Alex Harmer's highlight of the year


When looking back over the year to pick my highlight, there were so many events that jumped out at me. Pastor Maldonado briefly rekindling my childhood excitement at seeing a Williams win; Kimi Räikkönen reminding us what was missing from Formula 1 for the past two years. There was the nail-biting finish to the Indy 500 and seeing Toyota take the challenge to Audi which, let’s face it, no one expected them to do so convincingly. Then there’s the fact that I started working at Motor Sport

But for me, the highlight of the year was simultaneously a very personal experience and one that brought a lot of people together. At the Ferrari Racing Days event at Silverstone in September, I was there to take part in the Guinness World Record attempt for the most Ferraris on track at the same time.

You don’t often get handed the keys to a brand new Ferrari California and told to drive around a Grand Prix circuit, but that’s exactly what happened. Being a parade, there wasn’t going to be much chance of a good thrash. I was just happy to be in the car at such a special place.

As the cars filed out onto the Hangar Straight on their way to the starting grid, Radio Silverstone made the inspired decision to play The Chain by Fleetwood Mac, at which point the entire formation took off. Better join in, I thought, just so I don’t cause an accident. Any excuse.

So the day got better, blasting towards Stowe surrounded by F40s, 308s and pretty much any Ferrari model you could think of. Of course, it didn’t last long, the cars snaking three-abreast towards the start-finish straight. But then that’s when I found myself on the Silverstone starting grid; right around Toro Rosso territory mind you, but you can’t beat that view. Felipe Massa was there, grinning like a little kid. This obviously still meant something to him and it was infectious.

I can’t tell you much about the lap, which was split between trying not to hit the car in front and pretending to the waving crowds that yes, this is my Ferrari.

It was getting dark when I finally pulled up in the paddock and I headed back up to the media centre café to find that the parade was far from over. Scores of smiling faces in red cars were still filing past the Wing, on their way to setting a new world record.

I might not have been able to get in a hot lap, but at the pub I can technically say that I hold the track record at Silverstone. I just won’t mention the 963 other drivers I share it with.

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