Festival Italia 2019

Kent & East Sussex
18 August 2019

Festival Italia has been a firm favourite of AROCKES for the last four years since the events conception and regularly MSV has granted fifty free tickets to the event, that has every time been filled from AROCKES alone. This year, the whole ticket allocation was given to the entire AROC’s three thousand members and all the tickets were taken within 6 hours. There was a lot of obvious disappointment on the AROCKES front with many members not obtaining a display vehicle place.

That said, the following section members managed to obtain a display ticket: Jeff Kaby in the newly acquired 159 TBI; myself in the MiTo QV; David King; John Third in the 4C; Mark Rayss in the S4 Spider; Phil Davis & John Dray in their respective 4C’s; David & Amanda Norman in the lovely Zoe yellow 916 Spider; Chalky White and his family in the 159 Sportwagon; Graham Duplock in the GTV Bertone 105 GTV; Pierre & Phil Coussey in the 916 GTV; Don Gilks and grandson in the black S4 Spider (with possibly the only original working speedo in the whole section); Colin Craven in the boat tail Spider; Kevin Strip in his GTA replica;Ollie Kirkpatrick in the green 916 GTV; Ken McKay in the 916 GTV Cup; and last but not least our very own bowling champion Terry Seal on two wheels with his Moto Guzzi, as he was so determined to attend and was too late to get a Alfa Romeo show stand ticket. Such was his determination to attend. I did shake hands with John Day who managed to get in but, alas, without a show vehicle. Such is the popularity of this event amongst the section.

Pre racing, we were invited into the paddocks to meet the David Faithful MiTo entered into the Alfa racing championship together with the race engineers in the guise of the Peddie family. Not only do they maintain the vehicle in race condition but, with Maggie Peddie, run everything in support of the venture, including catering for invited guests in the form of a delicious breakfast,  lunch and as much tea and coffee that is required to keep you warm. Such is the warmth of this racing team from DPMP LTD and you can find them on Facebook as well as Ben Sharich Racing – Ben is the driver for the team.

After a bit of qualifying and racing we were invited into the “Time keepers Hut” or otherwise known as “The Tower.” It is just below the commentator’s box and possibly the second best vantage point on the whole track giving an almost 360 degree view at elevation around the whole circuit. It is regarded as hallowed ground and guarded by race reception, so those of us that attended really appreciated the privilege.

Here the head timekeeper Andy Craker (who incidentally owns a blue GTV) can be seen with Jeff Kaby, Chalky White and his family as well as David King. This was a very rare privilege.

After that we had the pit walk where members could get really up close and personal to chat with the drivers and mechanics of the classic 1990’s formula one race cars, that were later raced around the circuit and inspired more passion from the crowds than could ever be generated on T.V.

A favourite interest of mine was following our very own David Faithful and his team in the form of the MiTo Scudera in the Alfa Championships. Ben Sharich, the driver, achieved two thirds and a second place in the last “All Comers” race and was only beaten into second place at the line after a very hard fought race. You can see from the previous photo of before the racing to the below picture three races later how stressful and tiring three races must have been for Ben.

That said, four hard won trophies at the end of the day must have instilled a sense of accomplishment for the team and they all look pretty special, the Prosecco not least of all. You can’t argue that a day’s achievements doesn’t get much better than this for a team’s first season, which is by no means over yet.

The inevitable end of the day always comes but this time there was time for a parade lap from all the exhibitors so I rode shotgun with Jeff Kaby to get a few photos of the circuit sandwiched between two 4Cs. The temptation, from an obvious bad line by the 4C, to overtake was almost overwhelming … but we were very well behaved.

If you would like to catch up on some of the highlights of the Mito racing then you can watch them at the following link https://youtu.be/Ab4LDrV-FII

So where are we off to next week? Well we have a new show “Sandwich goes Italian” on the 25th August and the veritable Old Timer Rally on Folkestone Leas in front of The Grand Hotel in Folkestone on Bank Holiday Monday. Always a popular event and section members should remember that you don’t need a classic to exhibit, unless otherwise stated, and all club vehicles are welcome to display at most club entered classic car shows.

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