crankandpiston heads to Spa-Francorchamps to take in the sights and sounds of Modena Trackdays. And a boatload of Ferraris. And Jacky Ickx.[Not a valid template]
For the 30 years, Modena Trackdays have been running – and for as long as I can remember if it comes to that – I have wanted to attend. I remember an epic video I once saw of a Ferrari parade at the Nurburgring. With the roar of countless Ferraris new and old heading full throttle out onto the track at my disposal, needless to say my jaw hit the floor.
So with this life-changing event, I knew I had to find a way to see and hear this soundtrack for myself. After weeks of planning and finger crossing for good weather (I didn’t want a rainy repeat of the Spa Classic), I headed out the door with my good friend Tim Brown.
Mother Nature chose to be kind on this occasion though. The sun was shining and the paddock was a sea of red. I lost count after a matter of seconds how many Ferraris were in my field of view and started my hunt for something special. That wasn’t hard, the field on offer awash with F40s, brand new F12berlinettas, ‘90s Formula 1 single seaters by the dozen, and a certain Jacky Ickx.
Yes, you heard me right. I bumped into the eight-time Grand Prix winner, since fortunately for me he is just as nibble on his feet as he is in a race car. He was invited by the organisers to sign some autographs and pilot the safety car. When I say ‘pilot the safety car’, I mean wring the neck of a brand new Audi R8. The legend still knows how to drive.
As we stalked him like ninjas with our cameras, Jacky lead both Tim and I to that ‘certain something special’ we had been searching for. Sitting alone in one of the pit boxes lay one the most stunning pieces of Italian design and engineering the world has ever seen: a pristine Ferrari 312 Formula 1 car. With its Ferrari red cigar-like body, grooved fat tyres and the gorgeous twisted white exhaust pipes, it instantly dropped us to our knees in amazement. This car, hands down, is one of the most beautiful things I think I have ever seen. You only have to look at it to imagine the sound and it looks fast even sitting still. Perfection!
As the track day got underway and cars headed out onto the track, Spa Francorchamps was once again transformed from a peaceful haven to a fire-breathing dragon. With up to 30 cars on track at any given moment the hills were alive with the sound of V8s and V10s. A sound everyone should hear in his or her lifetime.