By Andy Robinson
The last weekend of June sees the inaugural Pirelli Ferrari Club Competizione Weekend take place at Croft Circuit hosted by the Ferrari Owners’ Club of Great Britain and we are extremely delighted to have been offered an opportunity to run rounds 5 and 6 of our championship as part of the weekend’s programme of sporting activities.
Modified class leader Barry McMahon in his very quick 156 turbo currently leads the championship from Power Trophy class leader George Osborne in his black Alfa 75 with Twin Spark class leader Andrew Bourke in third place in his Bianco Motorsports 156.
Barry is joined in the Modified class by season regular and second in class Keith Waite in his 75, Scott Austin in his 20 valve turbo Fiat engined 155 and, making their first appearances of the year, Bryan Shrubb in his distinctive orange Alfa 33 and Richard Thurbin in the impressive 4 wheel drive Lancia Delta Integrale. Keith had been joined on the entry list by son Tom hoping to race the Alfa 33 alongside his father but unfortunately an engine problem during a rolling road test has resulted in his entry being withdrawn. Alastair Baptie is making his first appearance since Brands Hatch in his Fiat X1/9, choosing to opt for a Modified class drive as his car has not yet been on a rolling road for this season. Paul Webster has also entered his 147GTA in the Modified class for the same reason, hoping to have overcome the problems that have limited the car’s appearances to date. Rounding off a very strong Modified grid is newcomer Colin Sowter in his Superformance supported 147 GTA. The Superproduczione-specification car was built in Italy by N. Technology and Colin is giving it a first outing here, although Colin himself is no stranger to the track having previously raced in a number of championships, not least in a Ferrari 458 GT3.
The overall lap record of 1:34.7 is held by Tim Lewis in his Alfasud Sprint and that could be under threat this weekend, particularly when we factor in the first appearance of former champion Roger Evans’s 8C-engined Alfa Romeo Giulietta as an entrant in the Invitation Class. The car has been engineered by Roger himself and is built around a space frame, although he is quick to play down its potential for this weekend as he is mainly looking for some strong reliable runs.
In the Power Trophy, George Osborne’s immaculate 75 is joined by second in class and defending champion Tom Hill in his Revs Italia 3.2 GT, class lap record holder Dave Messenger in his Darnells supported 156 GTA and Andy Inman in his similar Revs Italia supported machine. It’s great to see Gabriele Iaccarino back in action after some teething problems at Donington Park in his first outing with the championship and we hope he has a better weekend this time.
The Twin Spark Cup is once again likely to deliver some close and competitive racing where class leader and former champion Andrew Bourke will be looking to extend his advantage over his rivals. A strong field of entries will be attempting to close the gap with second placed Richard Ford and third placed brother James Ford in their familiar 156s looking to build on their successes at Silverstone. Season regular Jon Billingsley in his Bianco supported 156 will also be right on the pace. Simon Creswell in his Bianco supported 156 is always competitive and he returns to the fray after missing the Donington weekend. Martin Jones returns in the 156 after a disappointing but promising outing in the 147 at Silverstone, and he will be keen to put in a strong performance following his success when the championship was here two years ago. Geoff Turral is back on track in the 156 after he returned to racing at the last outing at Donington, whilst we welcome another two newcomers to the paddock, former Kart racer Connor Davies in his 156 and Reece Hampton who will be at the wheel of his Bianco Motorsports 156 for his first outing.
Thanks go to the 750 Motor Club, the Ferrari Owners’ Club of Great Britain and Croft circuit for making it possible to race alongside the Ferraris this weekend and participate in and contribute to what we hope will be a very successful and enjoyable weekend. Thanks also go to all our sponsors, HITEK Electronic Materials Ltd, Yokohama tyres, Black n Rounds, WoYa Digital, Wrap UK, Andrew Lee, Fusion Care Solutions Ltd, Enzari and the Alfa Romeo Owners Club UK for their support of this year’s championship.