Motor Legend Festival at Imola
The Inaugural Motor Legend Festival took place over the weekend of 20th to 22nd April at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari in Imola, and was heralded as “Un Viaggio tra Passato, Presente e Futuro”, loosely translated as a journey through past, present and future, and it certainly encompassed all those elements. The organisers brought together an enormous array of machinery of both the two and four wheeled variety, along with a host of famous names from both genres of the sport.
They included the likes of Giacomo Agostini, Freddie Spencer and Phil Read from the motorcycle world, together with Jacky Ickx, Riccardo Patrese, Arturo Merzario and Nanni Galli amongst those from the four wheel brigade. As a bonus the whole weekend was bathed in glorious sunshine, with high ambient temperatures, making the experience all the more pleasant.
The race programme featured the first 2018 season rounds of the FIA Masters Historic series championships, including Formula One, Historic Sports Cars, Gentlemen Drivers Pre-66 GT and Pre-66 Touring Cars, and the newly formed Endurance Legends series, featuring more recent Sports prototypes and GT cars, like the Audi R8 and the Aston Martin DBR9.
In all there was a seven race programme, the Pre-66 Touring Cars and Historic Sports Car races being of one hour duration, and the Pre-66 GT Cars race was of 90 minutes duration. There were also track sessions for the Ferrari Corse Clienti participants in the F1 Clienti and programmes, plus display runs celebrating the motorcycle greats, the 50th Anniversary of Martini motor racing sponsorship, the Alfa Romeo Tipo 33, and other special cars.
Although none of the original Ferrari 156 “Shark Nose” F1 cars remain in existence, arch enthusiast Jason Wright has had two extremely accurate replicas constructed, using original engine numbers 0002 and 0006, 120deg and 65deg V6s respectively, coupled to original transmissions.
He started by buying the 156 replica built for Jan Biekens some years ago, but because this had been constructed in England using modern welding techniques and a body formed on an English wheel, he restarted the project again from scratch, employing traditional oxy-acetylene welding for the chassis, and hand beaten body panels. As he had two engines, he thought that whilst building one car, it was just as easy to make two! Hence, at Imola both were present, with one being driven by Arturo Merzario, and the other fittingly by Derek John Hill, as it was the model in which his late father, Phil Hill, won the 1961 World Drivers’ Championship.
With a wide variety of different genres of motorsport featured both on the track and in paddock displays, together with a convivial and relaxed atmosphere, the event can be hailed a great success. If this first gathering is anything to judge it by, then it should be assured a great future.
All Photos by Keith Bluemel
FIA Masters Historic Formula One Race 1.
1st – #7, Williams FW07, Mike Cantillon
2nd – #37, Williams FW07C, Christophe D’Ansembourg
3rd – #5, Lotus 77, Gregory Thornton
Gentlemen Drivers Pre-66 GT Cars Inc. NKHTGT
1st – #111, Ferrari 250 GTO/64 Replica, Nicky Pastorelli
2nd – #94, AC Cobra, Michael Gans/Andy Wolfe
3rd – #92, Jaguar E-Type, Julian Thomas/Calum Lockie
FIA Masters Historic Sports Cars
1st – #13, Chevron B8, Graham Wilson/David Pittard
2nd – #3, Lola T70 Mk IIIB, Jason Wright
3rd – # 140, Lola T212, Goncalo Gomes/James Claridge
Masters Endurance Legends Race 1.
1st – #34, Oreca 03 LMP2, Alex Kapadia
2nd – #18, Lola B12/60, Steve Tandy
3rd – #15, Creation, Gareth Evans
Masters Pre-66 Touring Cars Inc. NKHTGT.
1st – #37, Ford Falcon Sprint, Mike Gardiner/Andy Wolfe
2nd – #76, Ford Mustang, Olivier Hart
3rd – #192, Ford Falcon, Julian Thomas/Calum Lockie
FIA Masters Historic Formula One Race 2.
1st – #13, ATS D4, Martin O’Connell
2nd – #12, Lotus 81, Steve Brooks
3rd – #37, Williams FW07C, Christophe D’Ansembourg
Masters Endurance Legends Race 2.
1st – #15, Creation, Gareth Evans
2nd – #2, Audi R8 LMP1, Travis Engen
3rd – #68, Oreca 03 LMP2, Tommy Dreelan