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Track Masters

10 gennaio 2020

Chris Rees

Four iconic track Ferraris, all owned by one passionate enthusiast

As a snapshot of the Ferrari racing heart, things don’t get much more special than this: four icons of the track gathered together – all owned by one person, Ferrari Challenge racer, Brian Kaminskey. His incredible pit lane line-up consists of a 599XX, a 488 GT3, a 488 Challenge and – most special of all – Michael Schumacher's former F1 car. Let’s start with the two 488s. The Challenge car is essentially a 488 GTB road car modified to race in the Ferrari Challenge series, whilst the GT3 competes in world championships against cars from different marques.

Aerodynamics are key to their performance, hence the cars’ sizeable rear wings. Equally key to speed is power, and the 488 Challenge’s V8 twin-turbo engine offers fully 670cv. The remarkable Ferrari Side Slip Control system is also recalibrated for racing purposes. And the driver has not one, but three, manettino switches to fine tune the traction control, the E-Diff, and the braking systems.

Here’s Kaminskey's take on Challenge racing: “It’s a very competitive series, great fun and very fast. It’s a great way to get into Ferrari racing, and feels like a real family.” The 488 GT3 racer’s specification is tailored to GT3 regulations. The familiar 3.9-litre V8 twin-turbo engine’s power is restricted by class rules, whilst the aerodynamic package is also specific to GT3, and the sequential gearbox delivers power without Slide Slip Control software. Since it weighs so little, this is a very fast, very competitive machine. Brian sums up how it feels to drive: “It’s an absolute dream, so well balanced, and the downforce is incredible.”

Next up, the 599XX is, like all the Ferrari XX cars, based on a road car – in this case the 599 GTB Fiorano – but uses technology derived from Formula 1 to transform it into an extreme track car. The heavily modified V12 engine has mighty power, 700cv, and sounds incredible. The gearbox takes just 60 milliseconds to change ratio, whilst the ‘High Performance Dynamic Concept’ electronic control system is designed for extreme performance.

The Ferrari ‘Actiflow’ aerodynamics package includes two boot-mounted fans that channel underbody airflow through rear grilles. The bodywork and braking systems also benefit from extensive use of lightweight carbon-fibre. Kaminskey says of the 599XX: “It’s so much fun, you can really slide it around the track. The downshift, especially with the Evo kit, where the exhaust comes out right at the front wheels, is the greatest sound of any GT car. When you go to sleep at night, you still hear and feel it.”

Finally, the star of the line-up has to be the F1 Grand Prix car that Michael Schumacher drove to victory in 2003. The unique collection of Ferrari Clienti F1 cars, originally driven by the likes of Schumacher, Alonso and Räikkönen, means that owners can pilot these F1 icons around tracks worldwide. Kaminskey sums up: “The G-forces, downforce, grip – everything about the F1 car is amazing. It’s truly special to have this moment with all four cars together – for the first time ever.”

10 gennaio, 2020