Ferrari fever hits Coys Festival

The Coys International Historic Festival at Silverstone in July will mark the 50th anniversary of Ferrari when an amazing 44 of the Italian marque's finest cars race each other in a single event.

On each day of the festival, from July 25-27, organisers will run a race exclusively for Ferrari GT cars. As many as 130 of the 500 Maranello classics at Silverstone are expected to hit the track over the weekend.

The response from car owners has delighted Ferrari Owners' Club secretary Peter Everingham. "Our members have responded to our request for cars for this display with tremendous enthusiasm," he said. "The festival is a wonderful event, and it's particularly fitting to be celebrating the history of the Prancing Horse marque at the circuit where Ferrari scored its first ever World Championship Grand Prix victory."

Racers at Coys will use Silverstone's 'historic' track, which substitutes the tight left-hander at Vale for a flowing entry to Club corner and also uses the old, fast Abbey sweep rather than the new Grand Prix track's slow left-right complex. The faster track is kinder on brakes and also reduces oil surge.

Among those taking part will be former Ferrari works drivers Froilan Gonzalez, Phil Hill, Jody Scheckter and John Surtees.

Away from the track at the festival, one of Ferrari's more unusual projects — the world speed record hydroplane — will be up for auction. The only boat to be built by Ferrari, it took the world speed record for its class over water in 1953 when pilot Archille Castoldi powered his way to 150.197mph. Propelled by Ferrari's 4.5-litre 375 V12 engine, the boat used twin superchargers and methanol fuel to produce in excess of 600bhp.

Fully restored, the boat is expected to achieve as much as £750,000 when the Coys hammer drops.