As if the weekend of Sport & Collection on the Circuit of Le Vigeant was not quite rich in emotion, a friend asked me to do a shoot of his 2000 Ferrari 456M GT . So far, all is well, but take pictures for the pleasure of sharing is not as impressive as doing a shoot like this. The result should meet the expectations of the owner. As I already knew the car, I did some tests during the Saturday evening, at sunset ...
And at the Ferrari parade.
The appointment is given on pre-grid, just before a running session.
It's time to enter on the track. It is about 02:30PM and the sun is very high which is not optimal for lighting the car, especially when it is dark. Christelle waiting just before the pit straight.
And go to fast turn a little further.
I put myself directly to this turn, but I feel that the lighting will make me worried. I even made few pics without some dynamic effect "on the safe side."
But soon I join the other corner running, I can stand back for photos in motion. But what I get in back, I lose in light, I'm on the side of the shadow of the car.
And after a few laps the car no longer passes. Being a baptism session, we ask ourselves the question whether changes person, or has finished his session and returned to the paddock. We do not want to miss passing on the track to ensure maximum photos. But unlike you do not want to waste time if we waiting on the paddock, because I said him it would be better to go out the meeting to find a nice place. Idea that the owner has acceded. Luckily, we quickly find him among the other Ferrari. Then he handed me the keys and told me: "You do what you want, and you brought back in one hour." How to express what is happening in my head at that moment. A mixture of hesitation, anxiety and joy. Because if I am passionate about Ferrari for years, if I had the chance to climb aboard several models, including the most prestigious, I'm never take place behind the wheel to take control. I'm not even worried about driving, I've driven sports cars, but more the fact that the owner is not with us in case of trouble. I install, good standing the seat which does not move enough to have a good driving position, straighten the back to somehow reach the pedals despite my small stature. He explains the operation of the immobilizer, and now I turn the key to wake up the V12 still hot. This moment, dreamed, lasts a short time, but the sensation of feeling the engine under the power of the starter while the ignition has not yet lit a candle is magical. A slight blip and now the music starts. As this is a rare 456 mechanical box, I can finally drive the famous shifter that sits for a long time in my collection.. The command is very firm, very accurate. The rattling of the lever on the grid is not only an auditory sensation, but also sensitive. First gear, we leave the paddock and ride at a normal pace until L'Isle Jourdain. The meter graduated to 300km/h is not very readable between 0 and 100km/h. I drive 90-100 in 3rd and I appreciate. I realize a dream!
We arrive at the car park below the bridge, luckily the cars go and leave us open field. If I talked a lot so far, it's time to make way for pictures. First 3/4 front. When I see a person do bungee jumping from the bridge, I wonder which of us had the greatest sensations today.
Then rear, always 3/4, by moving slightly the car.
Seen where we are, I try to put the Ferrari in the grass for a better rendering. Not wanting to take too many risks, especially given the difficulty in disengaging, I prefer not to operate here too.
It is very hot, parking fills up, you have to ask people to go further. Sympathetically they do.
One from back.
In the other direction (we mostly took the pictures depending on the position of the car, but I prefer showing you in that order).
Now relic of the past, the 456 still bears the retractable lights.
Time passes very quickly, but I can not miss the engine. It is a 5.5-liter V12 developing 440 horsepower.
And details such as the headlights that are not integrated into the hood, the import plate by Charles Pozzi or 17" rims.
The bright interior is beautiful, especially combined with the Tour de France blue. And the lever that sits in the middle ...
The agreed time was largely exceeded, we bring the car to the paddock, where we still spend a good time chatting with the owner and his family. This is the longest weekend we have done here, but what a weekend! This is at Sport et Collection most of my dreams have been realized. First to see every model year more and more numerous than 200 in 2004 to 500 in 2014, to ride as a passenger in a 328, then a F40, a F50, an Enzo, a Daytona and many other modern. A new stage has been reached, therefore, the following will be hard to achieve ...
A huge "thank you" to the owner for the privileged photo shoot and especially for the confidence.