Ferrari and Alfa at Willow Springs

Ferrari and Alfa at Willow Springs

February 4th and 5th saw the club?s first track event of 1995. This event at Willow Springs International Raceway was only our second track event ever (the first being the one we hosted along with the 348 Challenge last July) and was the first test of our collaboration with the Alfa Romeo Owner?s Club. By all measures it was a great success.

The Alfa club runs an organized, safe, and fun event with something for everyone. We had a good showing of a dozen Ferraris (plus some unmentionable marques) with members participating in all levels of activity except the race group.

Some members came out just for the fun of being at the race track and talking with other Ferrari owners and race enthusiasts. Others took advantage of the very fun and economical "Introductory Group" which allowed them to take their street cars out onto the track at fairly high speeds without the need for any special equipment beyond a helmet (borrowing one is fine).

This Intro Group works in a "lead follow" fashion where an instructor sets the pace (speeds up to about 100 MPH) and shows the racing line, with the participants following behind. No passing is allowed, except in a scheduled manner to allow everyone to run directly behind the instructor?s car so that the correct racing line can be observed. This is a great way to exercise your Ferrari without fear of mishap and without requiring any modifications to the car. Of course, it also helps that it only costs $60 for the weekend!

The more adventurous members bolted 5-point racing harnesses and fire bottles into their cars and participated in the time trials. This group offered six 30-minute practice sessions all day Saturday and on Sunday morning, culminating in 5 timed laps on Sunday afternoon. The results are shown below. Note that Phil Zercher really motated his 365 GT 2+2 "Queen Mother" around the track in a quick 1:53 on original Michelin XWXs. That?s an average speed of almost 80 MPH around a course with 9 turns. Way to go Phil!

Sempre Ferrari Editor, Jeff Littrell, cooked the brakes on his Mazda RX-7 while doing 140 MPH coming into turn 1. Fortunately, he just ran straight off the track into the desert with no drama. A good friend then offered the use of his Acura NSX for the time trials and Jeff was able to hop in with no prior experience in the car and turn a respectable 1:41.7. Jeff thanks Doug Hayashi for his generosity.

Ogner Motorcars made the event particularly enjoyable by bringing out a 348 from their showroom, as well as a table, chairs, umbrella, and munchies for the tifosi. Michael Lederman from Ogner ran a race-prepared "bathtub" Porsche 1600 in the time trials but he was properly punished when it broke down Saturday with an oil leak.

Member Ferrari Group
Alan Bishop 275 GTB/4 s/n 10271 Social
Murray Cogan 308 GTS QV s/n 55849 Social
Mario and Michelle Dominquez 51