Fantastic Race win for the Ferrari Challenge Dealer Team GB at Monza
Mike Cantillon wins Race 2 from Pole Position Jean Marc Bachelier finishes on the podium in Race 1 on Saturday
Under beautiful cloudless skies on a warm spring day in Italy, the Ferrari Challenge Dealer Team GB kicked off their 2008 campaign with an excellent performance from the team, with one pole position, a race win and another podium finish in the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli – Coppa Shell Championship which started at Monza this weekend.
Team Vertu Racing driver, Mike Cantillon in Car 128, scored another pole position and fantastic race win to add to his extensive tally of strong finishes last year. After starting from the front, Mike held the lead for most of the race and was under constant pressure from behind, with several close encounters particularly at the first chicane where the cars concertina heavily under braking and provide most of the action during the weekend. Although losing the lead temporarily towards the end of the race, Mike was determined not to lose the advantage of his pole position and managed to clinch the lead again on the last corner. Taking the top step of the podium, Mike was cheered on by the team and by guests from the Ferrari GB dealer network who were invited to enjoy the race weekend and the exclusive hospitality that is offered by Ferrari GB to valued Ferrari clients.
Team Vertu Racing’s second driver, Jamie Constable, started Race 2 in 6th place and was in the middle of a pack of cars which leaned on each other – quite literally – at every corner, but managed to scythe his way through the pack and finish an excellent 5th in a race which was a concentrated rush of adrenaline for both the drivers and fans. Jamie’s pre-race pace suggested he could have made up more places during the race, but the constant jockeying for position with those around him, and the back markers which became a feature of the latter half of the race, meant that Jamie’s 5th place result was well deserved.
Jack Gerber, a new driver who joins the Ferrari Challenge Dealer Team GB this year, also competes in the Coppa Shell category for gentleman drivers and his car runs in a very distinctive team livery which also includes the flag of his native South Africa. After a successful first race on Saturday, when he qualified mid-field and brought the car home in an excellent first race 18th position out of 25 finishers, Jack started Race 2 on Sunday in the middle of the field, this time in 19th out of 28 starters. Throughout the Race, Jack’s lap times kept showing significant improvement as he learnt his way around the circuit and challenged for places in the middle of the field. The Ferrari Challenge may be for gentleman drivers, but that doesn’t stop them from trying to go around the Monza chicane 2 or 3 wide, as Jack found out in the middle of the race when another competitor decided he’d like to occupy the same square inch of tarmac as the South African, with the Team GB car unfortunately having to retire from the race. Jack is excited about his first race weekend as a Ferrari Challenge driver and is confident of improving his qualifying and race positions now that he knows what to expect when the Ferrari Challenge comes to Silverstone in the middle of April.
The remaining Ferrari Challenge Dealer Team GB’s driver, Yannick Mallegol, also suffered from contact during Race 2 and finished watching from the side lines. However, Jean Marc Bachelier’s excellent qualifying and podium finish in Race 1 on Saturday demonstrates that Car 129 has the pace to keep up with the best of them, and Yannick now has the benefit of analysing the data and race telemetry from Jean Marc’s confident drive in Race 1 to understand how he can improve his racing lines, braking points and throttle modulation. This is one of the advantages of the Ferrari Challenge Dealer Team GB, with every car having full telemetry and experienced race instructors to help the drivers analyse their performance throughout the weekend and think about where improvements could be made.
The representatives from the Ferrari GB dealer network who were hosted by Ferrari GB throughout the weekend were treated to a very special event, not just at the track with exclusive pit and paddock access and unrivalled hospitality from Team Vertu Racing, but also with an exclusive demonstration and dining experience from luxury partners KitchenAid at the Sadlers Restaurant in Milan on Saturday evening. The Team Vertu Racing hospitality at the Ferrari Challenge events is reserved exclusively for VIP guests of Ferrari and the team’s partners at each round of the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli. The next round of the championship is at Silverstone from 18-20 April, when the Ferrari Challenge drivers will have the chance to mingle with the FIA GT drivers who will also be racing at the Northamptonshire circuit during the same weekend.
Saturday 29 March – Race Report:
The Ferrari Challenge Dealer Team GB’s 2008 season fired up in true competitive style, with a very strong qualifying performance and race pace, with Jean Marc Bachelier in Car 129 finishing Race 1 on the podium in 3rd place, while Team Vertu Racing driver, Mike Cantillon in Car 128 qualified in Pole Position for Race 2 on Sunday. These results demonstrate that the team has the right drivers and the right equipment to put forward a strong challenge throughout the season, with the intention of scoring more pole positions, podiums and race wins than the many they scored in 2007.
Jean Marc qualified an excellent 6th on the grid for Race 1, but quickly moved to the front of the field and kept up a determined pace throughout the race; he pressured the top two cars lap after lap but was unable to make a passing move and finished only a couple of seconds behind the leader after a grueling 38 minute race in the warm Italian spring sunshine at Monza. Jean Marc’s co-driver, Yannick Mallegol, drives in Race 2 on Sunday.
Team Vertu Racing driver, Mike Cantillon in Car 128, started his Ferrari Challenge 2008 season with a well rewarded pole position in Race 2 at Monza, following an off-track excursion in the practice session that meant he missed qualifying for Race 1 while the team worked through the night to re-prepare his car ready for qualifying 2 on Saturday morning. Mike’s qualifying time of 1’55.516 was only 2/100ths of a second ahead of 2nd place driver Kralev in Car 171, demonstrating the incredibly competitive nature of Europe’s most exclusive and glamourous single-marque racing series.
Having missed qualifying for Race 1, Mike was forced to start from the back of the starting grid on Saturday afternoon, but soon made his way through the field to finish in an incredible 6th place. Before the start of the race on Saturday afternoon, Mike said the best he could hope for would be to finish in the points, with a full grid of evenly matched cars ahead of him. However, Mike’s pace throughout the race was often quicker than the leaders, and he quickly made his way past the back markers to contend for a top points’ position. His car was clearly set up well, with a sterling performance in qualifying in the morning and a blistering pace in the race in the afternoon. With the confidence of a quick car and a prime starting position, the team was confident Mike would be a main contender for a win in Race 2 on Sunday.
In his second year in the Ferrari Challenge, Mike drives for Team Vertu Racing and is partnered by Jamie Constable who won at Spa and shared the podium with Mike at the last race of the season at Mugello during the World Finals in 2007. This weekend, Jamie qualified for Race 1 with an excellent time of 1’56.023 putting him 4th on the grid, and for Race 2 with a similar time of 1’56.042 which meant a 6th place starting position – losing 2/100ths of a second and two grid positions for the Race on Sunday. Unfortunately, in Race 1, Jamie suffered some contact with another driver in the notorious chicanes at Monza, and had to respect a drive through penalty which pushed him down the order and out of the points.
The Ferrari Challenge Dealer Team GB’s newest driver this year, Jack Gerber, driving Car 126 dressed in the flag of his native South Africa, settled in well to the team and qualified in an excellent 16th (out of 25) for Race 1 and 19th (out of 28) for Race 2. His excellent qualifying sessions meant he was in the thick of the action at the first chicane on the famed Monza circuit for his first race – not a place for the faint-hearted – but managed to keep the car on the black stuff and brought the car home a very credible 18th out of 25 finishers.
The Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli
It was in 1993 with the Ferrari 348 Berlinetta that the Ferrari Challenge first took to the race tracks of the world. With the development of the F355 and then the outstanding 360 Challenge, the series has grown to take in three championships: the USA, Europe and a dedicated Italian series. All of which offer the chance for clients to enjoy the unique sensation of being a Ferrari racing driver with the full support of factory trained technicians and race crew.
The racing follows the format of any professional race series with a three-day meeting around a weekend. There are two distinct classes within the Ferrari Challenge: the Trofeo Pirelli for the more experienced drivers and the Coppa Shell for those who are new to racing.
In the European Championship, there are seven six weekend race meetings on some of the most challenging and iconic race circuits: Monza, Silverstone, Paul Ricard, Misano, Budapest, Nürburgring and at the World Finals in Italy (location TBC).
Each race weekend starts on Friday with free practice and qualifying and includes 40 minute races on both Saturday and Sunday, allowing time for the drivers to relax and enjoy the luxury of their surroundings – this is a Ferrari event after all.
The latest technology on the cars, the best pit crews with the most sophisticated equipment, the most enthusiastic Ferrari owners driving the most modern F430 Challenge cars on the finest racing circuits can only mean one thing - The Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli is in town.
ROUND - DATE - CIRCUIT - COUNTRY1 March 28, 29 30 Monza Italy 2 April 18, 19, 20 Silverstone England 3 May 30, 31 – Jun 01 Paul Ricard France 4 July 11, 12, 13 Misano Italy 5 August 29, 30, 31 Budapest Hungary 6 October 03, 04, 05 Nürburgring Germany 7 November 06, 07, 08, 09 World Finals Italy
Race Meeting Format
Sporting and Technical Scrutineering Free Practice = 30 mins x 2 sessions Qualifying 1 (for Race 1) = 30 mins Saturday
Qualifying 2 (for Race 2) = 30 mins Race 1 = 40 mins Sunday
Race 2 = 40 mins Ferrari Challenge Dealer Team GB – Partners
Every successful racing team in the world achieves its victories through teamwork. The Ferrari Challenge Dealer Team GB aims to do the same and is working with the leading brands in their fields to support the team in that goal.
Black & Decker is a leading global manufacturer and innovator of power tools and accessories, hardware and home improvement products, and technology- based fastening systems. Employing approximately 26000 people in five core operating regions around the world marketing products to 100 countries. Being a visionary, customer focused brand, Black & Decker aims to empower people with intelligent solutions for everyday life, ensuring great results every time. The company stands for the values of integrity, leadership, teamwork and results.
Vertu is the leading manufacturer of handcrafted mobile phones for the luxury market. Born from an obsession to create a handset that deployed craftsmanship and technology in a way that had never been achieved before, Vertu looked beyond the world of mobile phones. Its inspiration came from the finest watches, exquisite jewellery and the most exhilarating cars. A Vertu is the antithesis of mass production. It is hand-assembled, original and unique. Vertu phones are hand assembled at the company's headquarters in the United Kingdom and are available in Vertu's own stores and some of the finest watch, jewellery and department stores worldwide.
KitchenAid has been creating innovative products for the well-equipped kitchen for almost a century. A cult brand in the United States, KitchenAid arrives in Europe to enjoy similar demand. KitchenAid offers a complete range of appliances and culinary utensils that supports every step of the cooking process. Each product is crafted with singular design, great versatility, extremely high-quality materials and professional-like performance. Passion, quality and technology: the mix of ingredients that creates the history of a truly unique brand. KitchenAid supports the Ferrari Challenge Dealer Team GB’s activities while at race locations by providing exclusive culinary experiences to the team’s VIP guests by managing and running custom-made KitchenAid-equipped interactive kitchen services at every race.
Meridian Audio have been designing and manufacturing the world’s most desirable home entertainment systems for 30 years. Founded in 1977 by Bob Stuart and Allen Boothroyd, the Cambridgeshire company has won numerous accolades for product performance and design, including an unprecedented 3 British Design awards. Today, Meridian’s range of products includes CD and DVD players, amplifiers, surround-sound decoders and loudspeakers, and Meridian products are sold in over 50 countries world-wide. In February 2007, Meridian and Ferrari launched the F80 – a complete transportable home entertainment system that combines superb performance with stylish design.
Iveco is an international firm, part of the FIAT Group, offering a complete range of transport vehicles and engines. It manufactures and sells over 160,000 commercial vehicles and 430,000 engines worldwide each year. In income terms this translates into around €9 billion. Iveco has 49 factories in 19 countries as well as 15 R&D centres, 31,000 employees and 844 dealerships.
Pirelli has a long history stretching back for over a century. The work carried out by Pirelli Labs in photonics, broadband and new material fields as well as its MIRS (Modular Integrated Robotic System) for tyre manufacture are just a few examples of the Group’s technological excellence. Pirelli has 22 tyre factories in ten countries and is the market leader in ultra high performance tyres, with both Maserati and Ferrari choosing tyres from the P Zero range. Pirelli - equipped for ultimate control.
Sabelt was founded in 1972 and developed the first 6-point harnesses with quick-release buckles specifically for motor racing. The first cars to use these Sabelt belts were Munari's glorious Lancia Stratos, in rallying, and Giacomelli's Alfa Romeo, in F1. Today Sabelt researches, develops and manufactures racing car seat belts at the forefront of technology, supplying the main racing car teams worldwide. In 1998, Sabelt began distributing a whole range of accessories, all approved according to FIA standards: seats, suits, gloves, special technical clothing for drivers and mechanics, shoes, steering wheels, helmets, pedals, strut bars and springs.
Bodytechnics recently opened a new state-of-the-art Official Ferrari Body Repairer in Slough which will serve Ferrari customers as part of a network of three official Ferrari Body Repairers in the UK. The new 26,000 sq ft facility includes over 4,500 sq ft of office and reception area with two private customer reception rooms, and employs 41 staff. Bodytechnics Ltd have the official Ferrari jig brackets for a comprehensive range of current and historic models, from the modern F430, 599 GTB Fiorano and 612 Scaglietti, stretching all the way back to the historic 208, including the 308, 328, 348, 355, 360, F40, F50, Testarossa, 456, 550 and 575. This ensures that they are able to make repairs to the majority of Ferrari road cars still in use in the UK today.