Misano Adriatico, Italy, 20 October, 2002
360 Challenge – ”Multicoloured Swap Shop”
With a third consecutive Drivers’ World Championship and a fourth consecutive
Manufacturers title, the annual end of season Ferrari gathering was held in high spirits at
the Santa Monica Circuit at Misano Adriatico. This, allied to unseasonably warm and bright
weather, plus the many banners and flags bearing the ”Cavallino Rampante” and tifosi in
”fancy dress”, made for a carnival like atmosphere around the track.
360 Challenge – ”Multicoloured Swap Shop”
With eleven races plus thirteen practise and qualifying sessions there was plenty of time
for the 360 Challenge competitors to become intimate on the track and trade paint
samples in this ”multicoloured swap shop”! They did not disappoint, many coming back to
the paddock with a mix of somebody else’s colour scheme engrained in theirs, with a
number also showing signs of more physical contact with other competitors or unyielding
barriers, whilst quite a few also went on gravel collecting expeditions.
The Japanese driver Yasutaka Hinoi took victory in both Europe ”A”/USA/Pacific races,
followed home by Pier Giuseppe Perazzini of Italy and John Bosch of The Netherlands in
the first race, with the runners up in the second race being Perazzini once again, with
Javier Diaz of Spain only 0.13secs behind in third place after 25 laps. In the International
Final that brought the event to an end on Sunday afternoon it was the Italian Thomas
Kemenater who led the field home followed by Wolfgang Denzel of Austria and Franco
Groppi of Italy.
There were a number of privately run Ferrari F1 cars in attendance for demonstration runs
at lunchtime on both Saturday and Sunday. These spanned mainly the seventies through
to the late nineties, and included examples of 312T, 312T2, 312T5, F1-90, F93A and F399
models amongst their number. Apart from a couple of harmless offs through over
exuberance that caused the sessions to be temporarily halted to recover the beached
machinery, the runs were devoid of any damage, mechanical or otherwise, which is
always a relief with such highly strung and precious cars.
The fans got an extra helping of Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barichello on track, as
apart from the F1 demonstration, they also did a demonstration run in a pair of the new
Maserati Trofeo models destined for a client race series in 2003. There was also the
bonus that they did not wear crash helmets, so even though they were in closed cars they
were more clearly visible than normal in an F1 car. The cars were finished in white with a
pair of central blue stripes, carrying their F1 race numbers 1 & 2. Apart from looking great
they also made a nice sound from the sport exhaust system, a nice loud exhaust always
makes a racing car more interesting, so let’s hope that it is not above the decibel limit
imposed at a number of circuits to appease local residents.
As Ferrari had added an additional test driver to the team for 2002, Luciano Burti, it was
only natural that he should be part of the celebrations. Thus they bought four F1 cars to the
track for the Sunday demonstration run. As in 2001, the ceremony commenced with the
presentation of the cars and drivers on the grid accompanied by Luca di Montezemolo,
Piero Ferrari and Jean Todt. They then accompanied the Challenge drivers on the back of
a flat bed Iveco truck for a tour of the circuit, accompanied by waving banners, air horns,
loud cheers and fans perilously climbing up the safety fences for a better view of their
In addition to the four F1 cars there were two examples of the new Enzo Ferrari model at
the head of the grid, a red production model and a yellow prototype, the former for Piero
Ferrari and the latter for chief test driver Dario Benuzzi. Upon their return from the parade
lap Michael Schumacher, Rubens Barichello. Luca Badoer and Luciano Burti, donned
their helmets and gloves and jumped into their respective cars. The roars of the crowd
were drowned by the sound of the four V10 engines bursting into life, the two Enzos led
the way, the F1s holding back a little before lighting up their rear tyres in unison, and they
were off to track them down leaving a pall of acrid rubber smoke to drift across the pit lane.
At the end of the first lap the ”pace cars” pulled into the pit lane, the engine notes of the F1
cars reached a crescendo and they accelerated down the pit straight almost as one to
rapturous cheers from the crowd, which was repeated right round the track, although it
was difficult to hear above the shrill scream of the V10 engines. They continuously
swopped places, whilst running in very close company, and provided a great spectacle for
their adoring fans. On consecutive laps each driver came in for a tyre change, so that for a
while one car was always out of track position to the others, until the final stop when the
status quo was resumed, and they circulated once more in unison for the end of the
demonstration run. When you witness something as spectacular as four Ferrari F1 cars
running together at high speed it is a spectacle that you can’t get enough of, but all good
things must come to an end, unfortunately!
The Shell Ferrari Maserati Historic Challenge attracted the largest gathering of the
season, allowing the organisers to run a separate race for the single seater cars. There
was an eleven car entry for the single seater category, although three cars did not appear.
In the drum brake group there were twenty four entrants with only one non appearance,
this being the 500TR of Giancarlo Galeazzi that had engine problems during a run at
Fiorano for the Historic Challenge entrants on the preceding Wednesday. The disc brake
cars were all present and correct with twenty eight cars, although a practise accident
rendered the 312 P (B) of Christoph Stieger hors de combat.
Saturday’s monoposto race provide great entertainment despite there being only eight
starters. Initially Jo Vonlanthen led in his Ferrari 500, chased by Peter Heuberger in his
Maserati 250 F and the fresh from restoration Ferrari 625 F1 of Alexander Boswell. The
latter was getting closer to Heuberger as he came to grips with his new steed, eventually
passing him to take the lead as the Vonlanthen car expired on lap 7. Heuberger tried to
get back on terms but pushed too hard and spun away his chances on the penultimate
lap, but recovered to maintain his second place by 0.13secs from Carlo Vogele in the 158
Alfetta. The Sunday race saw a rash of non-starters, with only four cars appearing on the
grid. Alexander Boswell took an immediate lead, but retired with engine maladies on lap
3, leaving Carlo Vogele to take an easy victory from the Maserati 250 F of Edel Klaus, with
the Maserati A6GCM of John May completing the finishing list.
Both Drum Brake races featured a tense battle between the Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa of
Carlos Monteverde and the Maserati 300 S of William Binnie. Both led at some stage in
each race, but it was the 250 Testa Rossa that crossed the line first on each occasion.
The final position on the podium in each race was taken by the 250 Testa Rossa of
Fabrizio Brigato, making a return to the series after a couple of years absence. There were
also some good battles down the field, with most drivers pushing really hard in some very
valuable machinery. These included Roberto Crippa in his 340 MM Scaglietti Spider, who
had a couple of lurid spins in the Sunday race, fortunately without making contact with
In the disc brake race it was status quo at the head of the field, with David Franklin in the
Ferrari 712 CanAm maintaining the dominant position he has held all season. However,
behind him there was a fine battle between the 512 M models of John Bosch and Patrick
Stieger, with the 512 S example of Jean Guikas slowly dropping away from them. John
Bosch took the runner-up slot on Saturday, whilst on Sunday the positions were reversed
with Stieger getting ahead of Bosch on the fourth lap and thereafter pulling steadily away.
The Dino 206 S of Carlos Monteverde made a re-appearance after its Brands Hatch
accident in August, although it was still largely unpainted bare aluminium, with a few
yellow panels and a green rim to the radiator intake in the nose.