Double Pole For Bellarosa Seals Sunoco Daytona Challenge Success

by James Broomhead

Italian SPEED EuroSeries racer Ivan Bellarosa concluded a dominant 2012 in the Sunoco Rolex 24 at Daytona Challenge, sealing victory by taking pole position for both of the championship’s races at the French Dijon circuit.

Driving a Wolf prototype for his Avelon Racing team Bellarosa has dominated both the SPEED EuroSeries and the Sunoco Challenge this year and the 40 points for the two pole positions guaranteed him the prize Daytona Prototype drive at January’s Rolex 24 at Daytona.

“I’m so happy to have won the Challenge,” said Bellarosa. “I want to thank Avalon, Wolf and of course Sunoco for this amazing opportunity. I can’t wait to get going and am really looking forward to seeing Daytona International Speedway and getting in the DP!”

After a single seater career that peaked with an impressive sixth place in the Formula Renault 3.5 series race on the streets of Monte Carlo, Bellarosa switched to prototype racing, first in Italian national series before switching into the pan-European SPEED EuroSeries in 2011, ominously finishing third in the points’ standings despite only completing a part schedule in the series of CN Prototype cars.

With a full calendar ahead of him in 2012 Bellarosa won all but one of the eight races completed up to now in the championship, only missing out in the second at Spa-Francorchamps when the Speed EuroSeries cars supported the bigger prototyes of the FIA World Endurance Championship.

“Ivan’s opportunity through racing in the SPEED EuroSeries is an indication for next season to all young drivers that by entering SPEED you can win this massive Sunoco Daytona opportunity,” enthused Stewart McCrudden, SPEED EuroSeries promoter. “No other sports Prototype formula offers this chance which really is a step towards a professional driving career, if you win in SPEED and then at Daytona you are a star!”

Though Bellarosa has booked his ticket to Florida there is still another prize drive to win with the Sunoco GrandAm 200 Challenge still to be decided with 20 points covering the top five drivers, drawn from a number of British club level race series.

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