The Monaco Grand Prix eighty years ago
ISSUE 093 APRIL 2014
CompRes Chevy Chase, Leeds Road, Selby, North Yorkshire YO8 4JH T: +44 (0) 1757-702 053 F: +44 (0) 1757-290 547 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
CompRes is available by subscription and is published 10 times a year for the FERRARI OWNERS’ CLUB
FERRARICOMPETITIONRESULTS THE PACE HOTS UP This edition of CompRes is the last of the slim-line versions. With only one competitive event in April – Bouley Bay hillclimb – to report on, it is uncommonly brief, but with next month’s edition things become much busier. Four rounds of our hillclimb Championship together with a detailed report on the first race meeting of the season, Brands Hatch at the beginning of May, will increase the page count significantly.
DONINGTON PARK Time
PFO Qualifying 1
PFfc Qualifying 1
PFO Race 1
PFfc Race 1
PFO Qualifying 2
PFfc Qualifying 2
PFO Race 2 (pit stop)
HELMETS A note about current helmet regulations. Our friends in Holland remind us that helmets with the sticker BS6658-85 type A/FR are no longer accepted. If you are in any doubt, the 2014 MSA Blue Book should be consulted. All acceptable standards for domestic and International events are listed in K10 on page 168.
No sooner will our racers have recovered their breath from Donington Park than they will be The second Ferrari race packing their bags (and even meeting of the season is at 16.55 20 PFfc Race 2 their buckets and spades) for the Donington Park on the weekend European Ferrari Trophy of 31st May/1st June. weekend at Zandvoort in WHAT’S ON Donington has been a Holland on 6th to 9th June. favourite circuit for so many Those competitors who years and we are expecting a have raced here in the past MAY 10 Harewood Hillclimb big turnout of PFfc and PFO will not need reminding what drivers. a fantastic track this Dutch We are again using a 11 Harewood Hillclimb circuit is. Although no longer similar format to the Brands an F1 course, it is extensively Hatch race meeting at the 21 FOC: Brands Hatch Track Day used by a number of high beginning of the month, with (road cars only) profile championships. two 20-minute races for The format for the Ferrari 24 Prescott Hillclimb Classics and two longer races racing is similar to Spa, with for our Open series. The first our two Series being of these will be the usual 2531/1 Donington Park: Pirelli Ferrari amalgamated into two halfminute contest and this will June formula classic; Pirelli hour races. The start be followed, on the Sunday, Ferrari Open procedure will be a rolling by a 45-minute race featuring start. a compulsory pit stop. In this 31/1 Shelsley Walsh Hillclimb Unusually, we shall be second race it will be possible racing on the Monday (it is a for two drivers to share the JUNE 6-9 Zandvoort: Pirelli Ferrari bank holiday in Holland) so car if they wish although formula classic; Pirelli that Sunday will be a ‘rest Ferrari Open at European judging from the Brands day’ when you can enjoy the Ferrari Trophy weekend, the majority of cars beautiful beach and relax. will be driven single-handed. All the necessary 15 Blyton Sprint Our hosts for this paperwork for this event has meeting are BARC and the full already been mailed out to 21/22 Silverstone GP: Pirelli Ferrari timetable can be found on competitors together with the formula classic; Pirelli their website. However, the Ferrari Open weekend’s timetable. Ferrari action on the two days For the record, below is the 22 Gurston Down Hillclimb is shown below: programme for all the Ferrari
For the record, below is the programme for all the Ferrari action:
EUROPEAN FERRARI TROPHY ZANDVOORT Time
Just as we closed for print, the European Ferrari Trophy organisers, Circuit Parc Zandvoort, contacted us to tell us that in response to requests from teams, they have organised extra testing on Wednesday, 28 May. Since this is the week almost 10 days before the race meeting it is unlikely any UK drivers will wish to take part. However, if you need further details please let us know and weâ€™ll be happy to help.
SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS In the Jan/Feb issue of CompRes we gave advance information on our visit to Spa on 18th/20th April. Since then we have, as promised, block-booked all the available rooms at the Hotel de la Source, and arranged the traditional Ferrari Dinner for the Friday evening.
We shall be issuing entry packs fairly soon for this important event but in the meantime, if you wish to take up your reserved accommodation at the hotel you should mention the Ferrari Ownersâ€™ Club to secure the very special rate we have negotiated.
LOTON PARK If you are a registered PFHC competitor, with this issue you will find all the information you need for the double-header event on 12th/13th July. Our hotel is the Albrighton Hall and a menu selection form is included to enable you to pick your choice of dishes for the Ferrari Dinner on the Saturday evening.
RA’s HILLCOMMENT The New Season Unfolds with North Weald reported last month and Bouley Bay covered in this issue. The double header at Harewood comes up in a few days time as I write these notes. A strange aspect so far is the less than impressive entry levels compared with those maintained during the height of the economic recession. Harewood, with just 14 Ferraris, is the lowest for very many years. Some of this is down to Nick Taylor’s many fan club followers accompanying him to the Monaco Historic GP meeting the same weekend. Nick recently acquired the Chevron B38 Formula 3 car driven by Elio De Angelis to victory at Monaco in 1978, and could not resist the glamour and excitement of competing there in such a historically significant car. Understandably quite a few PFHC drivers felt the same way, and certainly Monaco does have its attractions over Harewood if you wear shades rather than sunglasses. Bouley Bay and Jersey, which you can read all about in this issue, really was a great way to spend Easter. The weather was mostly good and the arrangements with the hotel and Condor ferries worked very well. A new chef at The Hampshire Hotel ensured the culinary aspects were well up to speed, and way above the modest prices we were paying. The hillclimb was held in good weather and we were parked up on the seaside front which was nice, whilst getting in some spectating when up at the top after our runs. Although I would be the first to admit some fear of driving Bouley Bay, this is no problem when you get down to it, and it is just a really exciting drive - one of the best in my mind, and real road
driving, not track artificiality. It puzzles me why so few of our competitors entered compared with earlier years. Looking Forward now there are some really great meetings coming up such as the daddy of them all, Shelsley Walsh on May 31st and June 1st, and then in July the double header at the hillclimbers’ hill, Loton Park. These two-day meetings are great for socialising and though there is nothing formal planned for Shelsley there certainly is for the Loton Park weekend. Jon Goodwin has organised accommodation at the Mercure Albrighton Hall Hotel that proved very popular last year. There is a special Dinner on Saturday evening and a Paddock BBQ for both Saturday and Sunday – all at very attractive prices. Full details and the necessary booking slip will be with you soon. Walking Hills is great exercise and if you have never been before, good strategically – at least you will know which way the road goes. Beyond that first visit, unless any changes have been made to the track, the benefits from further footfall are dubious. The main problem is that the perspective on foot, where your eyeline is much higher than in the car, is just not the same. Furthermore you have no feel for your car’s width looking though certain corners they look easily flat out, when in reality the cars girth easily precludes such bravery. You never see circuit racers walking the track, though maybe that is because it is just too far around. Talking of perspectives on foot reminds me of the Becketts/ Maggots section of Silverstone. I have been through there dozens or maybe hundreds of times, and when we did the first Guinness
World Record at Silverstone in 2007 we stopped out on the circuit. I got out of my car at Maggots and wondered where I was, not recognising any of it. The scenery all looked totally different to the view from the car at racing speeds. Buying Petrol is a fag and not just because of the depressing pricing. Queues at the pumps, people buying lottery tickets and groceries plus the delay when they switch your pump on. The huge number of forecourt closures in recent years are of course responsible, and quite apart from the delays at the pumps, it is sometime very difficult to actually find a petrol station – especially if you are looking for Super and not 95RON out in the sticks. Considerable price variations too are often inexplicable and it is easy to spend far more than necessary – motorway fuel stops are of course out of the question. Maybe driving a diesel is not so bad after all. What’s a Watt? well it used to be the measurement of audio power fed to loudspeakers, but if it is coming out of a modern car audio system it is very plentiful indeed, with some of the more expensive cars boasting hundreds or even thousands of watts output. I have been using top end audio for many years, and have put systems in to churches and village halls for concerts where there are often a hundred or more people present. Usually a couple of hundred real watts is plenty for this. I even did one jazz event recently using a 25 watt per channel valve amplifier, with around a hundred people and there was adequate volume. OK, my big speakers are efficient, and these car amps are the new Class D type, but the power
outputs being quoted are preposterous and incomprehensible – a bit like footballers’ remuneration. Talking Bollocks is not just confined to politicians and car audio outputs. Seems that recently a well known European sports car has been having ‘issues’ as they are called nowadays. The model concerned is the GT3 of which nearly 800 have been delivered in 2014. There are incidents where examples have caught fire after engine damage, and according to the manufacturer the cause was “loosened piston rod screw connectors”. Damage to the crankcase apparently resulted from this issue. The answer seemingly is a recall for these cars and the installation of new engines with “optimised piston rod screw connections”. One presumes these piston rods are what we used to call connecting rods and certainly they are best held in place properly. When changing your road wheels over, it would be worth ensuring that you, too, have optimised screw connections! Tony Attwood has, as most of you will know, been facing repair costs on his 246GT post the damage sustained at Curborough, commensurate with the recent rise in the car’s value. In consequence he has decided to give the 246 some further restoration and find something more economical for duty on the hills. Tony has sensibly decided on a 308GT4 and is presently shopping around. There is no doubt that whilst hillclimbing a Ferrari is a very cheap form of motorsport most of the time, the high value cars and some of the recent new tipos are prohibitively expensive for body repairs. Even some of the minor lesions you can pick up from a small ‘off’ with these sorts of cars can bend wallets badly. Mineeff’s new Shopping Trolley was spotted outside Tescos in Banbury recently (see pic). Seems retired hillclimber
Buy One, Get One Free? The Mineeff Enzo Ferrari was spotted recently in a Sainsbury’s car park. Using a car with boundless performance but limited luggage accommodation no doubt keeps Liz’s shopping down to the bare fast food essentials.
Christian was looking for some action with this recently acquired Enzo, and you will note that he has chosen a spot well away from the other shoppers so as to not get into any confrontations with less fortunate Tesco customers! The 650bhp Enzo is undoubtedly really stunning and well capable of outperforming the FTSE apparently. Marshall Scuds back following the very successful sale of his 360 Challenge Stradale. John has acquired another 430 Scuderia – a tipo you will recall he has previous form with. Unlike the 360CS this devastating device should propel John to some class wins, and we look forward to seeing him in action this coming weekend in Yorkshire. Jackson after a 458 – well, he is thinking about it, and is putting his F355 Challenge through auction soon. I am not sure whether he plans to hillclimb the car or whether he yet knows what a bumper costs!
Ferrari Experience Days of course are really Club Track Days, but we deliberately changed the name endeavouring to repackage what is on offer. Our intention is to get more Club members along and not just those who want to take their car on track. These days are very sociable and a great way to meet fellow members in the best possible ambience. The recent day held at Silverstone out of the new Wing was really spectacular, with support and displays from Maranello Sales and Graypaul. There’s loads to see and coffee and some comfort for members too. If you fancy putting a toe in the water there are free half hour “Taster Sessions” with an Instructor available, and the possibility of a ride around the circuit too. The whole day at Silverstone was really enjoyed by all attending, especially your columnist – I got to drive Paul Bailey’s race winning 458, and you can read more about this in the article from Chris Butler. Favourite Hills this month has not one but two pieces.
Firstly, that veteran of the uphill discipline of motor sport, BRIAN JACKSON gives his views on what he regards as his pet venues: What makes a favourite hill? How exciting / scary it is to drive, the history and atmosphere of the venue, the friendliness and competence of the organising club, and the chances of a class win or maximum Championship points score? An agreeable combination of all must be the answer, the ranking of each depending on your priorities. Are you chasing points or just out for a pleasant day in the company of fellow competitors? Although not in the hunt for a Championship win, I do like to bag a reasonable number of points at each meeting with old BOB, my long serving 308GTB, so let’s see if one of my high scoring hills turns out to be my favourite. This is not too scientific as many of my scores date back 20 years, but averaging out my best 6 at each venue may provide some clues. Let’s get the low scores out of the way first. I’ve only been to Gurston four times and my average is 11 points. Shelsley Walsh is not much better at 12 points. I have never enjoyed either track. At Gurston, there is a dip at Karousel which I always slow for to prevent the underside crashing into the tarmac, and Shelsley, although steeped in history, is flat all the way in a 308 except for the Esses. Here, I always brake too early, intimidated by the solid barriers directly ahead. Next up are Longleat and Prescott at 14 points apiece. Longleat is an enjoyable day out in good weather and very scenic. The course is an exciting drive but quite dangerous should you get it wrong so I tend to drive with caution here. Prescott is in the frame as a favourite, with excellent facilities and a very picturesque venue It’s a good track, sometimes let down by delays.
Brian Jackson at Prescott in his trusty 308GTB, ‘BOB’.
Let’s pass over the old Ragley Hall venue (16 points) and move on to Loton Park and Doune, both 17 pointers. Although I’ve only ventured up to Scotland once, Doune is on the scary side of exciting and I was pleased to survive the day with no Armco damage along the side of the car. Loton Park is another possible favourite: quite a long hill and very tricky to drive correctly. It’s usually a doubleheader these days so getting away for a complete weekend adds to the enjoyment. Harewood is next up, on 18.5 points, and overall this is my favourite hill. It ticks all the boxes both for drivers and spectators. It has a long flowing safe course, good viewing of almost the entire hill, slick organisation and decent facilities. It’s also invariably a double header. Perhaps closed road courses should come into the equations somewhere. I always find these a different challenge to the narrow tracks we usually compete on. At Cruagh, Laragh and Lerghy Frizzel (all in the Isle of Man), I have competed only once, so despite pulling 20 points at each I can’t really make any of these a favourite.
Next, and as a bonus in this edition, past Pirelli Ferrari Hillclimb Champion NICK TAYLOR provides an insight into which tracks appeal the most: When asked this question, I have to answer Loton Park near Shrewsbury. This picturesque track, set in the grounds of a stately home and deer park, really is a tremendous place to visit or compete at. It also happens to be the venue for my first ever Hillclimb event back in 2002. Having already been a circuit racer for 20 years before my first ever hillclimb at Loton Park, I must admit I didn't really 'get' the idea of hillclimbing. I remember thinking '60 seconds up a hill, four times in a day . . . what the hell is that all about?' Well, don't knock it until you try it as the old saying goes, and try it I did in my humble Mondial T back in the summer of 2002. First impressions were, wow! this hillclimbing is a bit of a lark; it seemed that you were either preparing for a run up the hill or calming down after the last exciting run. Compared to circuit racing you get 80% of the fun with less than 20% of the hassle, effort or expense. If you haven’t already done so, give it a try sometime!
Nick Taylor has his 430 on fast freeze at Shelsley Walsh.
Anyway back to Loton Park. The course starts with a climbing right hander through the trees when, as you exit, the car goes light just as you are trying to settle the car down and get on the brakes for the tight 90 degree left-hander at Hall Corner. If you have managed to avoid outbraking yourself into Hall its off through a long sweeping left hander, where you nibble the grass on the inside, then a dab on the brakes for a right/left flick at Loggerheads. Try to keep it neat on the exit and then brake as late as you dare into Triangle. The entry is into a slight hollow, but then the track rises to give a slight banked effect to the corner. Power on, usually with a dab of opposite lock and then off towards the fast right/left at Keepers. At Keepers the first part is quicker than the second part; the faster cars will usually have a quick dab on the brakes here, trying not to unsettle the car too
much in order to have good speed onto the following Cedar Straight. Interestingly, there is an enormous tree right on the exit of Keepers which looms large in your sight when you first attack the hill, but nowdays I hardly notice it. Cedar Straight is a misnomer, itâ€™s not straight at all! It winds its way up the hill and gets more and more challenging as your speed increases. By the time you are approaching the blind brow, which then opens into the braking area for Fallow Corner, you are up to almost 90 mph and all this on a piece of tarmac at most 12 feet wide. Once over the blind brow, get hard on the brakes for Fallow which is a 75 degree left-hand corner; as you exit the track starts to climb steeply uphill into another fast blind right hand corner named Museum. Here you have to pin the nose down on the brakes as you turn in and fight the oversteer as
you apply power and head off up to the finish line. There is a slight left kink as you exit Museum and itâ€™s very bumpy, so the back end is skipping around and the wheels are spinning as the power goes down. Over the finish line and then its instant gratification or instant disappointment when you see your time flash - usually the latter! All this will have been achieved in a time somewhere between 60 and 75 seconds, dependent on the Ferrari tipo you are driving. But it will have been just as exciting whether you are driving a 430 or a 40-year-old Dino! Just for the record, I also love Prescott (fantastic scenery) and Shelsley Walsh (fantastic heritage) but Loton Park has to be my favourite. And as with lots of things, you never forget the first time!
PIRELLI FERRARI HILLCLIMB CHAMPIONSHIP: ROUND 2 BOULEY BAY 21st APRIL 2014
Photographs: Martin McGlone
WELL TAYLORED: 430 QUICKEST IN JERSEY dozen. We discovered that numbers in the meeting as a whole were also significantly OR MANY OF US hillclimbers, Jersey and Bouley Bay are the highlights of the start of the season writes JOHN SWIFT. The island at Easter time is a blanket of spring flowers and the few days before the actual competition begins is an opportunity for a little holiday after the long winter. We only include Bouley in the hillclimb programme when Easter is late in the year. This more or less guarantees that the weather will be kind, and this time it was no different. Although there was a spot of rain while we were there, it was dry and the sun shone when it mattered. For reasons that weren’t altogether clear the Ferrari entry, at just six cars, was less than half the usual number of over a
Nurse Goodwin makes emergency repairs to McGlone’s nether parts.
fewer so perhaps this will be the trend in hillclimbing in 2014. Things began badly for Richard Allen and his companion Martin McGlone. Heavy traffic caused long delays and by midday it was obvious that they weren’t going to make the port at Weymouth in time to board the 2.00pm ferry. It was a similar story for Anne and your scribe on the 300 mile trek from North Yorkshire. A collision between two heavy goods lorries led to complete closure of the M1, resulting in a delay of 1½ hours, and then further hold-ups on the traffic-jammed M5 meant that we arrived at Weymouth just in time to see the high-speed ferry heading for the horizon. We joined forces with the other latecomers Richard and Martin, and holed up for the night after re-booking our passage on the following morning’s boat. The Hampshire Hotel, in St
From Top: RA puts in a storming last run in his F355. Pauline Goodwin trying hard at Radio corner. Jon Goodwin has his 550 Maranello on fast freeze to take third spot and the handicap award for good measure. John Swift (F355) enjoying the fast sweeps of Les Platons.
Helier, was again the Ferrari contingent’s base for our stay. We were encouraged to hear that a new chef had been engaged since our last visit in 2012 and he proved to be a big improvement on his predecessor. With the reduced number of cars this year, parking in the restricted hotel park was far easier than before. Saturday evening was the first time we all managed to sit down to dinner together. The late arrivals joined the other Ferrari competitors: Jon and Pauline Goodwin (550 Maranello and 328GTB respectively), Richard Prior (joint class record holder) in his F355, and Nick Taylor and Fiona with the heaviest weapon, his mafia-black 430. Also joining in the fun were Brian and Jenny Jackson, and Paul and Sue Skinner. Sunday was all about enjoying the many delights of the island although the weather, which had turned to rain, didn’t help. The Navigator restaurant overlooking the peaceful harbour of Rozel is a perfect venue at which to enjoy a leisurely lunch on a rainy day. Bruno and Paulo are very welcoming when diners enjoy their local seafood specialities, particularly the delicious scallops. Here, we joined RA and Martin McG for a memorable meal – now something of a ritual whenever we are in Jersey. The hill at Bouley Bay is a public road but here on Jersey the law permits closures for competition. The event regulations require competitors to be on the hill and signed-on by 7.30am, so we were all heading north from St Helier at a very early hour on Easter Monday. In recent years the Ferraris have been located at the top of the hill, which enables competitors to easily watch their adversaries in action. With the reduced entry this time we were given slots in the paddock area near the start – handy for the Water’s Edge Hotel and the famous Black Dog Pub, but meaning that for much of the time the cars were parked on the
The Ferrari class assembled on the waterfront ready for action.
return road near to Radio Corner. Breakfast on Monday morning was served early to allow the hillclimb competitors to reach the hill in good time. It was a beautiful morning, the previous day’s rain clouds having been driven away to France. By the time we had descended to our paddock positions for scrutineering, the track was dry. Meanwhile, as the drivers were making sure our Ferraris passed scrutiny, our pal Martin McGlone was pedalling over to Trinity on his hired bike, carrying Swift’s Canon SLR in his knapsack. Martin had kindly agreed to act as photographer for the day – a sort of busman’s holiday for this professional lensman. The first practice runs revealed that Ferrari record holder Richard Prior was the one to beat, with a time of 53.17, with RA, Nick Taylor and Jon Goodwin not far behind. Pauline G was circumspectly some four seconds in arrears while your scribe was, as usual, even more cautious on his first essay up this tricky hill. P2 saw Nick blast his 430 up in 51.59 to take the lead from an also improving Prior (52.08). Swift bettered his previous time by some 6 seconds to restore some credibility.
However, all was not well with Richard Prior’s 355. A significant coolant leak was causing worrying overheating and he had finished P2 in a cloud of steam. Inspection of the car’s plumbing – not easy in these cars as most of the pipework is buried beneath the machinery – suggested a split hose or loose clip. The offending hose had a preformed 90° bend, so replacement was not going to be straightforward. With a reduced overall entry,
and providing there were no serious delays, it seemed possible that there would be time for three official runs in the afternoon. On the first run, R1, Prior retook the advantage with 50.51 in his Ferrari steam car, over half-a-second quicker than the Taylor 430. Jon G was a similar amount shy with his powerful but bulkier 550. Swift and Pauline G vied for the doubtful honour of the slowest time with your reporter collecting the booby prize.
James and Darryl—the best commentary team ever!
water leak. To his chagrin, Taylor went even quicker to snatch back the lead (50.29) with Jon, in 3rd, still just ahead of RA (52.23). Pauline got things all wrong at Radio by outbraking herself allowing the rascally Swift to move out of the tail gunner’s spot. In R3, Prior decided to fill his radiator With steam issuing from its cooling system, the to the brim with F355 makes a forlorn sight as Richard tries to cure coolant and the car’s water leak. His efforts were rewarded hope it would with a maximum harvest of Championship points. get to the top The Prior 355 sat out R2 and vanquish the 430. It was a while Richard tried brave effort which sadly for him (unsuccessfully) to stem the didn’t work as he hoped, Richard
recording 53.12. To add to his woes, Taylor produced his best time of the day, at 50.19. Jon Goodwin, with the consistency of a fine Rolex, replicated his R2 time while Swift improved to keep ahead of the valiant Pauline. The final runs, with track temperatures cooling slightly, didn’t change the final pecking order although RA put in a storming run in 51.97 to close up to (but not beat) the Goodwin 550 Maranello. When all the times were analysed it was calculated that Richard Prior had all his stoical efforts rewarded with the maximum 20 Championship points, from Taylor’s 17 and Jon Goodwin’s’ 15. Jon was rewarded with the handicap award, the only driver to have bettered his/ her target.
BOULEY BAY HILLCLIMB 21 APRIL 2014 Round 2 Pirelli Ferrari Hillclimb Championship Scr Driver
Times for 64ft and Radio corner are taken from the fastest run
Classic competitors in blue
2nd Richard Prior
FOC Handicap 1st Jon Goodwin
CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS AFTER ROUND 2
1 CompRes 10
Up for the Challenge
ack in 2012, the Club and members made a significant contribution to the success of the Ferrari Racing Days event held at Silverstone. Many of us will remember being involved with the Guinness World Record achievement of 964 Ferraris on track but the event will also be remembered for the fabulous Pirelli Ferrari Open races that took place on each day of the event. You might recall that the entry grid for these races was more than 30 cars in number, with most modern tipos represented from the F355 to the latest 458. I particularly remember a fire-spitting F40 getting in on the action too. The event, and the PFO race cars, were run from the then new ‘Wing’ complex at the circuit and they shared the pits with the fullon factory Pro/Am 458 race series grids and also the exclusive F1 Corsa Clienti and
Always up for a challenge, your intrepid Club directors Richard Allen and Chris Butler are planning on racing a 458 Italia at the forthcoming Ferrari Racing Days meeting at Silverstone in September. Here, Chris describes his sensations when he samples a Ferrari 458 Challenge for the first time. FXX demonstration collections. That day our club racing was at its best and unquestionably provided the closest and entertaining racing action of the whole weekend. I know that this opinion was shared at the time by Ferrari SpA’s upper management and hierarchy. I can particularly recall our esteemed Competition Director John Swift leaving the event with a deserved huge smile on his face. Let’s not forget that our Club is the only Ferrari Owners’ Club in the world with a longstanding active competition racing and hill climb Championship.
Along with the rest of our fellow Pirelli Ferrari formula classic drivers, Club Chairman Richard Allen and I actually missed out on being part of the PFO track action in 2012 as there were no races for the PFfc Classic series. When it was announced earlier this year that 2014 would see the Ferrari Racing Days event return to Silverstone and that the club would once again be invited to take part, Richard and I made a decision to make sure we got on the grid this time around. The search was on for a suitable car and, more importantly, a suitable team to run the car and look after us both.
At the Club’s Gala Dinner back in March, Richard engaged former PFO racer and now British GT racer Paul Bailey to see if he knew of any cars and opportunities available for the event. To our amazement Paul instantly responded with “why don’t you use my 458 Challenge car”. Having realistically set our thoughts on racing a 430 Challenge at best we didn’t need long to accept Paul’s exciting offer. We hadn’t realised that Paul recently set up a race team called ‘Horsepower Racing’ that under this umbrella also hires out some of his fabulous race and road cars to customers. We soon agreed a deal to hire the car for the whole weekend event, and for Richard and me to share it for one race each. Although Richard owns a road going 458 Italia, and I have driven several 458s while on Instructor duties at Club Track Days, our excitement at the
prospect of driving and racing a 458 Challenge car was tempered with the a certain amount of anxiety as to just what a challenge the Challenge might be! Experienced in hill climbing our F355 road cars in the PFHC series and racing our 328 race cars in the PFfc series respectively, Richard and I soon discovered just what an incredible race car the 458 Challenge is when we drove and tested it for the first time at the Club’s Silverstone Track Experience day in late April. According to the spec sheet, the LHD 458 Challenge has a 562hp 4.5 litre V8 married to a 7 speed dual clutch F1 gearbox that propels the car to 62mph in 3.3 seconds. The Challenge car weighs far less than the road going version on account of its thinner carbon panels and polycarb windows, and to bring it all to an effective stop, huge steel brakes are preferred to the
standard carbon ones. Amongst all the latest technology it was refreshing to see that the driver’s seat was on simple rails which made adjusting it for my shorter legs and Richard's longer legs very easy. At the test session, Paul’s codriver and race partner Andy Schulz was on hand to give us a briefing on the controls layout and some household operational tips such as location of the kill switches, fire extinguishers and, of course, the car start-up procedure. Andy is a very experienced race driver with an impressive CV of success at various sports car and single seater levels as well as the usual top grade instructor qualifications. Andy and Paul are contesting this year’s British GT championship in an Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3. Sitting behind the wheel for the first time and strapped in, ready to go out on track, Andy
“Into Copse Corner I brake very hard then flick the downshift paddle twice, BARP BARP shout the engine revs, and I am now in 4th gear and turning into the bend, already looking through it for the apex where I will batter the kerb into submission.”
sits alongside me as I turn the master switch on and flick up the electric ignition switch to have the car fire up with a full-on bark and howl that bounces off the Silverstone Wing pit walls. Andy reminds me that the throttle is very sensitive and that at slow speeds and in low gears I will stutter and advance in embarrassing magnitudes until “I get my foot down in 3rd gear”. He is of course correct as I select 1st gear and lurch out of the pit garage into the pit lane. Up the slope and out of the pit lane straight into the Village section of the track and we are up to 3rd gear with the stuttering behind us. Andy suggested I warm up the slicks on the first lap with an increasing pace and familiarise myself with the controls and positioning of the car. I had already pounded around Silverstone for dozens of laps on the day, so lines and technique were already on tap, but I was not ready for the speed and stopping power of the car, nor the noise! Andy had set up helmet intercoms so that he could impart advice around the lap but it was soon evident that I had been far too conservative with the volume control while stationary in the pit garage as now I couldn’t hear Andy at all! Having resorted to shouting, hand waving, and a certain amount of awkward knee touching we decided to return to the pits a couple of laps later where Andy talked to me in more detail about the car’s capabilities and the applied techniques needed to get the best out of it. Andy tells me that I have speed and the right lines (phew!) but need to understand how late I can brake, how much I can lean on the sticky slick tyres, how early I can get back on the throttle and how flat I can be at various parts of the track and for how long! To demonstrate all of this he takes the wheel and I sit alongside to witness what I can
only describe as sensationally rapid driving and car control to a standard I have never experienced before. I note where he is braking and where he isn’t braking, and I also note from the shift lights and the noise where he is flat and where he balances the throttle. Despite the speeds and frankly the sheer astonishment of the overall experience, my brain surprisingly absorbs quite a lot of what is being explained and demonstrated to me by Andy though I ignore his one off deliberate unsettling of the car on entry to Maggotts that pitches the car sideways into Becketts to prove to me “how easy it is to recover the car should you get out of shape with oversteer“! A nice gesture from Andy but one my brain automatically decides is not intentionally worth pursuing again! We continue at full chat and barrel into Stowe Corner where I glance across and notice the speedo reads over 250kph prior to braking. My immediate thought is to acquire a HANS device at the earliest opportunity – if only there was a drive thru Demon Tweeks around the next corner! Having returned to the pits, Andy mischievously declares with a smile that he just beat the PFO pole time by over a second and a half . . . and I don’t doubt him. My turn again, and now with coherent radio contact Andy guides me faster and faster around the circuit until I am braking somewhere closer to where I need to be and then planting the throttle and keeping it planted as much as I can. Into Copse Corner I brake very hard then flick the downshift paddle twice, BARP BARP shout the engine revs and I am now in 4th gear and turning into the bend already looking through it for the apex where I will batter the kerb into submission. The exit kerbs come quicker and quicker and the following straights are gobbled up with
increasing velocity along with the road-going 308, 328, 355, 360 and 430 tipos that we are sharing the track with. What a car and what an absolute treat it is to drive one at this level of commitment, in this environment, and with an expert alongside. Although I could easily continue until either the tyres give up or the fuel runs out, Andy suggests we return to the pits for a final debrief and to allow Richard to have his chance to acquaint himself with the car as I have done. Having been through it all myself, I relax and watch Richard put the car through its paces. Afterwards I nod in agreement when Richard comments how he soon forgot that the car was LHD, that he was surprised just how quickly he felt comfortable with the speeds but also that, like me, the braking zones are going to need some work! I think it would be fair to say that we both finish the afternoon feeling satisfied with our first test and a sense of both perspective and relief that at least we will now feel better prepared for the free practice session on Day 1 of the Ferrari Racing Days meeting. The test session does make us hungry for more, and perhaps we might fit in another session in a few weeks time before the main event in September. Paul and his Horsepower Racing team have the car set up very well indeed and he teases us by reminding us that he and Andy won the GTC class in the British GT Championship in the car last season. We want to do the car some genuine justice when we race it but the priority is to finish both our races and really enjoy the experience at the same time. I don’t think that the latter will be too difficult!
10 13 19
Tony A ttwood Derek Johnst on Ted Re ddick
Nick Ca rtwrig
Anders on Tony J ones
Chris C ompton Goddar 20 T d ristan Simpso n 21 M artin M cGlone 23 J oe Spic er 26 Bu rgo Wh arton 27 Tim Wa lker 28 Pauline Goodwin 30 W ayne M arrs 31 Ka ren Edn ey
09 10 12
Nathan Shaun Tracey
Toby T arrant-
Staffor d Tim Ing ram Hil l 15 S ally Ma son-St yrron 16 J on Good win 18 B ernard Hogart h Peter H itchman Gavin S hirley 19 W endy-A nn Mar shal 22 G eraldina Nickles s 23 R ay Ferg uson 24 M artin H art 27 J ohn Ma rshall
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