Monthly Archives: April 2016

Ferrucio Lamborghini’s 100th Birthday celebrations

This week after Monza I’ve been hanging out in Milan for the first time, and enjoying some much needed downtime being a tourist in between training in the mornings, and then on Thursday I drove down to Bologna to attend a special event that I was invited to, to celebrate what would be the 100th birthday anniversary of Ferrucio Lamborghini, with Lamborghini.

I don’t think I’ve ever been a part of something so seriously cool before, and it was by far one of the best things I’ve been able to experience through motorsport / cars, joining my friend in his straight piped Murcielago LP640 amidst 50 other lamoborghinis with a special police escort from the Cabinari Stradale at over 200kmh through Bologna and it’s surrounding area… it was simply unreal.

On Friday we conquered the infamous Futa Pass, a 50 km stretch of windy mountain pass that culminates at a café perched at the very top of the pass, where we stopped for a break before heading back down the mountain. Along the way back down, we came to a spot where we were had to wait for a tractor in front of us to get off the road, bumper to bumper, we were stopped with the windows down waiting to get going again, when a whole classroom of little kids that were aged no more than 5 years old, ran out from their class onto a balcony screaming and cheering at the magnificent sight they were witnessing, a glamorous variety of 50 lambos in one big row. At this stage I was already convinced I was experiencing something that would be possible most definitely only in Italy, when their teacher who must have been in her 60’s hobbled out on to the balcony with her walking stick to join the kids cheering,  yelling “amore amore” at us, while her hands gestured us with the same enthusiasm… it was simply amazing, and I think it will be hard to beat that experience ever again.

The rest of the weekend was just as awesome. On Friday arvo we visited a private car collection of a close friend of Ferrucios,  which now remains in his family’s care, followed by a nice dinner with my friend and his family in downtown Bologna, and a somewhat early night before Saturdays activities where we visited the factory in Saint Agata. A couple of us then decided to head back to the hotel for a rest before dinner, instead of spending the afternoon viewing a private art collection which isn’t really my cup of tea haha. To finish the event, we enjoyed a special dinner hosted by Fabio Lamborghini, Ferrucio’s nephew, and Velintino Ballbosi – the official test driver for Lamborghini automobili and the man that carries a very special license plate (in true Italian style) which is rumoured to be completely ignored by the police, should it be the centre of any speeding related complaints or offences… a deal which is rumoured to have been made between Feruccio and the prime minister at the time, and has been kept ever since. How Italian is that……! Forza Italy and it’s beautiful car culture….!

As if that wasn’t a cool enough past week, to top things off, I am about to make my way down to Monaco where I’m going to be living for the summer J

GT4 Race Monza

Mixed feelings after the weekend. I feel like I underperformed, but at the same time I’m happy with how we worked together as a team, and considering everything was new for everyone, I feel it was pretty good none the less.

I struggled on Friday with the braking, but mostly the downshifts. This car has one serious downfall so far, which is the down shifting. Because the car is over spec’d & geometrized, mainly with the tyres and brakes, it gives it incredible braking performance, which is too good for the gearbox, which has trouble gearing down while the car is stopping so quickly…. Which creates one of the most annoying problems I’ve ever had to deal with in a race car, in that in all the heavy braking zones, you have problems getting down the gears fast enough, and mostly you end up already at the apex of the corner, in the wrong gear, and having to consciously look at the dash instead of the track during braking to see if you’re hooking the right gear yet…. Which is definitely not conducive to going fast, which sucks… big time. Besides that, we also had a very annoying problem with our radio, which only worked very poorly on the start finish straight, and this created problems during all the safety cars and re-starts, as well as communicating problems that came up during sessions etc…

Race 1 I started in 11th  and I had a mega start, and was up to  4th coming out of the first corner, but I was forced wide on the entry of turn two by a Camaro, and this slowed me down enough to become a sitting duck to then be passed by 4 other ktm’s… so was pretty annoying. From the I struggled for page for the rest of my stint, and to make matters worse when I handed the car over to Immanuel, we mucked up out pitstop and released him 3 seconds too early…. So we received a 30 second penalty after the race, but this still left us in p10! Which we were all pretty happy about having scored points in our first ever race together as a team & in GT4.

The second race was a little harder on us, and Immanuel was having a good battle for 12th place when he spun the car in Parabolica, and again the following lap in the lesmos. This meant he handed the car over to me with some nice clear running space to pump out some fast laps, which I did for 3 laps, before I caught up to an amateur driver who held me up for the remainder of the race without being able to pass. The annoying thing with our KTM is it’s by far the quickest car in the corners, and braking, but this means they kill our RPM with the balance of performance to make it even, but as a result we end up killing everyone in braking and turns, but getting pipped on the straights because we don’t have the same power due to the reduced revs, and so at a long track like Monza, it makes it extremely difficult for us to properly race / battle the other cars – so hopefully they fix this before the next race In 3 weeks time in the South of France at the infamous Pau Grand Prix! Until then…