F1 Russian Grand Prix Thursday 27th September 2018 to Monday 1st October 2018 - Sochi, Russia
Mini Action Day Saturday 29th September 2018 - Castle Combe Circuit, Wiltshire
F1 Japanese Grand Prix Thursday 4th October 2018 to Monday 8th October 2018 - Suzuka, Japan
AMOC International Circuit Saturday 6th October 2018 - Silverstone
Masters Dijon Motors Cup Friday 12th October 2018 to Monday 15th October 2018 - Dijon, France
Grand Prix of South America Thursday 18th October 2018 to Saturday 17th November 2018 - South America
Algarve Classic Festival Friday 19th October 2018 to Monday 22nd October 2018 - Algarve, Portugal
F1 USA Grand Prix Friday 19th October 2018 to Monday 22nd October 2018 - Austin, Texas
F1 Mexican Grand Prix Thursday 25th October 2018 to Sunday 28th October 2018 - Mexico City, Mexico
Imola Classic Friday 26th October 2018 to Sunday 28th October 2018 - Imola, Italy
The inaugural Challenge & GT Days at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria, marked the culmination of five hurried months of restoration and preparation of #80742. With what should have been an 18month already-intensive restoration, the team at DK Engineering worked tirelessly both night and day, weekends and bank holidays to ensure the car was ready for this weekend.
As one of just seven cars built by Michelotto to CSAI-GT specification in the early 90's, it sported uprated performance from a now heady 560bhp complimenting its reduced weight at 1050kg, rose-jointed suspension, quick-fill fuel system and hydraulic quick-lift jacks. Originally completed and delivered in 1989 as a non-cat road car, in 1991 it changed ownership and was converted by Michelotto, Padua to CSAI-GT specification and gained Monte Shell livery to be run by Jolly Club in the 1993 Italian GT Championship. For this championship it was piloted by Marco Brand and of the 9 events he competed in, he won 8. Fielded once more in 1994 by Jolly Club (now in TOTIP livery), this time with several drivers, each of whom saw victory in the car. #80742 is the only F40 race car to not only win an FIA Championship, but also to have truly dominated two seasons.
Sold in late-1994 to Team Taisan of Japan, the car was then upgraded to full 'LM' specification with a Michelotto supplied engine and gearbox, who competitively raced the car through the later part of the year and in 1995. The car would remain in LM spec until it was acquired by its most recent custodian at the tail end of last year, in a sale handled by DK Engineering, including a comprehensive restoration by the team to its original Monte Shell livery.
In addition, the ex-Colin McRae Ferrari 550 GTS Prodrive received extensive testing with James Cottingham and Max Girardo at the wheel. This car has competed at Le Mans on no fewer than five occasions, more so than any other Ferrari in history. After poor weather put a stop to testing earlier in the year, the Red Bull Ring allowed for some shakedown work to be carried out ahead of the French GP support race next month where the pair will share the car in the Masters Endurance Legends race.
With the F40 fresh out of restoration and the 550 eager to stretch its legs, the Challenge & GT Days proved to be ideal for its first of several shakedowns ahead of competition entrances for both cars this year. Both cars were accompanied at the Red Bull Ring by another F40 GT brought by DK Engineering allowing for some awesome imagery as seen in our gallery below. Images courtesy of Michael Jurtin.
Words by Luke Gilbertson