From Silverstone to France, from England’s temple of motorsports to Le Castellet’s futuristic circuit, with its numerous configurations and traffic lights instead of the traditional flags. Between these two races the Italian Challenge run at Vallelunga. The atmosphere is the same: competition, sportsmanlike behaviour and passion. There are different winners in the races, but the standings start getting a certain shape: Blancardi seems to be slightly faster than his competitors, always fighting with the French driver Barde, but also with the two young drivers Baron and Grossmann. Apropos young: 2008 was a season with numerous young new talents on the track, putting their abilities to the test at the Challenge. There were many names I got to know in their moments of glory or of disappointment: Marco Mapelli, Giorgio Sernagiotto, Philipp Baron and Bjorn Grossmann, Riccardo Ragazzi, Stefano Gai, Nicolas Misslin and Ragazzi, who has a bright future. These men animated the races over this wonderful season.
In France it was Niki Cadei showing off his great talent, not leaving much room for his competitors in the Pirelli Trophy Italy.
The racing series dedicated to the F430 are not the only thing I’ve experienced on my trip inside the Corse Clienti. It’s absolutely impossible to forget the engine sounds of the cars from the Historic Challenge. This is the history of the Prancing Horse: breathtaking models from every era. I’ve seen things you can’t even imagine. Very often I was speechless: a 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO on the track, or a duel between two F 512 BB, cars you usually can only see in museums. But at the Mugello Racing Days the spectators could almost touch. And when the engines were running and the cars lined up on the grid there was even more, when the historical Formula One single-seaters appeared, the cars from the Clienti department at Maranello. With these cars names of historical significance like Michael Schumacher, Rubens Barrichello, Niki Lauda and Michele Alboreto competed for the Prancing Horse. Incredible seeing these cars right in front of my eyes, with the Ferrari mechanics working on them, as if they were starting into a Formula One race.
Although it was really hot at the race in France, I have to admit that it was even hotter at Misano, where the Italian racing series held its next race. Cadei went on winning in the Pirelli Trophy, while the Shell Cup was a duel between generations with the young Ragazzi and the experienced drivers Benedetto Marti and Massimo Mantovani.