New Zealand Festival of Motor Racing 2014

First off I would like to apologize for this post being so late, I have been rather snowed under with personal things the last few months.

The New Zealand Festival of Motor Racing is New Zealand largest motor sport event. This annual festival takes place at Hampton Downs raceway, and it celebrates a different driver or manufacturer every year and brings some of the most iconic cars together in one place over two weekends. This year was the turn of Ferrari, there was several of the most iconic and famous cars to ever roll off the production line in Maranello and the largest ever gathering of Ferraris in once place, at one time in New Zealand.412TA couple of my favourite cars that were brought over for the event were the ex Michele Alboreto and Stefan Johansson Ferrari 156/85 T’s, these cars are 1.5 litre turbo V6 powered and push out around 900 HP. The owner of the cars (yes he owns both of them!) Guido Belgiorno-Nettis races these cars, and even raced against the Formula 5000’s during the festival.412TAnother of my personal favourites was the ex Gerhard Berger 1994 Ferrari 412T1, the sound of it’s howling 800 HP 3.5 litre V12 echoing around the confines of Hampton Downs was absolutely incredible, its just a shame that we didn’t get to see more laps from it.F5000 DriverThere was also several support classes that filled up the weekend’s schedule including the Formula 5000’s. I caught one of the drivers having a quiet moment after one of the races.BMW M8I spotted this special vehicle in one of the support classes, This V12 BMW 850CSi was BMW’s top of the line vehicle in the E31 8 series lineup. The 850CSi was basically a de-tuned version of the M8 prototype, (which never made it into production and it’s existence was denied by BMW until 2010) it may not have been overly competitive but it was still fun to watch.F50Thanks to the Ferrari Owners Club of New Zealand during lunchtimes there was an on track parade of Ferraris including some of the most historically significant cars to come out of Maranello. This F50 had been upgraded with a set of straight pipes and the owner wasn’t afraid to let them sing!EnzoAnother amazing prancing horse that got let out of the stables was the stunning Enzo. The Enzo is one of the most recognizable modern Ferraris ever built and at the time was the most powerful Ferrari ever to roll off the production line. The Enzo was built for the 60th anniversary of Ferrari and was named after the founder of Ferrari, the legendary Mr Enzo Ferrari.F40Probably my favourite car that was out during the lunchtime parades was the F40, this classic super car was the last car that Enzo personally approved for production before his death, and celebrated the 40th anniversary of Ferrari. The F40 is powered by a 2.9l Twin Turbo V8 that produces 470 HP and has a body made largely of Carbon Fibre and Kevlar to save weight. The interior is incredibly spartan, it doesnt even have carpets or door trims, it is very clear that this is a race car for the road.CamaroOne of the other support classes that filled up the schedule, and was probably one of my favourites to watch, was the Historic Muscle & Saloon Cars. The drivers aren’t afraid to trade a bit of paint with each other, and once the bias ply tires that the majority of the cars were running on started to wear down, they would get a bit sideways through corners. It was incredibly exciting watching the big muscle cars getting sideways over the hill at turn 3 and they were quite often door to door with each other.E30Another support class that was running during the festival was the Heritage Touring cars. This ’92 BMW E30 M3 Sport Evo DTM was running in the Group A/ DTM European Touring Cars division with Neil Macharquhar behind the wheel.Sheiwery MustangThe Sheweiry Mustang was running in the Pre ’85 Invited Allcomers & Historic Sports Sedans class after it had undergone a full ground up restoration. Since it was the first outing after the restoration they were still working on a few teething problems, so they didn’t get a lot of track time.Ferrari DaytonaWhile walking around the pits on the sunday morning, I spotted this immaculate Ferrari Daytona sitting all by itself in the back of one of the pit garages.355 SpyderSpotting Ferraris parked up around the pits was not uncommon, another one I spotted was this beautiful F355 Spider. The 355 has to be my favourite V8 Ferrari and in my personal opinion one of the best looking too.Ferrari 750 MonzaThis amazing Ferrari 750 Monza was on loan from Southwards Car Museum down in Paraparaumu. The 750 Monza was introduced in 1954, it sported a 3 litre Lampredi designed inline 4, and the body on this particular car was designed and crafted by coach builder Scaglietti.E30Moving back to the support classes, this rather bright BMW E30 318i was racing in the Radio Hauraki BMW E30 class. The E30 race series is designed to be a cheap and easy way to get into motorsports, there is a lot of parity across the field with only minimal modifications to the car allowed, This makes for some very close and exciting racing.308 GTBThis 1978 Ferrari 308 GTB was being driven by John Honore in the Classic Cover Pre ’78 & Invited Sports, Sports Racing and GT class. This car has been built to a really high spec and has some rather tasteful yet functional exterior upgrades and runs under the Executive Racing Team.F5000Clark Proctor was driving this March 73A-1 chassis F5000 in the MSC F5000/ F1 class. The F5000’s provided some of the best racing of the weekend and they sounded amazing, nothing quite compares to the sight and sound of a full 22 car field of F5000’s thundering towards you.Formula LibreHistoric Formula Libre was another support class running during the event, these little single seater cars are absolute rockets and rather exciting to watch. This 1993 Ermolli Alfa Formula Boxer was being driven by Andy Drummond, even though it had one of the lowest displacement engines in the field it was still no slouch and didnt have much trouble keeping up with the rest of the field.Formula JuniorThe last support class that was running was Formula Junior & Formula 3. This was the slowest class by far but the cars probably required the most work behind the wheel, it wasn’t uncommon to see them get a bit sideways out of the slower corners and the drivers were having to do a lot of work to keep the cars in check.458 Challenge & 288 GTODuring the lunchtime breaks they had the Ferrari Pursuit, A 288 GTO was chased down by Tim O’Connor in a 458 Challenge, who in turn was chased down by Guido Belgiorno-Nettis in his 156/85 T F1 car. The aim of the game was to catch up to the back of the car in front and see who crosses the finish line first.EnzoI will round this post off with the prancing horse adorned rear end of the stunning Ferrari Enzo, I hope all of you have enjoyed this post and I would like to apologize again for it being so late.