Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Ferrari Dreams

We can dream can’t we?

Rusty and I attended the Ferrari Club event on Friday at our home track. Lots of red out there, with an occasional touch of yellow, a splash of blue and of course, a little black. Lots of interesting cars. It was a real hoot to see four car haulers drive in and then try to guess what was going to spill out of them.

We had gone under the guise of working corners just like we would for a race, but I don’t know why. These guys don’t look at flags. No, never, nada, nyet. They drive Ferraris. Black flag the field and they speed up. Oh well, it’s their equipment and their lives they are playing with. I guess if you drive a Ferrari you are invincible and your equipment is bullet proof.

After meeting and partying the night before, the F people got down to business. Part of the process of all this fun is that the drivers meet in New Orleans for an early in the morning breakfast and then drive in caravan to the track. With a police escort, no less.

The first four cars showed up (without the police) grinning like a bunch of high school kids with their fathers cars. Seems they got tired of gong slow, and drove away from them. (A nameless police officer told me later that the caravan was cruising at over eighty) Twenty minutes later the rest of the main group arrived (with the police) and entered with full fanfare. About forty really great automobiles shining like new gems.

The race prepared machines were already at the track and were now uncovered for everyone to see. These included four of the new challenge cup cars, one really yellow M type, one 335 SR ex LeMans car, and the real class of the show, a beautifully restored vintage roadster. Being a little older than most of the crowd, It caught my eye.

One look at the roadster and you could see Juan Fangio, Phil Hill or maybe even Moss behind the wheel. You might see just one of these in your lifetime. Merely sitting there in all its glory it gave me thrills. When it went out on the track, the driver wore a period correct half helmet with fabric earflaps. Wonderful. And the best part is that the damned thing was fast and sounded like the sweet music only Ferrari’s produce.

The French Quarter Classic crew did a great job of making the event memorable. All the right flags flew and the Ferrari garage (There actually is a Ferrari garage reserved where a couple of cars are stored and worked on) was converted to a hospitality suite, complete with buffet. No track burgers today.

The weather was beautiful, the cars fast and all in all a great outing. Lots of spins, a little excitement and a few raised heart rates, but in general all went well. Most importantly there were no accidents.

One exception. Some uninformed turtle thought he could make it across the track between turns six and eight and had the misfortune of walking under the wheel of a flying Ferrari. It had to be his fault and besides, he broke the wheel.

It was fun, very interesting and I’ll leave you with a few pictures for your imagination to swim in.
(Click on the small pictures to enlarge)


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