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

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