Twelve Race Programme Ensures A Weekend Of Thrills
While all the racing is sure to create a stunning mix of sounds, colours, drama, technology and nostalgia, the two races for the Ferrari 360 Challenge Trofeo Pirelli are certain to generate the most spectacularly hard-fought action. The Donington race will be the second round of the pan-European Challenge series which features 44 cars, as 22 teams from 10 countries battle for glory in identical cars with close-matched performance.
Since 2000, the Pirelli-supported Ferrari Challenge race series in Italy, Europe and the USA have become hugely popular. Ferrari builds a special racing version of the 360 Modena, the 183 mph ‘360 Challenge’, for private teams to operate and race independently, but with technical support from the factory.
Ferrari ensures that each of the Challenge cars offers a similar level of performance. The completely standard 400 bhp V8 engines are sealed by the factory, but have stiffer engine mountings and a larger capacity oil cooler. The six-speed, semi-automatic sequential transmission has F1-style shift paddles on the steering wheel to allow drivers to change gear in just 150 milliseconds. Changes to tune the car’s performance for track use include Boge shock absorbers, uprated Brembo brakes, 25mm lower ride height, and 18 inch BBS wheels with special slick Pirelli racing tyres.
The Trofeo Pirelli races which star on both Saturday and Sunday, will be supported by races for the Coppa Shell, Pirelli Maranello Ferrari Challenge, Ferrari Formula Classic, Force Classic Prix, Force Formula 5000, Thorogood GTA Challenge and Top Hat Historic Touring Car Series.
The Coppa Shell event is for 360 Challenge cars driven by ‘gentlemen’ drivers whose passion for Ferrari and desire to win is just as strong as the professionals contesting the Trofeo Pirelli events in similar cars. Established in 1986, the Pirelli Maranello Ferrari Challenge is open to members of the Ferrari Owners’ Club piloting standard road-going Ferraris. In response to Club members’ requests, Ferrari Formula Classic has been created in 2003 to allow pre-1990 cars to be raced, up to and including the tipo 328, but excluding turbo-charged cars like the 288 GTO and F40.
Saturday’s programme includes events for Formula 1 and 2 single-seater racing cars from the 1960s and 70s, and for fast, noisy American V8-powered Formula 5000 single-seater cars that used to lap many circuits faster than the F1 cars of that era. Sunday will see extra races for both these classes of charismatic single-seaters plus races for the Thorogood GTA series (for 60s and 70s Alfa Romeos) and the Top Hat series – for a huge variety of 1950s touring cars, including Jaguars, Zodiacs, Sunbeam Rapiers and cheeky little Austin A35s.
High Speed Demonstrations
Both Festival days will feature demonstration runs by the 1999 ex-Michael Schumacher Ferrari F399 F1 car, a Supercar Run by Ferrari 288 GTO, F40, F50 cars and the sensational new, V12-powered, 217 mph Enzo – making its very first UK track appearance.
Special Hospitality Packages
Ferrari and Maserati customers can obtain further details of special hospitality packages, including weekend circuit passes, from authorised dealers and from the Ferrari Owners’ Club.
Entry prices for the Ferrari Maserati Festival are £10.00 per day, or £16.00 for the weekend (when booked in advanced), with free admission for accompanied children aged under 16 years. Parking and admission to the Paddock and Grandstands are free.
To book tickets in advance, please call – 01332 819 527.
Website – www.donington-park.co.ukPublished 29 April 2003