Words: Richard Aucock
The older racing drivers living the motorsport dream
It’s easy to think motorsport is just a young person’s game. So many racers have a track record of karting before they start school, then beginning single-seater racing before they’re old enough to legally drive on the road. Ferrari ace Sebastien Vettel has won no fewer than four F1 World Championship titles, yet he’s still just 31 years of age.
There are challenges that cater for the more mature racing driver, though – and two of the highest profile run in a division of the well-regarded Blancpain GT Sports Club series by SRO. The first is called the Iron Cup and is for racing drivers aged 60 years or older. New for 2018 is another category for slightly younger racers – the Titanium Cup, for racers aged between 50 and 59.
Both categories complement the main series, which has been running since the Blancpain GT Sports Club was established in 2015. It was set up to cater for gentleman drivers relatively new to sportscar racing, helping them step up from club competition and experience a more professional level of racing in Europe and beyond.
Racers get plenty of track-time. Throughout the weekend, there are numerous practice and qualifying sessions, plus a 25-minute qualifying session and 40-minute main races. This year has seen the racers visit the Autodromo di Monza for the first time (supporting the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup), with other races in France, Italy, Belgium, Hungary and Spain.
Even better, racers are free to improve their craft outside of race weekends. For the higher-level Blancpain GT Series events, running away from race weekends is limited – but for the GT Sports Club, it’s unlimited, giving drivers as much track-time as they’re able to manage.
Eligible Ferraris for the Blancpain GT Sports Club include the 458 Italia GT3 and 488 GT3, plus the 458 Italia GTE and the 458 Challenge EVO in the Cup Class. They race against cars from other manufacturers, ensuring the series is among the most varied GT championships in the world.
So far this year, seven racers have competed in the Titanium Cup, and five in the Iron Cup – and there have been three Ferrari pilotes in each one. Here’s the rundown of Ferrari drivers competing so far in 2018, to prove that motorsport is anything but a young person’s game…