I though it would be good to take a brake from all the drifting in Odaiba and head back to Italy to see some more action from the FIA GT week-end. As you may remember the idea of holding the race at Adria was to take advantage of the excellent illumination and to hold most of the action at night. For the start of the first practice session Rod and I headed to the top of the control tower where we got an amazing view down on to the whole track, in particular the final corner before the main straight. As natural light faded quick drivers switched on their headlights. That is when the fun began!
It was all about glowing brake discs, as you can see from the above shot of the number-4 Z06 of PK-Carsport driven by Kumpen & Hezemans!
There is something mystical about high-end race cars like these blasting around in darkness. It reminded me of the when I covered the Nurbugring 24h race back in 2002.
The nerd in me got to notice how brake balance varied between cars, with some heating up the front discs far more than the rears, while others turning them both fiery red.
Adria snakes up within itself, meaning that we could follow the whole race from the roof of the control tower. It was a pity we had to keep moving!
Before taking the stairwell down to ground level I got this snap of the number 2 Vitaphone Maserati of Ramos/Müller, Andrea's team mates.
In the infield later on in the session the Maserati was shooting out big flames as it tackled the tight chicane.
The cars had to stamp on the brakes hard after blasting down the back straight.
Thomas Biagi, and team mate Thomas Mutsch, in the 2010 spec GT1 GT40 were terrorizing the filed with their insanely loud backfires. As you will see in he upcoming race coverage these were usually accompanied by rather big flames.
See what I mean about brake balance? Heavy front end means much more braking force needed up front while the rear brakes are used more for balance.
When the engine is out back however, more braking force is distributed to the rear, adding to the glowing disc spectacle.
The Greek Pecom team was out in force with their GT2 F430.
With the session starting at dusk the little light that was there to begin with, quickly disappeared…
…giving way to some pretty dark conditions in the lesser illuminated corners.
I had lots of fun trying to catch glowing brake discs as well as afterburner-style backfires!
The big radius infield corner was a great location as you could get a wide view of the track…
There is something special about the Ford GT40, it is one of those cars that just looks so right around a race track! If you could hear the sound that accompanies this thing you would get the full effect. I can't wait to see Rod's video footage from Adria!
More glowing brake discs from the AF Corse F430. Notice the big yellow reflectors on the bumper, just what you need when racing at night.
Before the coverage from the FIA GT race I think it's only fair to take a brief look at the GT4 class cars like the quirkily styled Donkervoort and the impressive KTM Xbow. So more to come from Adria!
- Dino Dalle Carbonare