Ferrari detail. Ferrari Owners' Club
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PIRELLI MARANELLO FERRARI CHALLENGE
RACE REPORT : ROUNDS 11 & 12 : BRANDS HATCH : 3/4 AUGUST 2002

PADDOCK STORIES

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  • Ferrari UK's John Newman looked suitably focussed throughout the weekend! The Festival was his baby and with a million things on his mind he had little time for trivia. Rest assured, John, it all went off beautifully and everyone had just good things to say about the Ferrari and Maserati content of the weekend.

  • One of the many highlights was a demonstration of all three of the Veloqx Racing 360N-GTs driven by Calum Lockie, Jamie Davies and ex-F1 driver Ivan Capelli. They made a magnificent sight as they blasted around in a tight bunch, constantly changing positions. Each of them carried a passenger and the lucky ones included Ferrari UK boss Richard Mackay, John Newman and Ross Brawn.

  • Speaking of Ross, he was seen to be thoroughly enjoying himself bopping away at the Eric Clapton concert on the Saturday night, undeterred by the rain. Eric had one of his better nights, concentrating on showing his considerable skill as a blues guitarist and thankfully avoiding any mention of the dreaded Layla.

  • The rumours of who's driving what next season have well and truly started. Gary was seen diving into the 360 Challenge tent mumbling something about trying to get details of 2003 360/Chs. Does this mean Richard Stevens will have his current 360? Newton has apparently done a deal for one of John Seale's 360/Chs and Carrington has apparently bought the Bartholomew one which Marco Attard drove at the meeting. Will David Back then get his 355/Ch? Robin Ward hopes he has two 360/Ch drivers for next year and both Marco and his GT partner, Neil Woodford, are keen to return to PMFC duties for next year, in 360s of course.

  • The Ferraris on and off track were, of course, lovely (how the heck did a Formula Ford race get in on the act?) but the Brands facilities can best be described as primitive and unacceptable. Rubbish galore, dilapidation everywhere, primitive catering and an evident lack of any investment. Good job the fantastic Ferrari UK hospitality marquee had so much room otherwise there would have been some very unhappy visitors.

  • Hilarious incident during Friday's free practice: Oliver Morley and Mark Cale have become good buddies to the extent that Oliver will often lead Mark around for a few laps to show him the best lines and braking points. The trouble was Oliver then pulled off the track with transmission failure and Mark promptly pulled in behind him. It took the marshals some time before they cut the umbilical cord and sent Cale back on his way again. But it obviously works - in qualifying Cale did a 1.39 following Morley but only did a 1.42 during the race when he had to fathom it out for himself.

  • Glass houses and stones quickly come to mind but how did Autosprot manage to spell Maserati with a double "s" in its two page preview of the event? Come to think of it, how does the Ferrari Owners' website (run by the Factory, remember) manage to spell Schumacher with only one "h"? Reminds one of Comp News in its pre-spellcheck days.

  • The Wilkinson Driver of the Day must have been a very difficult choice. Chris Catt, Henry Lawson, Marco Attard all put in excellent performances but in the event it went to Gary Culver, who really put in two faultless and skilled drives in his continuing quest for the "S" class championship.

  • Speaking of Chris Catt, hasn't he progressed? From slightly tardy beginnings last year he has methodically improved to the point where he may now be amongst the class of the field. Interesting to see if he can really cement this position during the remaining two rounds.

  • Oliver Morley had another brush with the law. During qualifying he felt that Jon Goodwin's Mondial had got in the way and promptly gave the elder tipo a brake test. The Observers were for once awake and caught him at it and he was initially placed at the back of the grid with a ten second penalty. On appeal, however, the Clerk of the Course decided it would be safer to put him back on his second row position........
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