We're excited to have these race cars and drivers in our own backyard. At time of writing, all of the first three races (Moroso, Texas Speedway, and Blackhawk) have been won by Southwest region drivers. John Marconi (Newport Imports) won the first two events and the 2nd place driver in those two races, Cort Wagner (Ferrari of Beverly Hills), won the Blackhawk races!
Not only will the drivers participating in the 348 Challenge get to drive on the race track but you can too!
The Southwest region, in conjunction with FNA and the Southern California Ferrari dealers, is sponsoring a two-day track event for our members to gain experience driving their Ferraris at speed on the track. Unlike the 348 Challenge, our event is NOT a race - it is an opportunity to run your car on the track at high speeds under controlled circumstances.
The weekend at the track will offer the opportunity to exercise your horses under the expert eye of Danny McKeever from the Willow Springs Racing School. You will learn the correct techniques to circulate safe and fast.
As an additional treat you will enjoy the spectacle of seeing over 30 racing Ferraris from all over the US battle nose to tail for a chance to go to the International 348 Challenge finals at Mugello in Italy.
Friday is reserved for 348 Challenge practice. On Saturday, the gates will open at 6:30am, we'll have a track orientation ride at 7:30 and a mandatory driver's meeting at 8:30am. Sunday will also have a mandatory 8:30am driver's meeting and we expect to have chalk talks with Danny McKeever each day before lunch.
The 348s will have an hour and a half of practice and qualifying on Saturday and two races on Sunday. In between, you can put your car on the track in one of our four anticipated run groups: Touring, Driver's School, Sports Run 1, or Sports Run 2.
Additionally, on Saturday night there will be a banquet dinner hosted by the Southwest region for the 348 drivers and our members.
Willow Springs is known as "The Fastest Track in the West" and we are very concerned about safety on the track. Therefore, now is a good time to think about getting your car and equipment up to shape.
All run groups require seat belts, a minimum 2lb Fire Extinguisher mounted with a metal bracket, and a Snell 85 (or later) helmet. The Touring group will be limited to 55 mph with a pace car but passengers will be allowed.
The Driver's School, Sports Run 1 and Sports Run 2 groups will not allow passengers (except instructors) and have additional safety requirements: VR or better tires, NOMEX suit, gloves, shoes (or full leather shoes with NOMEX socks), and a balaclava (for beards). Five or six-point harnesses and rollbars are strongly recommended.
Your car must be in safe working order and must pass a technical inspection before it will be allowed on the track. All Southwest region authorized Ferrari dealers will offer free tech inspections.
Tech inspections will also be available at the track but will cost $25 per car unless the entrant lives more than 50 miles from an authorized Ferrari dealer. Inspection at the track will probably cost you track time so we strongly encourage that get your car teched beforehand.
Further details and an entry form will be mailed in the next few weeks. If you have any questions, contact our event chairman, Frank Carlone.