This is motorsport the easy way, with little in the way of car preparation and none of the hurdles you need to navigate to go circuit racing. Only a National B Speed license is necessary, which means no expensive and time-consuming ARDS test, nor medical, are required. Your Ferrari will not have to have a rollcage, cut off switch, fire extinguisher or full harness either, though these last two items are not a bad idea. Furthermore your pride and joy will not be rquired to be festooned with sponsors' stickers !
There are some things, though, that are essential, and these are a up to date helmet and racesuit that meet current MSA requirements, besides the aforementioned MSA National B Speed Competition License. Your Ferrari will need to be fitted with a timing strut when competing, and details on this are in the MSA Blue Book you will receive with your new license. These are very easy to make up from a couple of scraps of aluminium and a little ingenuity. Fit a sticker by your ignition switch pointing “off” and you are in business.
What about your Ferrari – well, if it is one of the modern tipos like a 355 it will work great out of the box, and should be competitive. The Ferrari Hill Climb Championship is fundamentally for standard road cars and very little alterations are allowed to recent Ferraris. If you fancy competing in a 308, and many still do, then you are allowed to make substantial suspension improvements such as uprated springs, dampers, and roll bars.
If this sounds interesting you will need to contact us for the full information kit and 2003 FHCC Regulations. You will need to be a Ferrari Owners' Club of Great Britain member and you have to register for the series, which has fourteen rounds. The best of seven count and how many you do is up to you, with many people only managing a few. The Ferraris always run in their own class at the meetings in the championship, and to enable equitable point scoring, competitive run times are factored by a percentage to theoretically level car performance. The Performance Equaliser Percentage (PEP) ensures if you run a 246 your times are reduced by minus 4.5%, and if you are zooming away in a 355 you are on plus 2.75%. The various tipos PEP’s are all detailed in the regulations.
One of the big attractions to speed hillclimbing is we get to visit some nice venues. Motor race circuits tend to be a bit cold, windy, and hostile, whereas many of the hills are picturesque and cosy by comparison. In 2003 we start out at North Weald in Essex on March 23rd for one of a few sprints that are slotted in amongst the hills. North Weald is drafty, extremely unpicturesque, but a great place to get some practice in with loads of space for serious indiscretions and tyre scrubbing. After that at Easter we are off on a holiday hill climb to Bouley Bay on Jersey. This is a real road course and looks to be a really notable event for the FHCC brigade.
Over the season we get around the country visiting most of the well known venues, some of them twice. Prescott, home of the Bugatti OC near Cheltenham in May and June, Harewood just north of Leeds in May and September, Loton Park not far from Shrewsbury in July and August, and Shelsley Walsh in Worcestershire in June. There is also Gurston Down in Wiltshire, another hill, and a spectacular one too, at Longleat, plus sprints at Curborough and MIRA, the Motor Industry proving grounds.
A wide variety of venues all offering exciting and interesting challenges in their own different ways. Most of these tracks are no more than a mile long, and whilst speeds are generally not very high compared with what you do on a club track day at Silverstone, you will be amazed how fast some of them seem, even when you are only doing sixty. The courses are a bit like real country roads, narrow with scenery, unlike the Hangar Straight! It is usually all over in less than a minute but you will get out of the car with a big smile and maybe twitching a little too !
To find out more and to receive written details contact the FOC.
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