FCS: VIRginia Int'l Raceway pre-race notes

Ferrari Challenge Brings Italian Exotics to VIR DANVILLE, VA. - Fans of exotic cars will find something to like at VIRginia International Raceway, May 19 and 20. The Ferrari Challenge brings the racing version of Ferrari's latest exotics to...

Ferrari Challenge Brings Italian Exotics to VIR

DANVILLE, VA. - Fans of exotic cars will find something to like at VIRginia International Raceway, May 19 and 20.

The Ferrari Challenge brings the racing version of Ferrari's latest exotics to America's Motorsport Resort for practice Friday and two days of racing over VIR's scenic 3.27-mile classic road course.

Joining the F430 racers, based on the street F430, will be the Shell Historic Challenge. These races return classic Ferraris, Maseratis and Alfa Romeos from the 30s through the 70s to the race track - where they belong - instead of locking them away in museums.

If you thrill to the sights and sounds of Italy's finest cars, you'll find something to love at the Ferrari Challenge weekend. Spectator tickets are available all three days, with Friday and Saturday one-day tickets available for $10; $15 for Sunday-only tickets; or $20 for a Saturday and Sunday two-day pass.

Don't miss seeing and hearing some of the most exotic race cars to see action.

The Ferrari Challenge is a competition for amateur drivers in Ferrari 430s that are built specially for the race series. They are maintained and prepared by dealers to very rigid rules so that the cars are all essentially equal. The best driver that day should win.

Emphasis is on fair competition in an atmosphere of camaraderie and friendship, rather than a "winner take all" professional attitude.

The races are sanctioned by the Grand American Road Racing Association, who just staged the VIR400 races for the Rolex Cup Daytona Prototype racers and the GT class cars. Dealers and race tracks organize the races to give owners a chance to drive their cars on the track in competition.

The Ferrari 430 is a race-modified version of the street car, with a V8 engine of 4.3 liters (263 cubic inches) putting out a maximum of 490 hp at 8500 rpm. It drives through an electronically-shifted six-speed transmission derived from the Formula One gearbox. It has a double-disc clutch controlled by the computer. Shifts take place in only 150 milliseconds.

The Ferrari 360 is also eligible to compete in its own class,

The brakes are a carbon-ceramic composite, similar to the brake materials on the Formula One racecars.

The Shell Historic Challenge is a race series for Ferrari, Maserati and Scuderia Ferrari Alfa Romeo cars. (Enzo Ferrari managed a very successful race team for the Alfa Romeo factory before World War II.) Some of these cars are worth millions of dollars.

Eligible cars include great Ferraris of the past such as the 250 GTO, 250 Testa Rossa, Competition Daytona, and 250 LM.

The Ferrari Historic Challenge provides you with the rare opportunity to see hear and experience legendary cars -- authentic competition Ferraris, Scuderia Ferrari Alfa Romeos, and Maseratis -- competing wheel to wheel.

Note: for displacement, one liter of engine displacement equals 61 cubic inches - a three liter engine is 183 c.i., a seven liter engine is a 427)

-credit: www.virclub.com

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Series Road racing