Track days are always great; you get to spend time with likeminded people, meet other petrolheads and see some of the most exciting road cars smashing it on the circuit. We were invited by a slow rabit in a 430 Scuderia to join him at Spa-Francorchamps.
Schumacher and the 430 Scuderia
Michael Schumacher, German racing dri.. If there’s one F1-driver who doesn’t need a cheesy introduction it’s probably Michael Schumacher. He won the Drivers’ Championship five times with Ferrari (in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004) and finished first in 72 Grand Prix, making him the most successful Scuderia Ferrari driver of all time.
Schumacher was also well-known as someone who could give an enormous amount of feedback to the engineers. He precisely knew how to set up a car, which made it no surprise he also played a big role in the development of certain Ferrari road cars. One of them was the 430 Scuderia. The goal, a track-focused car, was something Ferrari did before. The only difference compared to the Challenge Stradale, which is derived from the 360 Challenge race car, is that the Scuderia is derived from the F430 road car. Having such a successful and experienced racing driver must’ve been a delight for the development team and the car resulted in an amazing machine.
An incredible capable car
The 430 Scuderia is, although being a 11-year-old car, fulfilling its purposes so well. Our friend drove the car all the way from the United Kingdom to Spa and drove it on track for two days. There were some minor issues with the car, but it was all reparable.
As you may know, we have been on Spa with this 430 Scuderia before. Read the article over here and check out the photos here. Back then, the weather was not on our side but this time it really was. The tarmac was on perfect temperature when we did our first session. It resulted in a great few laps with some fast overtakes and unimaginable amounts of grip. When we arrived in the paddock again, we jumped out and waited for the car to cool down a bit…
Getting the ideal line with Martin Stucky
When it was time to enter the track again, our friend gave the keys of the 430 Scuderia to Martin Stucky. Stucky has been a test driver for a couple of decades and tested cars for Ferrari, Porsche and more. He even told me he was the one driving the Ferrari FF on the snow during the famous photoshoot for the launch of the car. Stucky wrote several books, two of which are called the ‘’Ideal Line Concept for Nürburgring’’ and the ’Ideal Line Concept for Spa-Francorchamps’’. No surprise he knows his way around on Spa.
When we drove out of the pit street, he immediately stepped on the gas and we were on our way to the first corner, Eau Rouge. This corner is truly a one-off part and delivers g-forces like nowhere else on the track. Coming out of Eau Rouge, onto the straight, there was some traffic, but Stucky overtook cars driving on the right, the left and even in the middle. When we were getting closer to the next corner, called Les Combes, I was genuinely wondering if he was planning to brake or not. At the last possible moment, he stepped on the brake (luckily) threw the car into the corner and it all started again. Fun fact: almost very track marshal had to wave their blue flag for us. The blue flag is used to indicate a driver that there is another driver trying to overtake them.
The sound of the Scuderia is so addictive, but so are the accelerations and braking points. Being a passenger on occasions like this, is the same as being in a rollercoaster that’s not fixed onto a rail track. The g-forces and the raising heartbeat are comparable. If you ever get the opportunity to accompany someone on a trackday, don’t even hesitate to join them!
Although being a very focused driver, Stucky is a true petrolhead and passionate about what he does. I really enjoyed experiencing the car with him behind the wheel and chatting about his books and to share car experiences.
Ferrari 512 TR
Among the Porsches, BMWs, McLarens, Lamborghinis and more, there were just two Ferraris present: ‘our’ 430 Scuderia and a 512 TR from Norway. The owner took it on track during several sessions and it must be the first time I’ve seen one being properly used. The flat-12 sings an unbelievable beautiful song and was in my opinion the best sounding engine of the whole event.
Thanks to our friend and Martin Stucky for an incredible day in Belgium!
Written by Max Lammers