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Ferrari Racing Days


10/24/2023, 10:43:48 PM cet

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Nuerburgring,  July 2-4, 1999

Great program for one of Europe’s most important Ferrari-events
Shell Ferrari Maserati Historic Challenge – Drum Brakes
Shell Ferrari Maserati Historic Challenge – Disc Brakes
Formula One
Some Ferrari of note in the parking lots
Michael Schumacher – the star of the weekend
Ferrari Racing Days 2000?

Great program for one of Europe’s most important Ferrari-events
Since 1996, the Ferrari Racing Days in Germany have been established as one of Europe’s most important Ferrari-events. Hosted by the factory-owned importer, Ferrari Deutschland GmbH of Wiesbaden, the meeting took place for the third time at the famous Nürburgring after one year of absence – last year, the Ferrari Racing Days had been organized at the MOTOPARK Oschersleben in the remote Eastern part of Germany. However, splendid weather conditions during the entire weekend attracted between 500 and 600 Ferraristi with their cars plus thousands of spectators, last but not least because of the exciting program: The event included the F355 Challenge, the Shell Ferrari Maserati Historic Challenge, regularity runs for Ferrari-owners and for members of the Ferrari Club Deutschland (FCD), a demonstration of both historical and modern Formula One cars and the unveiling of the new 360 Modena Challenge car by Michael Schumacher.

Shell Ferrari Maserati Historic Challenge – Drum Brakes
Since this was a "Ferrari-only" event, there was room for two separate grids of the Shell Ferrari Maserati Historic Challenge.

The group of the drum-braked cars was dominated by a Maserati armada consisting of several 300 S, two 150 S and one A6 GCS. Ferrari entries included a 375 MM Berlinetta Pinin Farina driven by a well-known driver using the pseudonym "Hans Weise", Christian Traber’s 250 MM Berlinetta Pinin Farina, Dieter Roschmann’s 500 Mondial Spider Scaglietti, Nicolas Zapata in his 625 TR, Sally Mason-Styrron in her 166 MM Barchetta Touring, Bernd Hahne in a 166 MM/53 and various 250 GT LWB Berlinettas.

Free practice took place on Friday, qualifying on Saturday and the two heats on Sunday. As I already mentioned, the Maserati 300 S were predominant. In the first race, Peter Hannen became 1st, Burkhard von Schenk 2nd and Klaus Werner made it to 3rd, followed by William Binnie who ended up on 4th. The first Ferrari to cross the finishing line was Plinio Haas’ 250 GT Berlinetta LWB TdF s/n 1401GT. Carlo Vögele – likewise in a TdF – and Christian Traber in his 250 MM were close behind. Bernd Hahne’s 166 MM/53 s/n 0264M with Fantuzzi-body was surprisingly fast again, thus strengthening the rumor of his engine showing some kind of modification... Dr. Wolf Zweifler took out his Maserati 300 S for the first time; he was the slowest of the Maserati 300 S-pilots, but he was faster than Giancarlo Galeazzi who is known for his – sometimes – wild driving style in his 500 TR. Erich Traber was the only DNF in the first heat after he had to retire in his 250 GT Berlinetta LWB TdF s/n 0901GT.

The second heat started out with a mass-accident caused by Burkhard von Schenk who spun in his 300 S, hitting Klaus Werner and Christian Traber. While von Schenk was able to continue the race (he eventually even ended up on 3rd!), Klaus Werner had to steer his demolished 300 S into the pits. Peter Hannen became the race winner for the second time, followed this time by Plinio Haas. Peter Lindkvist from Sweden took his TdF to 4th, followed by Bernd Hahne and Giancarlo Galeazzi. Dieter Roschmann, Erich Traber and Carlo Vögele had been non-starters, reducing the field of participants remarkably.

Shell Ferrari Maserati Historic Challenge – Disc Brakes
Modena Motorsport GmbH of Langenfeld/Germany and Axel Urban’s ProTrade GmbH of Hamburg did once again enter their 312 PB s/n 0886, driven by Jacky Ickx. The Belgian ace took both wins in the category of the disc braked cars. Patrick Stieger became 2nd two times in his 512 M s/n 1018. Unfortunately Ed Davies had been forced to withdraw his 512 M due to technical problems which occurred after Friday’s training session, otherwise one would have seen a battle among these three very fast cars. Jean Guikas was 3rd in his Maserati Bora Group IV in the first heat, but his car suffered a brake-down in the second heat. The classic car-dealer from Marseille was able to continue the race after missing some laps and eventually ended up on 10th. Well-known David Piper was present as well and took his 250 LM s/n 8165 to 4th in the first heat; in the second he took the chance after Guikas had dropped out (temporarily) and drove his old war-horse to 3rd. Peter Hannen – yes, he drove in both categories – was pretty fast in Hartmut Ibing’s Maserati "Birdcage" and achieved a 5th in the first and a 4th in the second heat. Classic car-expert Mario Bernardi from Hann. Münden/Germany showed up in his 365 GTB/4 Daytona Competizione Prototype (s/n 12547). He took the first ever made Competition Daytona to a 6th and a 5th position and was much, much faster than Max Lustenberger in his later (and more powerful) example. François Degand had been present on Friday and Saturday in his yellow 365 GTB/4 Daytona Competitzione, but unfortunately was a non-starter in the races due to technical problems.

The number of GTOs on the track was remarkable: Four 1962 250 GTOs and the 330 GTO s/n 4561SA of Carlo Vögele were involved in the battle. David Franklin was fastest in Harry Leventis lime green s/n 3505GT (8th in the first, 7th in the second heat). Fabrizio Brigato performed well in his 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Competizione, becoming 7th and 6th in the races, but Gerhard Schwing took out his example (s/n 1887GT) for the first time after a total engine-rebuild and proved that his mechanic had done an excellent job (12th and 9th). Bart Rosman’s s/n 2179GT had just received a new paint-job, but the engine obviously caused some problems, leaving the Dutchman behind on 15th and 12th.

Not that fast, but a real treat to see were the 275 GTB Competiziones of José Albuquerque and John Giordano, representing both the 1st and the 2nd series of these rare Ferrari tipos. The third Maserati in the pack was Edmond Péry’s Tipo 63.
By the way: On Saturday, the participants of the Shell Historic Challenge were offered the opportunity to do some laps on the Nürburgring’s famous Nordschleife. Even Jacky Ickx was seen on the track, but in Helmut Gossens’ 312 B2 Formula One s/n 005! Seeing the former Grand Prix driver blasting around the historical circuit in his former car really generated some kind of time-warp effect!

Formula One
21 Formula One Ferrari had been brought to the Nürburgring, including the latest F399 (s/n 190) which was driven by Michael Schumacher on Sunday. The other cars included the examples which had already been present during the "Wolf Challenge" on Wednesday and Thursday, plus Jean Guikas’ 412 T2 s/n 161 (Jean Alesi’s Canada-winner), an F310 B (s/n 172) owned by the Factory as display car and Heiner Tamsen’s F310 B s/n 180, a former Schumacher-car. Corrado Cupellini had brought his 1960 Dino 156/246 s/n 0011, and Dr. Heinz Schumann from Berlin had given his 412 T1 (s/n 155) to Ferrari Deutschland to have it on display in front of the catering tent.

Some Ferrari of note in the parking lots
Among the many hundred Ferrari in the parking lots were some special and/or historical examples: Swiss enthusiast Andreas Feigentwinter had come in his nice 250 GT Coupé Pininfarina s/n 1349GT (showing the Texas plate "ENZO") and long-time Ferrarista Reinhard Sammüller from Munich had driven his 250 GT SWB Berlinetta s/n 2669GT (engine #2209GT) to the Nürburgring. The 250-family was completed by some GTEs, several Lussos and two Cabriolets, the latter including Volker Nast’s well-known dark green example s/n 2361GT which was formerly owned by Wolfgang Graf Berghe von Trips. Jürgen Rohwer from Hamburg showed up once again in his rebodied 250 GTE that now carries the Drogo-body which had once been built for Ulf Norinder’s 250 GTO ’62 s/n 3445GT. Matthias Ficht from Munich had driven all the way in his immaculate 500 Superfast s/n 8253SF and even took part in the regularity contest. Dr. Wolf Zweifler – likewise from Munich – had come in his yellow 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spider s/n 16689. Two converted examples were present as well.
The number of 360 Modenas present during the event was quite remarkable, although the majority of the cars were demonstrators of franchised dealers. Ferrari Deutschland had the very first prototype on display which has no paint covering its alloy skin.

Michael Schumacher – the star of the weekend
The largest part of the crowds had come on Sunday to see one person: Michael Schumacher was flown in by helicopter at noon, landed on the track, was picked up by Ferrari Deutschland’s chairman Maurizio Parlato in a 355 F1 spider (s/n 112078) and did one lap around the track to greet the fans. After that Schumacher was rushed into his motorhome two put on his racing dress. He then took out the new 360 Modena Challenge (s/n 112193) which had been hidden in a pit under a cover during the entire weekend and did a demonstration lap. Ferrari’s star-pilot eventually stopped between the grandstands and the pitlane and was surrounded by photographers within seconds. The photo-shooting of the German Grand Prix ace with the new Challenge car was followed by an interview performed by Rainer Braun, a former racer who now is a very famous TV-commentator of motorsport events in Germany. After that, Michael Schumacher entered the car again to do some more laps on the track, this time followed by a pack of ten or so stock 360 Modenas. In the meantime, his F399 Formula One car had been moved onto the track. Schumacher swapped the cars (surprisingly, the Challenge car was rushed back into the pits and was never seen again during the rest of the day) and burned a lot of rubber when he blasted off to please the crowds on the grandstands. He was soon joined on the circuit by several of the privately owned Formula One cars (including Jacky Ickx in Helmut Gossens’ 312 B2). Almost every Formula One tipo of the last decade was out on the track. As soon as the demonstration was over, the star was taken back to the motorhome and left the Nürburgring while the crowds were still concentrating on the Formula One cars on the track.

Ferrari Racing Days 2000?
We do not yet have a confirmation of the Ferrari Racing Days taking place next year again, but if so, they will for sure be the most important Ferrari-event in Germany again.

Andreas Birner

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375 MM Berlinetta Pinin Farina s/n 0358AM
365 GTS/4 Daytona Spider s/n 16689, Dr. Wolf Zweifler
 Michael Schumacher giving his comments about the 360 Modena Challenge to star-reporter and motorsport insider Rainer Braun