20/09/2012 World Record-breaking Ferrari motorcade at Silverstone
The world’s largest Ferrari parade took place last weekend, when almost a thousand cars spanning the marque’s history descended upon Silverstone. Classic Driver soaked up the atmosphere from behind the wheel of one of the cars in the cavalcade, led by Ferrari F1 driver Felipe Massa.
The procession took place during the Ferrari Racing Days weekend, where drivers from the Corse Clienti programme pit their exclusive machines (including F1 and FXX/599XX research cars) against those of their fellow gentleman racers. With the atmosphere among spectators already whipped up by the scream of Championship-winning F1 cars relishing their second life, late afternoon saw the procession make its way towards the start line.
Even three abreast, it took 45 minutes for the grid to assemble behind 'pole-sitter' Massa’s black 458 Spider, giving the pint-sized Brazilian time to survey the other machinery – which included a throng of Enzos and F40s, as well as a gorgeous 275 GTB and an ultra-rare 575 GT Zagato. He also found time to ‘borrow’ a TV camera and return fire at the surrounding paparazzi.
The countdown from ten was accompanied by blasting horns, flashing headlights and the concerto of 10,000 cylinders – with the atmosphere heightened further by the heat haze formed by the combined 5,000 litres of eager Maranello iron. Massa got going and held the pack at a steady 20mph, but even his ice-cool nerves must have been tested when the parade threatened to cannibalise itself. The convoy was so long that he was just 250 yards behind the back-markers when they finally started moving.
With the Guinness World Record now confirmed, the pageant certainly highlighted the passion of UK-dwelling Ferraristi. Almost all the cars had British registration plates, and the final count was 964 Ferraris – nearly double the 490 which took the previous record in Japan in 2008.
“It was a really unforgettable experience,” said Massa after the display. We don’t usually agree with the person who creates a 45-minute traffic jam in front of us, but in this case we’ll make an exception.