Good 'ol boys head to Ferrari Festival
NASCAR will make its first ever appearance at the New Zealand Festival of Motor Racing in 2014 when the ultra-successful 1998 DuPont Chevrolet Monte Carlo of series champ and NASCAR icon Jeff Gordon runs a few demonstration laps over both weekends of the Ferrari Festival on January 17-19 and 24-26.
The car - now owned by Bert Dove - has been displayed at the CRC Speedshow event but this will be the first time it has been run at a public circuit racing event in New Zealand.
By the end of 1998, this car and its driver had staked a claim to a major slice of NASCAR's history books. Gordon opened the year with a very modest 16th place finish in the Daytona 500 but the following week at Rockingham, he battled a poor-handling car to win. He won again at Bristol four weeks later and went on to win a total of 13 races, a modern-era record.
This included victories at Charlotte, Richmond, Sonoma, Pocono, Indianapolis (which provided at the time the largest amount of prize money in auto racing with $1,637,625),Watkins Glen, Michigan, New Hampshire, Daytona, Rockingham, and Atlanta. Gordon won the 1998 championship with a massive 364-point lead over Dale Jarrett.
It is arguable that in the modern era of NASCAR, Gordon's 1998 season is one of the very finest achieved. Compared with Richard Petty's stellar season in 1975, both drivers won a phenomenal 13 races, though such a quantity is unrivalled since.
1955 ex ‘works’ Ferrari 750 Monza sports racing car confirmed for Ferrari Festival 2014
Current owners of the ex ‘works’ 1955 Ferrari 750 Monza sports racing car, the Southward Car Museum in Paraparaumu, have confirmed the iconic Ferrari sports racing car will be on show at the second weekend of the Ferrari Festival to be held at Hampton Downs in January 2014.
1955 Ferrari 750 Monza
This Ferrari Monza was one of two Monzas racing in New Zealand in 1957. It was brought to New Zealand by British driver Ken Wharton to race at the NZIGP meeting held at Ardmore in January 1957. It was said the car had been driven by ‘works’ driver Eugenio Castelotti in the tragic 1955 Le Mans 24 Hour race and driven by to win at Rouen in France, and to third places at Targa Florio in Sicily and the Swedish GP. Sadly, Ken Wharton was killed when driving the car in a sports car race at Ardmore in 1957.
Aucklander Ken Harris purchased the wrecked car in 1957 and rebuilt it to race condition. He finished third in the first Ken Wharton Memorial Trophy race held at Ardmore in January 1958, and first in the sports car race held that year at the Lady Wigram Trophy meeting. In 1959 Harris won the Ken Wharton Memorial Trophy at Ardmore and finished 12th in the 1959 NZIGP. Fellow Aucklander Bill Thomasen purchased the Monza in late 1959 and raced it throughout 1960 before he sold it to John Riley in 1961. Riley fitted a Chev Corvette 4600cc V8 engine when the 2999cc 260hp four-cylinder Ferrari engine blew up. By now the six-year old car was uncompetitive but Riley did score a win in a sports car race at the 1963 Levin International meeting. He also finished second in both the 1963 Beach Racing championship held at Muriwai and a race meeting at Pukekohe.
A number of other people owned the car after John Riley; Sir Leonard Southward, of the Southward Car Museum, purchased the car in the later 1960s from an owner in the South Island. Len had the Corvette engine removed and the car was on display in an unrestored condition in the Museum until a complete restoration was undertaken in the mid-2000s.
As the only remaining example of the 13 exotic single-seater, sports racing and GT Ferraris that raced in New Zealand from 1954 until 1971, the Ferrari Festival organisers are delighted that the iconic 1955 Ferrari 750 Monza will be on display at the second weekend of the Ferrari Festival 2014. For information about the Ferrari Festival and to purchase tickets at ‘Early Bird’ prices, visit www.nzfmr.co.nz
Calling all Ferrari owners!
The 2014 New Zealand Festival of Motor Racing in conjunction with the Ferrari Owners Club of New Zealand will attempt to set a New Zealand record at the event by gathering more than 100 Ferraris, including F1 cars, for a static grid display.
The two weekends of January 17-19 and 24-26 will be packed with action on the track and off it. As well as the unrivalled selection of historic racing classes that grace the Festival at Hampton Downs each year (Including the biggest annual gathering of Formula 5000 machinery), there will be demonstration runs by at least three Formula One Ferraris and other superb circuit-focussed Ferrari racers including historic vehicles and contemporary endurance racing machinery. An Italian-themed off track environment will also ensure it is a ‘must do’ weekend for all enthusiasts and fans of the Ferrari brand.
The record attempt will take place on the first Saturday (18th). On-track demonstrations are planned but will be limited to vehicles owned by Ferrari Club of New Zealand members, though all Ferraris are welcome to be part of the event and the record attempt. Ferrari owners can join the club in advance of the weekend by contacting the Club President to secure their opportunity to drive the circuit.
“It will be an amazing opportunity to have your car in an exclusive gathering which will no doubt be photographed by thousands at one of the biggest Ferrari themed events ever held in the country,” explained club President Chris Hogg. “It’s a great time to be part of the club.”
If you own a Ferrari (or you know of someone who does) and would like to be part of the record attempt and/or the daily on-track demonstrations, please contract Chris Hogg, President Ferrari Owners Club of NZ firstname.lastname@example.org
Sweet V12 music of F1 Ferrari set to ring around the Downs
The 2014 New Zealand Festival of Motor Racing celebrating Ferrari has secured a third Formula One racer from the marque for the event which runs over two weekends next January.
The car – a 1994 ex-Gerhard Berger and Jean Alesi 412T1 - has a 3.5 litre V12 normally aspirated engine, and is regarded as one of the best sounding Formula One cars of all time, though perhaps not one of the most outright successful from the Italian manufacturer.
The car will be running fast demonstration laps over both January 17-20 and January 24-26 weekends at the Ferrari Festival. It was the second-to-last of six 412T1 chassis and was used from the Canadian Grand Prix onwards. It was driven by Jean Alesi to third place at the Canadian Grand Prix, and to second place at the British Grand Prix. Team mate Gerhard Berger used it to finish second at the season-closing Australian Grand Prix on the Adelaide circuit.
The 412T1, particularly when the 65-degree V12 configured engine was replaced with the development 75-degree V12 from Hockenheim onwards (where Ferrari won), was a competitive and good-handling proposition on all but the tightest of circuits. What it lacked was the mechanical reliability required for a serious assault on the World Championship title.
There’s no questioning the car’s historical significance, however. It was the Ferrari F1 team’s second-most used chassis during the turbulent and tragic 1994 F1 season. Michael Schumacher won his first F1 title in a Benetton-Ford F1 but the entire season was overshadowed by a string of serious accidents and the deaths of Ayrton Senna and Roland Ratzenberger at the San Marino Grand Prix in May at Imola.
This chassis – 154 – has been brought to New Zealand by a group of enthusiasts led by Christchurch’s Steve Weeber and is the third Ferrari Formula One car to be confirmed for the 2014 New Zealand Festival of Motor Racing celebrating Ferrari. Two 1985 turbocharged 156 cars will also be running at the event.
“This will be the first public running in New Zealand of an iconic V12 Ferrari Formula One car,” explained Festival Chairman Jim Barclay. “It’s iconic for many reasons given that it was the Scuderia’s car for 1994, but the design took a race win as well as carrying Gerhard Berger to third in the drivers’ championship and Alesi to fifth. It’s going to be a real privilege and hugely exciting to watch it put through its paces around the Hampton Downs track. The music of the V12 engine will be reason alone to come along to look and listen.”
Early Birds tame a Prancing Horse!
Early Bird tickets are now available for the Ferrari Festival - the fifth edition of the New Zealand Festival of Motor Racing and the one all set to be the biggest and best so far!
If you book your tickets before November 1st - you can make turbocharged price savings of between 25% and 40% off gate prices.
With 1000 horsepower Ferrari Formula One cars lighting up the Hampton Downs track, a New Zealand record attempt for the largest number of Ferraris ever gathered in one place and the usual huge selection of jaw-dropping racing classes – January 17-19 and 24-26 next year are going to be petrolhead heaven!
There are a number of ticket options for one weekend or for both and you can choose from basic GA right up to an all singing and all dancing (in Italian of course) two weekend pass with all of the trimmings! Just visit our new look web site at www.nzfmr.co.nz and click on ‘Buy Tickets’.
Over the past four years, the event has celebrated three great New Zealand racing drivers in Bruce McLaren, Chris Amon and Denny Hulme and one evocative automobile brand, BMW. For 2014 the theme is the mighty Ferrari and organisers have teamed up with the Ferrari Owners Club of New Zealand to thrill crowds of 30,000 plus at New Zealand's biggest circuit motorsport event outside of the Aussie V8 Supercars.
Amongst the stars of the back-to-back weekend motorsport extravaganza on January will be iconic racing Ferraris and mouth-watering road going machines.
The historic racing that is offered to the fans during both weekends is some of the best in the world and once again, the event will play host to the world's biggest annual races for the classic thundering V8 powered Formula 5000 machinery. In their day in the sixties and seventies these cars rivalled F1 machinery for speed and spectacle and they are still driven 'in anger' today by the drivers.
F1’s TURBO ERA TO BE MARKED AT 2014 FESTIVAL WITH TWO FERRARI GRAND PRIX RACERS
NZ fans to see 1000bhp plus F1 racers on home track for the very first time
Not one, but two iconic Ferrari Formula One cars from the legendary turbocharged era of the 1980s are set to wow the crowds at the 2014 two weekend Ferrari Festival at Hampton Downs.
The 1000-plus horsepower flame-spitting machines - 1985 model Ferrari 156/85s - were driven in their day by the late Michele Alboreto and Stefan Johansson in that season's Grands Prix, with Alboreto heading the points table for most of the year in his best season in F1.
He won the Canadian and German Grands Prix, and was on the podium eight times. Ferrari's results faded badly in the second half of the season as other emerging drivers took the fight to Alain Prost - but the cars remain amongst the most iconic of the turbo era.
Organisers of the event - which takes place on back-to-back weekends at the Hampton Downs race track on January 17-19 and 24-26 - are hoping that the machines will be demonstrated on both weekends by owner Guido Belgiorno-Nettis and one special guest driver.
"The 1985 Formula One season is widely considered by the F1 community to be one of the best and most exciting of all time," explained Ferrari Festival chairman Jim Barclay.
"It is the season which saw new names in Formula One really emerge - Ayrton Senna and Nigel Mansell were just two of the up and coming stars and the likes of Alain Prost, Nikki Lauda and Keke Rosberg were still out there winning. To have two of the most iconic cars from that era of Formula One set to run at an NZ track, and at our event, is obviously very exciting and something we and the fans will look forward to hugely."
Nettis has owned both cars (chassis 079 and 082) for some time – and they get regular track work outs – as he explained.
“I purchased my first 1985 Ferrari 156/85, chassis number 079, in 1995. As a 1985 Ferrari ‘works’ car, chassis 079 was used in nine races. It was raced as Number 27 when Alboreto drove it and as Number 28 when Johansson drove it.”
The nine races, in chronological sequence, were as follows: - Alboreto drove 079 in the Brazilian GP (2nd) and Portuguese GP (2nd), Johansson in the San Marino GP (6th) and Monaco GP (Retired), Alboreto in the French GP (Retired), Johansson in the British GP (Retired), German GP (9th), Austrian GP (4th), Dutch GP (Retired). The car then passed into the private collection of Alboreto’s supporter, Count Zanon, where it remained for ten years until Nettis purchased the car and took it to Australia. Since then, he has demonstrated 079 at many Australian Historic meetings and now races in it Group R historic events in Australia.
“In 2006 when I bought chassis 082 it had done a Goodwood meeting in 1999 with Alboreto driving it, I believe,” he explained. This was a new car in 1985 that Johansson drove in practice for the Belgian GP (that race was rescheduled) and at the Canadian GP (2nd) and US GP (Detroit) (2nd).
“Before I got 082 in 2006, the car had been mainly static for most of the time previously. When I got the car it carried number 27. I had my mechanics pull it down and prepare it for racing. Overall the car was in OK condition but not race ready. We re-numbered the car from 27 (Alboreto’s number in that season) to 28 which was the number that Stefan raced under. Alboreto never raced this car so it would not have been 27 unless he was in it! This car has the original seat made by Ferrari with Stefan’s name engraved on it and to me it looks like it was moulded to his body shape. Conveniently it fits me very nicely as well.
“We have done a lot of racing in this car. It has a qualifying engine plus a different suspension package as well as a much bigger aero configuration than the # 27 car (chassis 079) that I also own. It is more set up for shorter tighter circuits and corners as it has more downforce overall. The fans will see this when they see the cars next to each other in 2014 at Hampton Downs.”
The two 1985 turbo cars are not the only Formula One cars organisers are hoping to secure for the event, and they expect to make further announcements in the lead up to the Ferrari Festival. See further information about the Ferrari Festival on www.nzfmr.co.nz
The fleet of 156/85 F1 Ferraris being prepared for the 1985 season in the Ferrari factory
The ex-Johansson 156-85 chassis 082 in action in the hands of current owner Guido Belgiorno-Nettis
Construction: Carbon fibre
Max length, width and height: 4292/2135/1080 mm
Wheelbase, front and rear: 2762/1781.7/1663 mm
Dry weight: 548 kg
Tyres: 25.0-10.0-13 front - 26.0-15 0-13 rear
Cylinders: 6-cylinders-V- 1 200
Bore and stroke: 81 x 48 4 mm
Displacement: 1496.4 cc
Crankcase and cylinder head materials: Light-alloy, treated aluminium cylinders liners
Compression ratio: 7:.1
Max bhp race: 780 HP at 11000 rpm (race)
Max bhp qualifying: 950+ HP at 11000 rpm (qualifying)
Distribution: 4 valves per cylinder, twin overhead
Fuel system: Supercharged: 2 lateral KKK turbos
lgnition: Single, electronic capacitive discharge