Ferrari detail. Ferrari Owners' Club
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Ferrari Happenings

Michael Schumacher Kart & Event Centre
Report & pics by Niels Schouten
6.12.05

Because of a bizarre change of plans we ended up in Kerpen, Germany last weekend. Most tifosi know whom this village is famous for: Michael Schumacher. For a couple of years there has been a karting centre that bears his name next to highway A4. Everytime we drive to the Nürburgring we say to each other we have to visit it one day and that day came last Saturday.

Basically, we only went there to have a go on the go-kart track. It appeared that there are two tracks to choose from, outdoor and indoor. Because the weather was still great we opted for the outdoor circuit first. I am not a regular kart driver but normally I get acquainted with a track quit easily. The outdoor track however was very challenging and has some tricky corners - to set a fast lap it is necessary to think every corner through. Fast straights are combined with some tight following corners. A very nice and interesting track with great karts as well. When we came back inside again we noticed a sign with museum written on it and we thought ‘why not?’ and bought tickets. What we saw there positively surprised us. We had expected to see several cars in his career but were surprised there are seven F1 cars on display of which six are from the Scuderia!

We got a private tour by the race controller of the local kart track, which is located a couple of kilometres from the Schumacher track. He showed us a video of Michael in his early days and we learned his first car was a Fiat 500. This car was the first item on display in the museum. We were told this car had been totally restored by the Fiat company and painted in Ferrari red. Next to it was one of the early karts Michael drove. Period pictures and paper headlines completed the history. The first real race car present was a Formula Ford. Next to it were two Formula 3 cars; one of Michael's and one of brother Ralf's. And then we entered the F1 room. The oldest car there is the 1995 championship winning Benetton-Renault. And from every year between 1996 and 2002 with the exception of 1998 there is a Ferrari present. Ferrari only releases its F1 cars to other parties two years after they have been last-raced, so the guide told us they are expecting a 2003 car soon.

We ended the tour and decided to go for a run on the indoor track. Just like the outdoor circuit it has some interesting and difficult corners. The karts were great again and we had good fun. When we went outside again a Ferrari 348tb was parked in front of the karting centre. It showed that some of the ‘Maranello magic’ surrounds the location here. So if you are going to the Nürburgring and have some time to spend make sure you stop by at Michael Schumacher. It is a great way to pass the time or take a close look at the championship winning F1 cars. You can find more information on their website.

[click to enlarge]
       
208GTB
330GT 2+2
355/Ch.
'Top Gear' Daytona - but is it art?
"Get your luvverly Fazza bits 'ere"
Fiat Dino Spyder
ASA coupé

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