The Bologna Motor Show
Gabriele Tosi has been along to the Bologna Motor Show, and forwards this report – packed with interesting photographs.

As usual the December Expo provides Italian people with the only chance to see next year’s road cars – after the ‘death’ of the Turin Show.

Of course there are also racing cars on the stands, with drivers talking, and seeking out that elusive sponsor and drive for next year.

Luca Riccitelli passed on his view, that “2004 was not very good for me, we had a good chance to win the Italian N-GT title but with too many accidents, and problems with other cars (especially the Ferrari 360 GTC of the Loris Kessel Racing), we missed the big one.

“For the next year we’ll try to win the title and for the immediate future we’ll be at Daytona, still with EbiMotors, but with the team’s GT3 Cup Porsche – with my usual partners, Dieter Quester and Philipp Peter - and maybe the fourth driver will be Karl Wendlinger. For sure our target is to win the class.”

What about a possible return in the FIA GT Championship, Luca? “Well I’d like to be back, maybe we can run the Italian rounds (at Monza and Imola) if they don’t clash with the Italian GTs, but we’ll race only if there’s the chance to earn a good result.”

Luca is of course an ‘official’ Porsche driver, so the main question is about when and if Porsche will return with an official, factory team. “Right now, as far as I know, nothing is planned in the short term: I have some friends (mechanics) working deep in the racing section and they told me that nothing apart from the RSR, RS and Cup Version kit is being built now, and I have to believe the LMP car does not exist right now.” So the ‘ghost’ car probably never did have a test in South Africa, although such a test, if it happened, was never denied by the German manufacturer.

In other racing news, it seems that the ‘MC12 affair is about to become clearer, with the strong suggestion that the Vitaphone team is very near to buying two Maseratis – perhaps.

Unfortunately no more racing news, as such, from the Show – it was in very short supply - but there were plenty of race cars on display.

From Ferrari, we had Prodrive’s BMS Scuderia Italia FIA GT winner (back from Zhuhai already?), a 575 GTC, all ready to go racing if anyone wants it, in plain carbon fibre (you buy this car and paint it whatever colour you want!), the very yellow 360 GTC from the Italian Mik Corse (one of the very few GTCs sold), a new 360 GT in black, for the Italian GT series, and of course the Ferrari F430, soon in a GT2 spec., I suspect.

dailysportscar.comStill from Italy (although Prodrive’s 550 has most of its origins in the UK), a Maserati MC12 road car was on display.... the oddly named Maserati Light racer, and for the second year running, the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione, with a 4.2 Maserati V8 engine - but this is purely a concept car…

.... while unusual cars like the Stola (it looks like a 911 but it’s not!)…futuristic cars…

....even the Asimo robot from Honda (someone suggested it was the most intelligent person present)…

..... plus plenty of girls too. Italy still features the girls at its Shows – and they’re much prettier than the MG SV, don’t you think?

We had some dreams about the SLR and the Carrera GT going racing, but perhaps they’re only dreams. Mercedes is too busy with the DTM and F1 to worry about GT racing (at least they could provide DC with a racing seat if they did, but perhaps he wouldn’t want to ‘stoop so low’), while Porsche is too busy building and ‘looking after’ all the GT3s and RSRs, it seems. They can’t carry on in GT2 and GT3 forever, can they?

We also saw a tuned Nissan 350Z – a car we’ve hardly seen racing in Europe, but one that the JGTC features strongly. Perhaps before long we’ll see the JGTC Nissans in the Middle East and Europe?

Audi’s A6 estate is an impressive car, Citroen’s C4 is interesting, but it’s the racing world that really appeals to us – and at the moment, there are more questions than answers about 2005 and 2006.
Gabriele Tosi


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