Amy invades the Ferrari World

Amy Invades the Ferrari World

“It’s racing.” That cavalier comment, adding an insouciant shrug of the shoulders, is the recurring phrase I have overheard many times as a spectator in every one of the racing venues I have observed during the past year. Be it Grand Am, Rolex, World Challenge or even Ferrari Challenge. Yes I am including the FC in this list. Why, you ask? Because if you remove the race titles they all boil down to just racing—with a few different colors.

My sweetheart decided to enter the Ferrari Challenge series this year, which allowed me prime eavesdropping access to the inner sanctum of that series. When I went back to my Porsche buddies and let them know I would be attending Ferrari races I was assaulted with a variety of pooh-poohing with the underlying theme that it wasn’t ‘real’ racing. I was told that it was just a bumper car series and that everyone was obliged to wear red from head to toe.

Huh? Forced? Nobody has been able to force me to wear anything I do not wish to wear (suggestions have of course been made from time to time). I might add that Scuderia red is found in my “Color Me Beautiful Skin Tone Palette”. So away I went in search of evidence to debunk my racing purist friends’ opinions.

Contact was made at the first Grand Am race I attended. Contact on a racetrack is never a good thing. Sometimes it is one driver’s fault, sometimes it is both. Until the in-car video is replayed there is a good chance that each will blame the other. After pitting the drivers circled each other like wary big game lions—and it did look like a big game. The game was who would speak first, speak meaning apologize. They walked up to each other with puffed up chests, almost as if they were going to do a chest bump (but not the kindly sort). The moment was tense; few words were exchanged and it looked like there was a chance it might come to blows and then one of them said the magic words. “It’s racing.”

Air deflated from their chests and both broke into wide grins and they shook hands, while wishing each other good luck on the next race. The words were magic because what now could one do? Blame may or may not have been assessed. Costs were definitely not covered by the hitter so there was nothing left to do but move on. Everyone exhaled and crowd dispersed.

Almost identical scenario played out at a Ferrari race. Contact made; nobody certain who did what. In-car replayed and consensus divided. The supposed hitter walked up to the ‘hittee’ and exchanged words. One of them uttered the it’s racing words and voila, in the blink of an eye everyone was smiles. Except in this case they did the two kiss air kiss. Kiss kiss everyone is friends again. Minor cultural divide on the shoulder shrug while speaking the magic words though; this crowd also included upraised palms with the shrug. You didn’t even need to be in hearing distance to know what was said.

At a Grand Am race one of the crews was missing the correct tool and their car could not be fixed without it. Why not just lean over the railing to the competitor and see if they have one? Of course they did and loaned it was. Similarly, at the Ferrari race a gearbox was needed. Someone must have a spare one that could be borrowed. No big deal; just like a neighbor borrowing a cup of sugar for a cake recipe. We’ll just swap it out and return it when we are done. The race must go on.

Racing is racing. Both series are basically the same. Even from outer space E.T. might have a difficult time telling them apart. He would probably tell you the Ferrari series is the one that looks like a big blotch of red when he gets closer to our stratosphere. But of course he couldn’t miss the air double kiss. Mwah! Mwah!

Warm regards,