FF Corse have confirmed a two car team for the 2023 Ferrari Challenge Europe championship, with two young and talented drivers. James Owen and Tom Fleming are to contest a full season in the longest-standing one-make Ferrari championship. After a pandemic-related hiatus to European racing, FF Corse look forward to taking the fight to our European colleagues and teams.
The championship, which visits seven famous European circuits throughout the season, consists purely of Ferrari 488 Challenge cars. The 3.9 litre V8 engines provide a staggering 670hp and 760nm of torque.
Neither James nor Tom had competed in car racing prior to 2023 other than to obtain signatures on their race licenses in 2022 – Tom in a Radical, and James in a Mazda MX5 and an Audi TT.
So, 2023 began with both drivers competing in two rounds of the GT Winter Series in order to get a feel for their Ferrari 488 Challenge Evos ahead of the first Ferrari Challenge round, and the results were impressive! Between them they managed six podiums at their first round in Estoril: three first places, two seconds and a third. And the results at the second round in Valencia were equally as exciting, with Tom doing a sterling job to secure another three wins, and James fought his way impressively through the field in the first two races to finish 4th in both. British Touring Car driver Bobby Thompson joined James for the endurance race, in which they finished in a fantastic second place. This round of the GT Winter Series served as an excellent warm-up for the opening round of Ferrari Challenge next month, which is also in Valencia.
James, an avid road car collector, competed in Ferrari Club Challenge with FF Corse in his 488 Challenge Evo to hone his on track ability as part of our Driver Development Programme. Despite his limited race experience, James is showing excellent pace already and is only going to get more competitive as time goes on.
Previously, Tom has competed successfully in the British Kart Championship, finishing 3rd in the standings in 2021. He then graduated to ‘big cars’ with FF Corse in 2022 in our Development Programme and completed a number of tests and races in various vehicles, showing great promise and natural ability.
Ed Barton-Hilton, Development Manager for FF Corse says, “We are delighted to be back racing in Ferrari Challenge Europe, representing Ferrari as the UK’s only partner team. It’s a great addition alongside our existing UK and European track and race operations. To have a pairing like James and Tom is a fantastic opportunity for the team and for their racing development. Working with two young, quick and keen drivers is a real privilege. I’m expecting some strong results this year….”
We are very excited to see what the 2023 season is going to bring for both drivers, who have shown enormous potential in the two rounds of the GT Winter Series.
|Valencia||25th – 26th March|
|Misano||22nd – 23rd April|
|Spielberg||13th – 14th May|
|Le Mans||9th – 10th June|
|Estoril||15th – 16th July|
|Spa-Francorchamps||16th – 17th September|