out on the podium for race two, Ludwig still leads the Trofeo Pirelli Championship by 30 points in his Wide World Ferrari.
Todd Morici joined the team for his first time racing the Ferrari 488 Challenge in the #72 car. Driving in the Trofeo Pirelli AM category, Morici bettered his results with each outing. Qualifying eighth for the start of race one and finishing sixth was well received by the team, but going from seventh to third in race two really brought the energy to the podium celebrations.
The third driver of the weekend, Chris O’Donnell, was also new to New Country Competizione and competed in his first races of his career in the #299 Ferrari 458 Challenge. O’Donnell was faced with many challenges commonly seen in racing but over came them to clench his first career top ten finish.
The sixth round of the Ferrari Challenge North America Championship sends New Country Competizione down south to Austin, Texas where the drivers will take to the stars and stripes of Circuit of The Americas as they support the World Endurance Championship September 14-16.
Peter Ludwig – Driver - #11 Wide World Ferrari 488 Challenge
"We came into the weekend with a 29 point lead, Race 1 was a strong points result for us finishing P2 with out closet rival finishing P3. In Race 2 qualifying we waited 10 mins to try and get better track position but then struggled to get a clean lap in due to an immediate red flag on the first flier and difficult traffic in the minutes remaining. We started P5 and finished P5 behind our closest championship competitor Martin Fluentes. Often times it's easy to get caught up in the desire to win each and every race but sometimes the risk is higher then the reward and right now I'm thinking big picture. Round 4 marks the beginning of the second half of the Championship, we left Road America with strong points and increased our margin to Martin. COTA is next, a track I know with desire to win but we will stay smart and focus on our championship efforts."
Todd Morici - Driver - #72 Wide World Ferrari 488 Challenge
“Wow, what a great weekend. I'm more than pleasantly surprised with quality and professionalism of the drivers, teams and hospitality. Ferrari North America have done an incredible job putting together a great team of individuals to manage the entire series. Honestly, I was a bit stressed out over attending the first race not knowing what to expect. Having run the series in the past, they have really improved it tenfold everything from the hospitality to the quality of the drivers, teams, and the amount of seat time. This is an incredible series and I highly recommend it to anyone with driving experience and a need for speed. A big thank you to my Team New Country Competizione, Eric Bachelart my Sponsors, Estrella Insurance Drive with the STARS, JPW LLC, The Responsive AUTO INSURANCE COMPANY and Morici Motorsports LLC!”
Chris O'Donnell – Driver - #299 Wide World Ferrari 458 Challenge
"Road America was my first Ferrari Challenge race weekend and the entire experience was spectacular! Our team, New Country Competizione, does a world-class job supporting team drivers on and off the track ranging from technical car support to professional coaching to hospitality. They are the complete solution for racing Ferraris in a highly competitive yet fun environment. Can't wait for our next race at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, TX."
Eric Bachelart - Team Manager
"We had another very positive weekend in Road America. Peter managed to keep a good lead in the Pirelli Trofeo and we welcomed Todd Morici and Chris O'Donnell for their first experience in the Ferrari Challenge program this season. Even though Todd raced in the challenge Series many years ago, he adapted very quickly with the new 488 and he got his first podium for his first event. Chris participated in his first race ever and he proved to be very competitive and a real racer! We have great chemistry all together and we can't wait for the next event at Cota next month. I am also very proud of our team and the excellent job they did all weekend long."
New Country Competizione Extends Lead in Championship at Mosport
Bowmanville, Canada – July 18th, 2017 - New Country Competizione continues to lead the 2017 Ferrari Challenge North America Championship after an eventful weekend with two podiums, another win and a second place performance from Peter Ludwig and his Wide World Ferrari 488.
Peter Ludwig and Danny Baker took to the ten turns of the famous Canadian Tire Motorsport Park over the weekend for the third round of what has been a successful season for New Country Competizione. Ludwig started in second place, qualifying only two tenths off of the pole sitter, Wei Lu. He was able to make the pass around Lu for the lead, but later on hit traffic causing him to lose the lead and finished in second place. Baker was unable to finish race one despite a great effort after serving a grid penalty on the start and climbing up through the field. Electronic problems took over just a few laps before he was able to reach the checkered flag.
Ludwig started in second place again for race two, and this time when he made the move into first, he ran away with it. The two podiums of the weekend put Ludwig at 115 total championship points greatly extending his lead over Martin Fuentes with 87 points. Baker made his way back into the competition for race two and was able to continue developing his race craft, finishing his #221 Ferrari of Palm Beach 458 Challenge 9th in class.
Next up, the Ferraris of New Country Competizione will head back to the USA to take on the rest of the competition at Road America August 11 through the 13 defending their championship lead.
Peter Ludwig – Driver - #11 Wide World Ferrari 488 Challenge
“We made the right move with weather and tires and it worked out really well for us, especially in race two. I knew I had to make those passes pretty quick starting from second place, so I went under Wu going down the hill and I don’t think he was expecting that. From that pass on, the race was really smooth and the car was great. It was a dominant performance and everyone did a great job.”
Danny Baker - Driver #221 Ferrari of Palm Beach 458 Challenge
"It's a shame that we had some problems this weekend but we kept our heads up and got a good result on the second race, now we are looking forward to the next event and hopefully look for a good end of season."
Eric Bachelart – Team Manager
"Mosport was another successful weekend for the New Country Competizione organization. While Danny Baker continued to develop on track experience and get more seat time abord his 458 Ferrari, Peter Ludwig extended his championship lead with another win and a second place finish. The competition is very close in the Pirelli Trofeo and Peter is doing a great job. I am very proud of our team and we have lots of fun being part of this Series for our first season".
New Country Competizione Continues Winning Streak at Canadian GP
Montreal, Canada - June 12th, 2017 - New Country Competizione rode the momentum of a victorious season opener at Laguna Seca into their second round of the 2017 Ferrari Challenge North America Championship at the Canadian Grand Prix this weekend. Peter Ludwig scored a victory and a runner-up finish in his Wide World Ferrari 488 in front of a packed house, while serving as the support series to the FIA Formula One World Championship.
The team had a difficult start to the weekend after Danny Baker, driver of the #221 Ferrari of Palm Beach entry had an incident in practice that left him physically unharmed, but unable to finish the race weekend. The drama continued into qualifying as Ludwig dealt with red flags for the majority of the session, resulting in only one flying lap to secure himself a seventh place start for race one around the famous Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
Ludwig, coming off of two race wins at the opening round of the 2017 Ferrari Challenge Championship, proved his determination to run in the front of the pack after a great start to race 1 – moving from seventh to second within the first few laps. Ludwig pushed his Ferrari 488 Challenge behind race leader, Martin Fuentes, for the remainder of the race finishing in second place.
Starting from second for race 2, Ludwig found himself again on Fuentes’ tail lap after lap, pushing to get by on Circuit Gilles Villeneuve’s well known tight chicanes and hairpins. Fuentes’ time in the lead ended when he went off the track while dealing with lapped traffic, allowing Ludwig to pick up the lead and drive the #11 car across the finish line in first place.
Ludwig continues to hold his lead in the 2017 Ferrari Challenge Championship by 14 points and has now won three out of four races. The team will now ready themselves for round three of the championship at The Canadian Tire Motorsport Park July 14-16th.
Peter Ludwig – Driver - #11 Wide World Ferrari 488 Challenge
“Montreal is an amazing tight circuit where things can go wrong very quickly as many of our competitors found out. The goal was to stay out of trouble in such a large field, and collect as many points as possible for the championship. It’s a place where the risks clearly outweigh the rewards. We had pace and good luck which yielded a first and second place in our races. That is something we can be very proud of on such a track.”
Danny Baker – Driver #221 Ferrari of Palm Beach 458 Challenge
“We were very competitive in practice and ran as high as second in our class. I was pushing the car to its limit but unfortunately I missed my marks at the hairpin and I had a contact with a competitor. I would like to apologize to Lisa Clark as we ended up both out of the cockpit for the weekend.”
Mike Mastrangelo – General Manager of World Wide Ferrari
“We completed another super successful weekend here at Gilles Villeneuve circuit at the Canadian Grand Prix. Although we started slow after qualifying seventh on Saturday, Peter Ludwig weaved his way through and took second place. Sunday was a different story with Ludwig starting in second and Martin Fuentes having a great start, driving flawlessly. Ludwig was able to take advantage of an open door after Fuentes went into the grass to avoid backmarkers and brought home the win for New Country Competizione.
I could not be more proud of our team and the job they did and the amazing driving of Peter Ludwig.”
New Country Competizione storms the Ferrari Challenge season opener in Laguna Seca, California
Laguna Seca, California - May 16, 2017 The Ferrari Challenge Round 1 opened at Mazda Raceway in Laguna Seca, California on May 12th-14th. The newly formed New Country Competizione team now leads the championship after Peter Ludwig (#11 Car, Wide World Ferrari) scored wins in both races in the Trofeo Pirelli Pro category. This was particularly impressive as it was Ludwig’s very first Ferrari Challenge weekend. In addition to his win in race 1, Ludwig also scored pole position and fastest lap. Ludwig remained undefeated on Sunday holding off Ricardo Perez until the end for his 2nd victory of the weekend.
“To stand on the top podium step twice in my Ferrari Challenge series debut is an absolute dream come true,” stated Ludwig.
Mike Mastrangelo, GM at Wide World Ferrari stated, “It was so exciting to be back in the Ferrari Challenge series. Peter’s victories made the return all the more exciting.”
Danny Baker (#221 Car, Ferrari of Palm Beach) finished 9th in the Trofeo Pirelli 458 class on Sunday and 17th overall. Originally starting in the 13th position, Baker executed several skilled passes in a crowded field to improve by 4 places.
Baker stated, “Despite a disappointing crash at the start of the race on Saturday, the car felt great all weekend and the new team did a great job of setting up the car. I was happy with my lap times given such a complex race track. As always Ferrari threw a first class event!”
Jay Youmans, GM at Ferrari of Palm Beach stated, “We were so pleased to see Danny return so strongly in Sunday’s race. Overall it was a great weekend for New Country Competizione.”
The team is looking forward to round 2 on June 9th – 11th at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal where the pulse-pounding thrill of Formula One racing meets the exhilaration of the Ferrari Challenge for an exciting weekend.