Winners in Misano!

 

Tom Fleming takes his maiden win in Trofeo Pirelli in Misano, and James Owen achieved a personal best result of 4th in the P-AM class and 8th overall.

The weekend got off to a solid start with Tom qualifying P2 on the Saturday, just 0.6 seconds off the pole sitter, and James qualifying 5th in P-AM.

In race one, James dropped down to 15th overall in the early stages of the race, but worked his way back up to cross the line in 12th. Importantly though, he kept his lines clean meaning that he steered clear of any track limit penalties, which were being picked up by many competitors throughout the race. This meant that once all penalties had been applied to other drivers, James was promoted to 8th overall and 4th in P-AM. Just one place off a podium finish! Despite James’ relative inexperience compared to his competitors, he is starting to bring back some impressive results, impressing the team and the championship with his pace. Regular podium finishes won’t be far away!

Ferrari Challenge Europe Misano

After dropping back to third position at the start, the pole sitter Donno started to break away at the front from Tom. An incident further back in the field on the first lap brought out the safety car closing the field back up again, but Donno pulled away at the front again once the safety car had pulled back into pitlane. It didn’t take long for Tom to make a superb move on Kral to retake second place. Donno had snuck a 3.6 second advantage but with Tom’s consistency and race craft, he managed to quickly close the gap up to 0.6 seconds. Tom put immense pressure on the leader who, by the end, was handed a post-race 5 second penalty for exceeding track limits. Donno was demoted to second place, so Tom took the top step of the podium!

Following the race, Tom said “I don’t think words can describe how I feel, it’s just an amazing achievement for me and the team. I stepped into my first race car 10 months ago and I have really been trying to build back the sort of experience that these guys at the front have. We absolutely deserve this after a shaky qualifying. I knew in my mindset that I’d got a chance to win this race and we executed it perfectly. I’d like to thank the team – FF Corse, my sponsors – HR Owen and Alvarez & Marsal, and most importantly my family because I could not have done it without them.”

View Tom’s interview here.

On Sunday, the qualifying results for Tom and James were a carbon copy of Saturday’s qualifying, but Tom got away well at the start of race two and maintained second position. The gap to first opened up in the early stages, but again Tom’s superior race management allowed him to close back up to Donno, again piling on the pressure. Tom’s race pace meant the overtake to P1 was inevitable. The gap came down to just 0.6 seconds when Donno crashed out of the lead with just 6 minutes remaining, meaning Tom brought the car home in a fantastic first place!

James produced another impressive comeback drive, finishing a solid 6th in P-AM after a battling for position with Gostner and Del Favero. Highly entertaining to watch!

Despite taking the top step of the podium unfortunately, due to a non-performance related technical infringement, Tom was cruelly stripped of his second win. But this does not take away from the fantastic performance that he put in on track – the team are incredibly proud of everything that he has already managed to achieve in such a short space of time, against far more experienced drivers.

The next round is at Spielberg in Austria, 13th and 14th May. Watch this space!

View Ferrari’s race report here.

Passione Ferrari Challenge Edition at Snetterton

The opening round of the Passione Ferrari Challenge Edition took place at Snetterton last weekend, alongside Ferrari Challenge UK. The event was a great success for us, with a total of six test drives in our white 488 Challenge Evo. Each test driver had 45 minutes on track with a professional driver coach, Miguel Faísca, alongside them to ensure they got the most out of their session – check out the glowing brake disks!

We were also running a customer in their own car, who made great progress throughout the six 45 minute sessions on track with Charlie Hollings coaching.

Ferrari customers brought along a fantastic array of cars which were a delight to see in the paddock, the Ferrari hospitality was excellent, and even the weather was kind to us!

The next round is at Oulton Park on 19th & 20th May, please get in touch if you’d like to join us.

FF Corse enter dynamic duo in Ferrari Challenge Europe

GT Winter Series Estoril FF Corse Garage

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.

FF Corse Racing Ferrari

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.

Ferrari 488 Challenge Evo Valencia

Race Calendar

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
Tom Fleming FF Corse

GT Winter Series – Valencia

GT Winter Series Valencia

The Dream Team! Congratulations to Tom, James and Bobby for their results in the GT Winter Series in Valencia at the weekend – Tom did a sterling job to secure another three class wins, and James fought his way impressively through the field in the first two races to finish 4th in class in both. Bobby then joined James for the endurance race and they achieved a fantastic 2nd in class.

And as always, a massive thank you to our amazing team who have worked tirelessly in the run-up to this weekend, and throughout the event in order to make sure everything ran smoothly.

Now onward to Ferrari Challenge Europe, we’re very excited to see what the guys can do! We are back at Valencia for the first round of the season, 24th – 26th March.

📷 Daniel Buergin

FF Corse to support Official Ferrari track programme in UK

New Ferrari programme to run alongside Ferrari Challenge UK

 
FF Corse is delighted to provide our full range of services and support to a new Ferrari track initiative, to be run in conjunction with Ferrari Challenge UK. 

Passione Challenge Edition is a brand new on-track activity, hosted by the Ferrari Challenge UK series, designed to be a perfect introduction to those considering racing in the series, or those wishing to get their cars on track in the UK. The event will focus on refining your skills and developing you as a driver. Not a traditional racing competition but an against the clock format still providing a competitive element. 

All new members will receive a personalised set of racing equipment, including racing suit, boots, gloves and protective undergarments. All the packages include full hospitality for a driver and non-driver companion, including all-day refreshments, lunch and dinner with the Ferrari Challenge UK Series drivers.

Not only will Challenge Edition offer over 22 hours on track time across the season but it will also entitle entrants to the superb hospitality over the weekend for drivers and guests.

 

Ferrari Passione – Challenge Edition Calendar

Snetterton – 29-30 April

Saturday – 3 x 45 minute sessions
Sunday – 3 x 45 minute sessions

Oulton Park – 19-20 May

Friday – 3 x 40 minute sessions
Saturday – 3 x 40 minute sessions

Brands Hatch – 24-25 June

Friday (Indy Circuit) – exclusive day with 5 hours track time
Saturday (Indy Circuit) – 3 x 45 minute sessions
Sunday (GP Circuit) – 3 x 45 minute sessions

Silverstone 1-3 September

Friday – 2 x 60 minute sessions

FF Corse is proud to offer its trackside support to all entrants including our usual levels of service, for experienced racers or complete novices. We can provide a complete level of support, from storing and maintaining your 488 Challenge, and conducting your ARDS test to getting your racing licence, trackside support, and additional driver coaching and mentoring.  

Anthony Cheshire, CEO of FF Corse says, “We were delighted to be involved in designing this new on track offering, and invited by Ferrari North Europe to offer our support to Ferrari clients, owners and the dealer network. This fantastic new programme is the perfect platform for those wishing to graduate into the Ferrari Challenge UK series, or for those more experienced drivers, showing what they are capable of against the clock, without the commitment of racing. Our participation validates and recognises the hard work and dedication of the FF Corse team and that we play an important part in Ferrari’s on track activities both in the UK and Europe.”

Sam Osborne, Senior Aftersales Manager of Ferrari North Europe commented, “Ferrari are delighted to see the team at FF Corse embracing the opportunity to bring new drivers into Challenge, through the exciting new programme of Passione Ferrari Challenge Edition. FF Corse are on hand to provide the technical support and guidance to run your car in this new and engaging programme designed to grow your knowledge of Ferrari Challenge and improve and hone your driving skills.”

To sign up, or for full details of our support packages, membership and support offering, please contact Ed Barton-Hilton, Development Manager of FF Corse.

View the 2023 Race Calendar here.

Further dates for 2023 released

We’re getting excited for 2023, as yet more dates are released. Please follow the links below to view all available dates so far, more will be added as they become available!

2023 Track & Test Days

2023 Race Calendar

Dates for 2023 released!

 

It’s that exciting time of year when the calendars for next year’s events are released!

We also still have some track action available for 2022 so don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’d like to join us.

2023 Ferrari Club Challenge Europe Dates

Next year’s calendar looks to be another fantastic selection of circuits, which will now be held over 2 days with more track space and time guaranteed. Get in touch for further details and pricing.

2023 Club Challnge Dates

 

GT Winter Series
The GT Winter Series is entering its third season. Stronger than ever before and with more events on the most beautiful race tracks in Southern Europe.

GT Winter Series

 

Sound exciting? Get in touch! Phone us on 01327 857601 or email enquiries@ffcorse.com.

Ferrari 488 Challenge Evo at Mugello

Ferrari Challenge Europe Silverstone Race Report

 

Xpel Ferrari Challenge Evo

The Ferrari Challenge Europe Championship is exclusive to 488 Challenge Evo cars, making for a competitive series with teams and drivers entering from all over Europe. As the circuits change each year, it is a rare occasion that it comes to our home circuit, Silverstone, having last raced here in 2018.

Our driver Jack Brown, supported by Xpel Ltd, have previously competed in Ferrari Challenge but not since 2019 having spent some time in a BMW GT4 in the British GT Championship. Keen to make a return with the FF Corse team, a late entry gave us just one day of testing prior to the race, in what was the heatwave we will all remember. A successful shakedown of car and driver, but due to the heat, not demonstrative of our potential pace.

As the myriad of Ferrari structures are built around us, we start the Friday test and Jack is immediately showing good pace finishing third fastest of his class, Pirelli Trofeo AM, although scuppered by a red flag mid-session resulting in the session not restarting. Later that day, Jack is out again putting in good times until a power steering issue ended our session early. No quick fix, the team set to work replacing the entire power steering system overnight. Interestingly, cars either side of us in the garage were conducting the same repair!

Xpel Ferrari Challenge Evo on the grid at Silverstone

Come Saturday morning, the car is setup and given a clean bill of health, ahead of morning qualifying and race later in the afternoon. With some small setup changes made and pointers from our team, we sent Jack out for his first qualifying session. We know Jack has the raw pace but would his very limited time in the car be enough to ensure a good result? No need for concern as early in the session, Jack goes P1 in class and fifth overall, over a second clear of the next car in class. Technical Manager for FF Corse Jason Cull makes the decision to bring Jack in and save the tyres having surely done enough to secure pole. As the session end, Jack remains P1 – a perfect result and stellar performance by Jack and the team.

Just a few hours later, its race one of the weekend. As the car rolls onto the grid, we are confident of retaining P1 one in class and hopeful Jack may even be able to pick up an overall podium. It’s a rolling race start and as the car head over the line, Jack gets boxed in and drops to P2. Jack keeps a steady pace and consistently closes the gap but is sadly runs out of time and as the flag drops, finishes P2 just 8 tenths of a second behind the leader. Perhaps not what we had hoped for but a very strong result on Jack’s first weekend back. The car is again prepared by the team, setup and tucked in the for the night ahead of race two.

Sunday repeats the same format, morning qualifying and afternoon race. Qualifying sees Jack put in a steady performance to save his tyres for the race, hoping to push hard to the front, qualifying him sixth overall and P3 in class. With fresh tyres, the car well setup and hungry for a good result, the car again rolls out for the second and final race of the weekend. As Jack conducts his lap to the grid, he immediately radios into the team, “Down on power. Down on power…”. The team rush to the grid but with only minutes to spare, we are forced to push the car off the grid and miss the race start. A heart-breaking moment for all and once back in the garage, it is evident that is where our weekend ends as the issue is diagnosed as a turbo failure, not something we could have foreseen or repaired in time to get back into the race.

A tough way to end the weekend but we are all pleased with Saturday’s result which shows great promise for future rounds of Ferrari European Challenge. It was great to have Jack back racing with FF Corse and thanks to Xpel Ltd for their support.

Jack Brown Racing on the podium

European Ferrari Challenge success at Monza

Sam Smeeth

FF Corse driver Sam Smeeth came away from his Monza debut last night smelling of Champagne and leading the European Ferrari Challenge Championship (Pirelli – AM class)!

The weekend was a sensational start to the year with Sam lining up third overall on the grid  for both races (with class pole in race 1) . In the first race a lack of front grip hampered progress and Sam battled hard to bring the car home 4th in Class. Amends was made in race two with Sam taking a commanding AM class win in the top tier Trofeo Pirelli race.

Meanwhile FF Corse team-mate Jacques Duyver was also having a fantastic debut in the European Ferrari Challenge series. In the separate Coppa-Shell races, Jacques qualified 3rd for his first race at Monza, matching Sam’s achievement earlier in the day and raced well to also get a taste of Champagne with a 3rd place podium position, setting fastest lap en-route.

The weekend’s success in Italy leaves FF Corse/Stratstone Ferrari at the sharp-end of the Teams’ Championship and in second place overall. The next round of the Championship is at Mugello (IT) on May 16th-18th.

sam smeeth -podium

More photos from the European Ferrari Challenge race can be seen in the FF Corse online website gallery section.