From Imola to Silverstone (via Hockenheim)
May 4, 2006
After an absence of a month I am back to posting a blog. It has been an intense period of work here in the office. A number of new sites have got off the ground and the work covering the Formula 1 World Championship is ongoing. Thanks to Sarah, though, you have already been given a glimpse of life in the editorial team. For me, recent work has been at trackside, first at Imola for the start of the Italian Ferrari Challenge season and then, last week, it was off to Hockenheim for the first Ferrari Historic Challenge race.
The new F430 Challenge made its race debut at the Santerno circuit; at full throttle on the track it is even more extraordinary than it is in pictures. Believe me, the new V8 berlinetta really does cover the ground and the Challenge drivers put on a great show in the four races. You can catch video highlights at www.ferraricorseclienti.it
Last Friday I left for Germany where the Jim Clark revival was being held on the same weekend as the Historic Challenge event. It is always a pleasure to see these motoring jewels in action. The model that impressed me most was the Ferrari 512 M, a car capable of generating 650bhp. It literally flew along the German straights and blew away the tough (but heavier) competition put up by the 512 BB LM.
There was a chill wind blowing at Hockenheim but at least the sun was shining apart from five minutes on the Saturday when it snowed! Thousands of supporters formed a splendid backdrop as they watched the many races in the programme. Among these was the TGP historic Formula 1 race that included Gilles Villeneuve’s classic T3. Making the weekend even more special was Ferrari’s Corse Clienti department who brought eleven Formula 1 single-seaters to the circuit, among them the world championship winning, F2003-GA and F2001. Needless to say, the crowds thronged around the Prancing Horse pit lane area.
It was a great show, one full of passion in which over four hundred classic racing cars were the ingredients in a tiring, but very satisfying, weekend of work.
Tomorrow at 7.00 I will leave for Silverstone. This weekend will see the first Ferrari Challenge Europa FIA GT races being held. On the track will be the F430 GTC that we hope will bring us victory. I will have more of a chance to have an in-depth chat with you over the coming days when I will describe what the paddock atmosphere is like and how the races are going as I report from the motorhome at trackside. So, until Friday… Do not forget to track the F1 and GT events on Ferrariworld this weekend! As ever, there will be plenty of Prancing Horse excitement.