Friday, 11 November 2016

Classic Motorshow @ the NEC - 2016

Following a phone call from the Ferrari Owners Club HQ that the plan for 2016 would be to display a grid full of the classic race cars used in the Pirelli Ferrari formula classic series the challenge was set.

We had to:
- Attend a doctors appointment that couldn't be moved
- Complete a day in the office
- Drive 3 hours to Birmingham
- Offload the racecar, which hasn't moved since it was loaded at the end of the Silverstone weekend
- Push it onto the display stand and give it a bit of a tidy
- Store the trailer and tow-car
- Walk to the train station
- Travel to Birmingham
- Get 5 hours sleep
- Jump on a train up north for work on Friday.


Well I'm now home after finishing work on Friday and delighted we did it.  The display looks fab and with the 355 positioned at the back of the grid it reminds me of the Brands race where we had to come through the full field after starting in the pit-lane.

The great thing about displaying a car is once in place I had an opportunity to look around the deserted halls, with the Ford GT racer and an egg shell blue 911rs taking my eye.

Looking forward to Sunday where I'm returning to collect the car, after a look around the show myself.

Ready for the start

Just ahead of Nick Cartwrights 328

And they are off

Mellow Yellow

GT40s look fab




Sunday, 16 October 2016

VMax200 and Countach Lunch. What a weekend

I'm still buzzing from this years combined trip down south to VMax200 and Rob's annual Countach Lunch.

We travelled the 200 miles down to Vmax on the Saturday arriving around 11am, with rain still falling. Entertaining to watch a few M4s and GTRs pull 360s off the line with a loss in grip and an amazingly loud Aventador that buzzed me as I drove to the start line. Whilst waiting for the rain to stop and watching the pair of 1-77 Aston's blast up the runway, I spotted the F40 pull up. I was immediately back to being a teenager again and had to pull the two 80s poster cars together for a few shots.

80s Heros
Young Huracán watches the old boys

After a bit of banter with the owner and the photographers we decided to pull off an old skool drag race and did a few runs up the runway.

VMax200 F40 v Countach: Video Link here
I then spotted the lightening had been pulled out of it's hanger, so a must have shot. just wish I had more than an iPhone to take my pics. Thankfully some of the pros have stated to post good shots up of both cars together over the past few days.

Old Skool Kool

After a night with AirBnB in Rockingham we had just 3 miles to drive to the Countach gathering, organised by Rob. I even managed to clean the car (note wheels are black at Vmax but silver at Countach meet. Highlight was driving through the tunnel into the centre of Rockingham raceway with 7 Countach together.

Morning Glory

Here they come

Banter time

Flight formation

Tunnel vision - Video of Lunch is here

We drive out for lunch, a short 45 mins thought the countryside.  The sight of the Countach out on the road together is breath taking.  Whole families stop and stair, with small children pointing open mouthed.  I know that image will stick in their mind for their entire life as it did for me many years ago.

Adiós Blasst

Photo Credit:
Vmax200 - Jason Cornish, Rob Overy, Jake Bond,  Max Simpson
Countach Lunch -  @pluckphoto

Link to VMax200 F40 v Countach: here                         https://youtu.be/PTe2Zqk-zHY

Link to Countach Lunch Meet: here                                https://youtu.be/sJOwE_gAMFw

Link to Harry's Garage review of Blasst: here                 https://youtu.be/CiZWIsmGxeg?t=8m57s

Sunday, 9 October 2016

2016 Passione Ferrari - Silverstone GP - Pirelli Ferrari formula classic

Following off the back of the fantastic Italia Festival at Brands Hatch we are straight into the Passione Ferrari event at Silverstone organised by Ferrari Northern Europe.

This kicked-off with a Ferrari Owners Club trackday on the Thursday, where I had the opportunity to instruct a number of owners in their road cars. It was a well supported trackday and I didn't get a break until 3pm to jump into my own racecar to scrub off a fresh set of Pirelli Pzero Trofeo Rs.

Although the Passione Ferrari event this year was not an official Corsa Clienti event, I was clear that Ferrari Northern Europe were planning to demo a few 599XX / FXX-Ks on track.

Thinking some UK drivers may bring their cars out I contact Alex to see if he was part of the Demo.  He has built up a fantastic collection over the past 2 years.  In fact it was this event two years ago when he first highlighted he was looking at an 599XX.  Unfortunately not was the reply, the cost of shipping did not meet the track time available  compared to a full on Corsa Clienti event, and as Alex was racing in Singapore during the GP weekend the week prior and Monza the week after, it wasn't on his radar.  He would be in the F12 Tdf for the owners track sessions and Kristina would be brining the 458 Aperta, so not all bad.

Just as the trackday was packing up I spotted a blue FXX-K come off the italian lorry.  Max Chilton (previous Marussia F1 driver) was spellbound.  A number of the gathered crowd had clocked the K.West name over the UK off-side door (could it be Kanya West?)  

Lol, It was definitely Alex's car, so I tweeted immediately.  Yes I did like it in the flesh and couldn't wait to jump in.  Kristina was quick to point out that it was 'her car' and she would be driving for the weekend.
Fxx-k arrival

Fxx-k pilota K.West (not Kanya) 

Friday was a very relaxing day.  3 practise sessions and a run out in the FXX-K gave me plenty of time to enjoy the event to the full, including buzzing around the paddock on my new hybrid full carbon fibre machine..........

Fxx-k beast

Video Footage to follow

It may just be a scooter but I use it daily between the two offices at work  '2.41 is the record by the way door to door'


I felt calm and comfortable going into qualifying and immediately set a couple of quick laps before coming into the pits to check the tyres.  Dave Bell of Autolink who prepare the 355 challenge from their garage up in Newcastle-upon-tyne informed me that we were a full 2 seconds ahead of the pack initially but that had reduced to 0.5 seconds over the past couple of laps.  Returning to the track I retain the pole by the same margin.

Race 1

After a very brief grid walk (nothing like the Festival Italia event) we were back in the car and ready for the off.  I pulled off a great start and lead the pack into the village complex.  Taking it slow, I lined the car up and shot off down the wellington straight, pulling a comfortable gap by the end of the first lap as the rest of the field, led by David Tomlin, fought for every inch.  Holding around 4-5 seconds I short shifted to protect the car and enjoy the battle behind.  The official Tim v Tris Tally is now 4:3 to Tim, with the opportunity to level by the end of the weekend.  Fingers were crossed as we went out for a curry and planned the decider if it was required.

A surprisingly easy win from pole was a delight, if slightly boring footage. I've had to play with the pics to make the youtube footage more entertaining, hope you enjoy it.

Victory in race 1

Video footage : https://youtu.be/sEPdy6kbiO8

Race 2

The start was not as clean and I had to defend through the first couple of corners, with Gary Culver chasing me hard.  Holding about a 1.5 second gap, Gary kept me honest and made me push the car for the first 4 laps without the opportunity to relax.  Unfortunately rattling the kerbs affected the car and I lost 1or 2 cylinders as I entered Club Corner.  Feeling down on power, I decided to retire at the village complex at an easy recovery point to let the rest of the field enjoy their race.  Unfortunately no trophy, or opportunity to level the score with Tim Mogridge for 2016, but hopefully minimal damage to the 355.

Video Footage to follow

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

2016 Pirelli Ferrari formula classic - Brands Hatch Indy - Race 2

What a fantastic weekend at the Festival Italia weekend at Brands Hatch, Kent.  Although the Indy Circuit isn't my favourite the whole event itself was fantastic.

Grid walk was a great idea ahead of Race 1

Race 1 didn't go quite to plan.  Starting from 2nd on the grid, I managed to get a great start and held a comfortable lead before catching the back markers.  Watching the close fight between Moorwood and Ugo into Paddock Hill I dive to the inside, but unfortunately William doesn't see me and moves across, pushing me onto the grass.  'It's difficult to stop on grass' I'm sure you are aware, so I'm fortunate to get out of the gravel on the outside of Druids to limp back to the pits for some TLC ahead of the next race,  Italia v Angelis.

Although we had an off in Race 1, it could have been worse (Check out the Alfa roll) Autosport - 18.8.16

After clearing out the gravel, we miss the assembly for the first Italia v Angelis race and start from the pit lane.  It's a shame I didn't have my camera setup as I loved every minute of the race, cutting through the field.  Watching the way each car handled the tight Indy circuit was very entertaining. Although most were on slicks the 355 had the balance to push through to a 2nd overall.

I explain the theory of Black 355s to Einstein on the way to Race Control

Finally, Race 2 of the classic, this time with video connected.  I'll let you check the footage, but 0.021 seconds was the gap between 2nd and 3rd.  Who was 2nd?

Race 2 footage - Photo Finish