Festival Italia returned to a gloriously sunny Brands Hatch for a second straight year this afternoon (Sunday) with a feast of Italian-themed action on and off the circuit.
Racing was headlined by two Pirelli Ferrari Formula Classic races on the world-famous Indy circuit, and Gary Culver was the star of the show, claiming a brace of victories in his Ferrari 328 GTB. Richard Cook finished second in both races onboard a F355 Challenge, whilst Tom Mogridge and Peter Fisk took it in turns to occupy the final spot on the podium.
The Ferrari races received the full pomp and ceremony which has come to be expected from major events at the Kent circuit, including a pre-race grid walk, which was opened to the masses, and a fireworks display as the chequered flag fell. Following the race, the podium finishers were wheeled up to a special Piazza Vittoria podium area amongst the crowds.
Special demonstrations added to the on-track buzz, with a series of special F1 cars starring, including machines from Italian manufacturers Coloni and Dallara, plus two cars from the Benetton brand which was owned by the eponymous Italian fashion brand.
Away from the circuit itself the venue was abuzz with activity, as hundreds of Italian car owners descended upon the venue to show off their Mediterranean motors. These ranged from a stunning Ferrari F40 signed by Michael Schumacher, to countless machines from Alfa Romeo, Maserati, and Fiat. Plus, there was a strong contingent of cars from event sponsor Abarth which was running auto tests and test drives for visitors.
Bathed in sunshine, the circuit's off-track areas were awash with a delightful atmosphere as families and car enthusiasts alike soaked up the rays, enjoyed the Italian treats on offer, and relaxed on the bank to watch a bit of motor racing.
The event ended in joyous style too as hordes of Italian car owners took to the circuit for one last blast in a track parade.
Photo: Gary Hawkins