This week on The Last Lap, I take a look at the legendary Nardò Ring with none other than Clarkson, Hammond and May. I also show you Charles Leclerc racing, and crashing some classic Ferrari Formula 1 cars, an iconic Canadian sports car marque you have probably never heard of, a tribute to Tony Brooks, some incredible in-car footage and more. I also bring you my weekly update of elegant diversions, auctions, and sales. Enjoy!
Top Gear Takes on The Nardò Ring
The Nardò Technical Center is a high speed test track located 23 kilometres (14 mi) north-west of the town of Nardò, Italy that has been owned by Porsche for 10 years now. According to Wikipedia, the track, better known as the Nardò Ring, is 12.5 kilometres (7.8 mi) long and is round, has four lanes for cars and motorcycles totaling 16 metres (52 ft) in width and has a separate inner ring for trucks at a width of 9 metres (30 ft). In the cars/motorcycle ring the lanes are banked at such a degree that a driver in the outer most lane doesn’t need to turn the wheel while driving at speeds of up to 240 km/h (149 mph). In essence, at the so-called neutral speed which is different for the four lanes, one can drive as if in a straight lane.
To celebrate 10 years of Porsche owning this incredible track, I bring you the above video of one of my favorite Top Gear episodes as James May, Richard Hammond and Jeremy Clarkson tackle the infamous track. Hammond drives a Noble M600, May a McLaren MP4-12C, and Clarkson a Lamborghini Aventador. Taken from Top Gear series 18, episode 1.
Seven Unmissable Cars at the Monaco Historic Grand Prix
The fine folks at Goodwood Road & Racing have proclaimed their love of the Monaco Historic Grand Prix by choosing seven unmissable cars at Monaco Historic Grand Prix to look out for. You will need to hurray up as today (May 15th, 2022) is the last day.
Of course, sometimes things don’t always go according to plan…
Revisiting a True Canadian Sports Car Marque
Hemmings has a great article on the Canadian-built Dailu MK II, a car that was among last front-engine Corvette-powered hybrid sports cars. “The Dailu MK II is a significant race car, as it represents one of the last true stands of the hoi polloi that collectively collapsed when the Penskes, Donohues, Halls and McLarens stormed in and swiped their private playground. It’s one of the last front-engine, American-powered homebuilts to be competitive before the emergence of big-bore, mid-engine cars obsoleted the racing sports car as it had been known since the first post-war Allards.”
Charles Leclerc drives Gilles Villeneuve’s Ferrari 312T
A very special experience for the Monegasque driver as he piloted the Canadian’s legendary 1979 car around Ferrari’s Fiorano Circuit. You can watch the footage here.
Obituary: Tony Brooks 1932‑2022
Goodwood has a thoughtful obituary of legendary driver Tony Brooks who recently passed away. “Tony Brooks raced as he lived. Quietly, intelligently and modestly. Blessed with exceptional ability in a racing car, he was happy to let his achievements speak for themselves, never seeking the limelight. I always found it hard to believe that such a gentle, charming man could have raced so successfully and bravely at a time when motor racing was horribly dangerous.”
On the Limit in a Ferrari 250 GTO
From Goodwood: “Marino Franchitti drove Roelofs Engineering’s 1964-bodied Ferrari 250 GTO during the Graham Hill Trophy at the 79th Goodwood Members’ Meeting presented by Audrain Motorsport. Franchitti drove for the first half of the race and here we join him just at a safety car restart and continue with his entire stint. The V12 of the 250 GTO screams as Marino battles with a TVR Grantura and a Bizzarini 5300GT in front.”
“Sleek: The Art of the Helmet” Exhibit
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum has selected nine local artists to prepare artwork for its upcoming “Sleek: The Art of the Helmet” exhibition which will explore the art of the racing helmet and the stories behind the designs. “Sleek” will feature 27 helmets, nine from racing history, nine from current drivers, and nine from these selected artists. The exhibition will be led by guest curator and local Indianapolis artist Amiah Mims.
Introducing the One-of-a-Kind Ferrari SP48 Unica
The Italian automaker just unveiled a one-off, custom SP48 Unica, built through its Special Projects program, which allows top clients to create one-of-a-kind vehicles in tandem with Ferrari’s design team. According to The Robb Report, “the anonymous owner worked with Flavio Manzoni, the company’s chief design officer, to come up with this bright-red supercar based on the F8 Tributo. It has that car’s twin-turbocharged V-8 engine and likely gets the same 710 hp and 568 ft lbs of torque, but it’s also got some standout changes.”
Mario Andretti Reunited With His Stunning V12 Ferrari 512S
Mario Andretti won titles and races in F1, Sportscars, IndyCar, NASCAR and more. At the Festival of Speed presented by Mastercard in 2021 we reunited him with the Ferrari 512S, the car he won races including the Sebring 12 Hours in 1970 and the Daytona 6 Hours in 1972. With its stunning 5.0-litre V12 sounding great as Mario guided the bit Ferrari up the hill this was a sight to behold for any fan of motorsport.
Elegant Diversions, Auctions and Sales
Cavallino Classic Modena Returns On 29-31 May
The second edition of the Cavallino Classic Modena will take place at Casa Maria Luigia, combining excellent cars, exceptional hospitality, and the amazing food of Massimo Bottura, the chef patron of three-Michelin-star restaurant Osteria Francescana based in Modena. For more information click here.
Hillsborough Concours d’Elegance
The Hillsborough Concours d’Elegance will feature a display and seminar with historic California Bay-Area race cars including a 1954 Jaguar XK120 and 1926 Bugatti Type 39A. For more on this event, scheduled for June 26, click here.
Le Mans Classic 2022
Artcurial will hold the official auction of the Le Mans Classic on July 2, with the catalog to be released in June. An early consignment is a 1980 Porsche 935 with claimed “important race history.” Find more information here.
RM Sotheby’s Monterey 2022
Early consignments have been announced for RM Sotheby’s Monterey sale, August 19-20. A recently restored 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB/C and a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Alloy Gullwing are both on the roster. Click here for more from this sale.
This Gorgeous 1964 Shelby Cobra Can Be Yours.
This stunning 1964 Shelby Cobra 289 is currently up for sale through England’s William I’Anson. Itcombines both beautiful automotive design and a legitimate racing pedigree. As the lovechild of AC Cars and the Ford Motor Company, the Cobra combines a simple twin-tube chassis frame from across the pond with the Blue Oval’s V-8 power.