Recent updates
14 days
News and results
Hey You!
Michael & Andrew Cotton
Scrutineering Bay
Kerry Morse
Not that it's any of
my business

John Brooks
Notes from the

Across the Border
Focal Point

Mail  to a friend

Penalty Box
Family and friends
Your comments
Postcards from the

sportscarpros CottonBalls

Michael & Andrew Cotton
First place for Biagi/Bobbi BMS Scuderia Italia Ferrari 550 Maranello s/n 112886 (04)
BMS Scuderia Italia Ferrari 550 Maranello
Another finish in the points for Creation Autosportif Lister Storm with Bobby Verdon-Roe and Marco Zadra
The first corner r#22 s/n 108418 (02)
Erdos in the Graham Nash Motorsport Saleen heads the Listers

"It is a shame," said Campbell-Walter
Jamie Campbell-Walter has spoken out against having the Ferrari restricted, the
Briton having received a similar penalty on his Lister Storm during his
championship-winning year in 2000. His results then were: 1st, 1st, 3rd, 1st, no
score, 1st, the last of which was at Zolder when he received his penalty. He and
Julian Bailey then went on to score: no score, third, second, first to clinch the
championship by 8.5 points.

"It is a shame," said Campbell-Walter. "I was hoping they wouldn't do that. We had
it in 2000, it wasn't nice, and they haven't been quick, just lucky. The competition
has fallen by the wayside." We'll wait to see the results in Anderstorp and
Oschersleben. Will the Ferrari be cut further if it wins again? Or, if not, will the
restrictions be lifted?

Andrew Cotton

Top of Page
Pit stop for Bobbi/Biagi
Top of Page

Made to look easy for the Ferrari boys
So it has all been made to look easy for the Ferrari boys. What, then, is the penalty
that has been slapped on them? Looking at article 78 of the sporting regulation
itself, there is plenty of room for manoeuvre, but there is no opportunity to appeal.
The rule states:

In order to maximise equality of performance, the Bureau reserves the right to
adjust the following:
-a) Minimum weight of the car
-b) Air restrictor sizes
Any changes to air restrictor sizes must be made within 20 days (including the day
of notification) after the date of notification of the FIA's official decision. If the
deadline falls in the middle of an event, then the change must be made for the
beginning of that event.
-c) Fuel Tank Capacity.

The loosely worded rule raises a few questions. By how much can the restrictor be
reduced? What does a team have to do to have its fuel tank capacity reduced? Is
that in store for the BMS team Ferraris if they win any more? And the last question:
If, like Hezemans and Kumpen, you have no points on the board, based solely on
race results, can you have your fuel tank capacity and air restrictor size increased,
and your car made lighter?

Saleen has been proven to be fast
Of the other teams, Franz Konrad's Saleen has been proven to be fast with Jean-
Marc Gounon and Walter Lechner Jnr at the wheel, but suffered from gearbox and
gear selection problems before the team invested vast quantities of money to
rectify them for Brno. The Graham Nash Saleens had two fuel pump failures in
Magny Cours, one on each car, and lost its lead car with Tommy Erdos on board
before the race due to a practice crash at Enna.

The Creation Sportif Lister Storm team has yet to achieve the results it deserves,
but the team is concentrating on putting the structure in place. It has the backing, it
has the cars, now one blue and one yellow, it has the drivers in Bobby Verdon-
Roe, Marco Zadra, Jean-Marc Gounon and Paul Knapfield, it has the speed. It just
doesn't have the luck ingredient. Fifth in Barcelona, seventh at Magny Cours,
Verdon-Roe mistakenly gave up third position when he waved through the Ferrari
thinking he was being lapped at Enna, had engine problems at Donington, and
crashed out at Spa.

Mike Hezemans and Anthony Kumpen the strongest line-up
Already out at Spa was the Hezemans Chrysler Viper, another that has some of the
most shocking luck. In Mike Hezemans and Anthony Kumpen, the team has
possibly the strongest line-up on the grid, certainly a match for Biagi and Bobbi,
but a gearbox failure at Magny Cours, a blow-out at Enna and another at Brno, a
transmission failure at Donington and a mighty crash for Hezemans at Spa pock-
mark their season.

Last year the pair scored just one victory after just about everything broke on their
car, encouraging them to switch to their team-mates' Viper for this year. With
similar results, apparently, and they have yet to put a single point on the board.

Other unusual events that have conspired to give Biagi and Bobbi such a big lead
include the sudden retirement of Jean-Denis Deletraz from the second Lister,
leaving the team and Andrea Piccini in financial limbo, and the withdrawal of the
reigning champion Larbre team due to the collapse of its principal sponsorship

Are not supposed to win with 100kg of success ballast
One explanation, and it sounds reasonable enough, is that you are not supposed
to win with 100kg of success ballast on board. If you do, and the Ferrari did at Brno
and Donington, organisers need to have a further method of restriction. This is fine
up to a point, but if the opposition crash, break down or bang into each other, what
is the Ferrari supposed to do?

The Biagi/Bobbi Ferrari is not the fastest car on the grid, certainly not in qualifying
anyway. Third on the grid at Barcelona, they were on pole at Magny Cours, sixth in
Enna, third in Brno, sixth in Donington and third at Spa. The Saleen is faster, and
so too will be the Lister when the British team receives its new engine. After this
cut, the Ferrari pair must be looking for a top-10 qualifying position and consider
achieving it to be a result.

From there, can they race to another win? Certainly it is possible if the others
continue their performances shown so far this year. The Lister has had terrible
luck, having an errant piece of bodywork fly up into Jamie Campbell-Walter's face
at Barcelona, a throttle cable break at Magny Cours and a steering rack go at
Donington. At Spa, the race where Campbell-Walter and Kinch were hoping to turn
their season around, Bas Leinders hampered their chances when he put the car
into the wall early on during the weekend, for which the Belgian received the sack.
Campbell-Walter was aiming for points at six hours in the rain when his
windscreen wipers failed when he crashed heavily at Eau Rouge.

Ferrari 550 Maranellos have their air restrictors cut

The BMS Scuderia Italia Ferrari 550 Maranellos will, at the seventh round of the FIA
GT Championship at Anderstorp, have their air restrictors cut after Thomas Biagi
and Matteo Bobbi won five of the six rounds this year, and the team has a 41-point
lead in the teams' championship.

The Italian pair lead the drivers' championship by 11 points having failed to score
anything at Spa, but the FIA has decided to impose a performance restriction on
the championship leaders none the less. Some may say it is about time too, but if
you dig a little, you will see that, like last year, it is the opposition that has handed it
to the championship leaders on a plate and the question arises - should the
Ferraris have been cut at all?

Ferrari to run with smaller restrictors

London, September 4, 2003

Ferrari 550 Maranellos have their air restrictors cut
Are not supposed to win with 100kg of success ballast
Mike Hezemans and Anthony Kumpen the strongest line-up
Saleen has been proven to be fast
Made to look easy for the Ferrari boys
"It is a shame," said Campbell-Walter

Top of Page
Top of Page
Top of Page
Top of Page
Index Index
Back Back