Ferrari Racing Days at Silverstone 2007
Enjoying for the most part distinctly Southern European weather, the British all-Ferrari event must have had just about every Tifosi in the land present to see car displays and exciting racing from 60 years of the company’s heritage.
With photos by Tim Scott
Yes, it is Ferrari’s 60th and with the final celebrations at Maranello just a few days away now, it was the United Kingdom’s turn to press the Start button on the festivities.
The event followed the usual Ferrari Racing Days format – with the inclusion of the rarely-seen, exclusive FXX Programme – having two heats each of the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli (that’s one each day for the Coppa Shell and Trofeo Pirelli, two categories split by driving experience and pace), ditto the Ferrari Shell Historic Championship with its three grids, and the Corse Clienti activities for customers running genuine ex-factory F1 cars.
There was also the Guinness World Record attempt (successfully achieved), helicopter and parachute displays, and over 1,000 Ferraris brought together by the Ferrari Owners’ Club Great Britain, themselves celebrating their 40th birthday. If you add all this together – not to mention the 40+ F40s too – you get a meeting to please any true Ferrari fan.
Star driver of the weekend was, without a doubt, Bruno Senna, driving the System 3 Ferrari Challenge Dealer Team GB F430. On pole for both day’s races, the 23-year-old from São Paolo simply disappeared into the distance on Saturday, and merely won comfortably the next day. In a highly competitive field of semi-professionals who really know how to get the best out of these identical cars Senna, driving GP2 this year, was truly in another class.
The same could be said for Irvine Laidlaw in the historics, winning twice in grid C driving his 1972 Ferrari 312 PB, and twice in Grid B in his 1957 Maserati 250S. The race for the oldest cars, Grid A, was a little under-subscribed, however Saturday’s running provided excitement with early leader Matt Grist in his 1934 Alfa Romeo Tipo B P3 spinning out, leaving the way open for Stefan Schollwoeck’s 1932 Maserati 4CM to come through victorious, a feat he repeated on Sunday.
In between the racing, spectators were treated to more laps of both the FXX Programme cars (a beyond-exclusive series of 29 chassis - plus one for Michael - built for Ferrari’s best customers to help the factory develop new road cars based on the inputs of ‘regular’ drivers), and the Corse Clienti-run ex-Scuderia F1s.
Unbelievably noisy, the single-seaters were in their element on Silverstone’s broad grand prix track and, to an uneducated eye, looked as fast as the regular cars competing for this year’s World Championship.
It was the only official UK appearance for the FXXs, and most onlookers were surprised at just how fast and loud they are, being more similar to a Le Mans racer than simply an Enzo-derived road car.
The final event on Sunday belonged to the British Ferrari enthusiasts, as 24 cars took to the track under the Pirelli Ferrari Formula Classic banner, and machinery as varied as David Cottingham’s 1950s’ Ferrari 250 TR battled with modified 308 GTBs and GT4s in the very best spirit of club racing.
Monza has been described as the ‘temple of speed’, but over 3 days last weekend Silverstone represented the ‘broad church’ that is Ferrari enthusiasm in the UK.
Story: Steve Wakefield
Photos: Tim Scott - Strictly Copyright
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