Over 40,000 fans poured into the Mugello Circuit in Italy during the 2017 Ferrari Finali Mondiali. Those crowds watched drivers from across the world compete over three days of racing in the marquee season-ending Ferrari Challenge event. They were also introduced to the causes that EMS Race Team has competed to raise awareness for all year—PETA Cruelty Free, Cornerstone of Hope, and Coach Sam’s Inner Circle Foundation. While the racing results weren’t what EMS hoped for, the team took pride in being able to spread the word for those tremendous causes on a global stage throughout the weekend.
“The racing didn’t go the way we hoped,” driver James Weiland said of the results on the track at Mugello. “We had some issues with the car during our first qualifying session and that had us starting P8 for Race 1 which was a tough spot to climb back from. But we were proud of how we competed from there, and we did some things we were happy with during the weekend. Most of all, though, we were proud to represent PETA Cruelty Free, Cornerstone of Hope and Coach Sam’s Inner Circle Foundation on a worldwide platform like the Ferrari World Finals in Italy. It was great to be able to interact with fans and drivers from different countries who saw those logos on our car and explain to them what each mission was all about.”
During Race 1, Erin, the ems+ Ferrari 488 Challenge, started 8th in class (21st overall out of 45) and picked off a couple cars early before driving a steady race from there to finish 6th in class (15th overall). Ironically, that would’ve been good for a podium in the next class up. In Race 2, Erin started 8th again moving all the way up to 5th in class prior to a highly dubious post-race penalty being assessed. On Sunday in the world finals, Weiland started 13th and finished 11th.
“With the Finali Mondiali signaling the end of the 2017 Ferrari Challenge season, I wanted to thank our Boardwalk Ferrari and Rossocorsa Teams,” Weiland added. “I’d also like to thank our coach, Conrad Grunewald, along with Ryan Negri, Rudy Courtade, Dave and Daryl Cameron, and everyone else who helped support everything we were able to accomplish this season. It was a great ride and we’re looking forward to next year already. We also wanted to thank PETA Cruelty Free, Cornerstone of Hope, and Coach Sam’s Inner Circle Foundation for everything they do for our community. We’re looking forward to representing those missions again next season.”
Last year at the Finali Mondiali EMS Race Team made history. Competing in the 2016 Ferrari World Finals at Daytona International Speedway, driver James Weiland and the crew from Boardwalk Ferrari clinched the Ferrari Challenge season championship in the North American Pirelli AM class. This year, the marquee Ferrari Challenge event will be held at the Mugello Circuit in Italy on October 26-29. During their trip overseas, EMS Race Team is hoping to lead Erin the ems+ Ferrari 488 Challenge to another memorable weekend.
“We know that your best effort is required at the Ferrari World Finals if you hope to have a chance at a podium,” Weiland said. “We’ll be racing against the best drivers from around the world and we know we need to execute as a team to be successful. Over the last few races we’ve built some momentum, and hopefully we’ll carry that into the Finali Mondiali. The Mugello Circuit is a track we’ve raced before so we know how challenging it can be to drive. But if we are prepared and focused collectively we’ll be willing to live with the results.”
Road races were first held on public streets around Mugello in the early 1920s. The present-day closed Mugello Circuit was constructed in 1973 and opened in 1974, just east of the original road circuit. Measuring 5,245 km in length, the Mugello Circuit stands out from other fast tracks thanks to the drastic elevation changes and the high-speed chicanes. The main straight, at 1.141 km, is followed by a blind rise into the tight turn one, San Donato, where speeds drop quickly. The front straight is the fastest part of the track, with the rest an exciting mixture of quick direction changes and long corners without any tight hairpins or stop-and-go sections to break up the flow.
“We’re excited to race Mugello again and have a chance to compete against the best Ferrari Challenge drivers in the world,” Weiland added. “But we’re especially proud to be representing Cornerstone of Hope, PETA Cruelty-Free, and Coach Sam’s Inner Circle Foundation at an event with people gathered from so many different countries throughout the world. It will be a great chance to spread the word about those three missions and we’re hoping to make each foundation proud of our effort on the track. We’re especially excited for Coach Sam’s Inner Circle Foundation who successfully kicked off another school year recently and we’re dedicating the weekend to them.”
Coach Sam’s Inner Circle Foundation’s mission is to provide educational support to at-risk children through a combination of literacy, personal development and health and fitness programs designed to develop the whole child. Since 2009, Coach Sam’s has been successful in reaching hundreds of children and motivating them to believe in themselves, leading to improved academic performance and self-confidence, setting them on the path toward a brighter future. To learn more about Coach Sam’s watch the video below.
For more on Coach Sam’s Inner Circle Foundation and how you can support their effort you can visit their website. You can also visit PETA Cruelty Free and Cornerstone of Hope to learn more about how they are helping our communities. To follow along with behind-the-scenes coverage throughout the 2017 Finali Mondiali, visit EMS Race Team on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
The great Ayrton Senna once said, “Racing, competing, it’s in my blood. It’s part of me, it’s part of my life.” During Senna’s life, he would become one of the greatest Formula One drivers of all-time. A life that was cut much too short on the same track that hosted the 2017 Ferrari Challenge in Italy. During Race 1 at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari di Imola, EMS Race Team unfortunately lost control of ERIN the ems+ Ferrari 488 Challenge on a slick track at 111 mph in the famous Tamburello Corner where the legendary Senna tragically crashed and passed away on May 1, 1994. ERIN’s collision with the inside wall was softer than expected, fortunately, damaging only the car. After the race, driver James Weiland visited a nearby memorial commemorating the life and legacy of Senna and shared a collection of those pictures on Facebook.
“ERIN ran pretty well in practice and qualifying so we were feeling good heading into the race,” Weiland said after qualifying P4 of 22. “Unfortunately, we lost control in the corner. It had been a long time since I lost ERIN like that. It usually takes about three mistakes to have a crash, and unfortunately, I checked all the boxes in Tamburello. But the damage could’ve been much worse. We spent time visiting the memorial to Senna after the race, and feel grateful to have not sustained any injuries. Hopefully we can use this as a learning experience.”
After paying tribute to Senna, Weiland did the same thing Ayrton would’ve done when he got back in the car for Race 2. While the damage to ERIN was too extensive to be repaired in time for Sunday’s race, EMS Race Team used a backup car. As a result of using a new car, Weiland was forced to start in last position—P22 of 22. But EMS Race Team would finish the weekend strong by charging hard during Sunday’s race, picking off 10 cars over 18 green flag laps to finish 12th overall.
“It was great to get back on the track and continue raising awareness for Cornerstone of Hope, PETA Cruelty Free and Coach Sam’s Inner Circle here in Italy,” Weiland said. “Considering we had only one flying lap to set her up, it really was a magnificent job from the team to put us in a position to compete. Big thanks to our European Team Rossocorsa for providing a brand new, three-day old car with one kilometer on the clock for us to drive. Also, special thanks to David Cameron, Ray Banda, Gianluca and others who were in the garage until 3am getting new ERIN prepared.”
EMS Race Team’s worldwide tour continues October 6-8 at the Ferrari Challenge in Imola, Italy. Fresh off a podium finish at Silverstone Circuit in England—which followed a victory at Circuit of the Americas in Texas—driver James Weiland and the crew from Boardwalk Ferrari is now set to compete in their fifth country outside the United States this season. With races in Canada, Hungary, France and England already in the rearview, Weiland and company will now focus on raising awareness for PETA Cruelty Free, Coach Sam’s Inner Circle Foundation and Cornerstone of Hope with a podium effort in Italy.
“We had a great trip to England and really enjoyed competing at Silverstone,” Weiland said. “Our goal is to build on that experience and keep making progress as a team while we’re in Imola. We’re also looking forward to spreading the word about PETA Cruelty Free, Coach Sam’s Inner Circle and Cornerstone of Hope while we are in Italy as well. Hopefully we can maximize that exposure by doing everything in our power to finish the weekend on the podium.”
Erin the ems+ Ferrari 488 Challenge will be racing the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari when she arrives in Italy for Ferrari Challenge weekend. The track is located roughly 50 miles east of the Ferrari factory in Maranello. The circuit is named after Ferrari’s late founder Enzo and his son Dino who had died in the 1950s. Before Enzo Ferrari’s death in 1988 it was called Autodromo Dino Ferrari. Imola, as it is colloquially known, is one of the few major international circuits to run in an anti-clockwise direction. The track has hosted several Formula One Grand Prix races which featured wins by Michael Schumacher, Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost and others.
“We’re excited to compete against all of the terrific drivers in Italy and to race an historic track like Imola,” Weiland added. “We will be racing against some of the best Ferrari Challenge drivers in the world so we know the competition will be stiff. We also know that Imola will be a fun but challenging course and we’re looking forward to the test. We’re dedicating the trip to Coach Sam’s Inner Circle Foundation who begins their tutoring work for the school year this week throughout the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. The support they provide for third graders in our community is always inspiring so we’re hoping to honor that with a strong performance.”
Coach Sam’s Inner Circle Foundation’s mission is to provide educational support to at risk children through a combination of literacy, personal development and health and fitness programs designed to develop the whole child. Since 2009, Coach Sam’s has been successful in reaching hundreds of children and motivating them to believe in themselves, leading to improved academic performance and self-confidence, setting them on the path toward a brighter future.
For more on Coach Sam’s Inner Circle Foundation and how you can support their effort to help at-risk third graders visit their website. You can also visit PETA Cruelty Free and Cornerstone of Hope to learn more about how they are helping our communities. To follow along with behind-the-scenes coverage throughout race weekend in Italy, visit EMS Race Team on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
EMS Race Team captured a podium finish during an epic battle at the Ferrari Racing Days in England. After races outside the United States in Canada, Hungary and France this season, driver James Weiland and the crew from Boardwalk Ferrari continued their Ferrari Challenge world tour at the Silverstone Circuit on September 22-24. Fresh off a win at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas during the Pirelli World Challenge earlier this month, EMS Race Team kept the momentum going with a P3 performance in Race 1 at the site of the British Grand Prix. Erin the ems+ Ferrari 488 Challenge fought hard down the stretch to hold her final position in an effort that Ferrari.com described as “extraordinary.”
“Erin was really strong throughout the race and that’s a credit to our Boardwalk Ferrari team who had her dialed in all weekend,” Weiland said. “Silverstone is a fun track to drive but it’s also challenging. The competition was stiff as well, like it always is when we travel to Europe, so I’m proud of our team for being prepared and responding to those challenges in the way that we did. If you watched the broadcast, you could see how tight things got down the stretch. It took a total team effort to hold our competitor off and get onto the podium, and I’m proud we were able to accomplish that.”
After qualifying in fourth position for Race 1, the second qualifying session was hampered by a slower car that impeded Erin’s progress during her flyer lap. The net result was starting in eighth position for Race 2, which went on to feature an especially chaotic start. Weiland picked off three cars during the early chaos and moved into fifth position with an opportunity for a second podium of the weekend. Unfortunately, EMS Race Team would later receive a drive through penalty for passing in a yellow corner that nobody on the team saw or heard, as it was never announced on the official radio. But despite finishing 10th in Race 2 following the penalty, the trip to England was still very much a success.
“Obviously Race 2 didn’t go the way we would’ve hoped but that happens in racing,” Weiland said. “We came here to England to raise awareness for Cornerstone of Hope, Coach Sam’s Inner Circle Foundation and PETA Cruelty Free and that’s really what we’re most excited about accomplishing. We dedicated the race weekend to the tremendous work that PETA has done helping stranded animals who were victims of the hurricanes in Texas and Florida recently, and we’re glad to be able to get up on the podium to honor that effort. We’re also looking forward to continue raising awareness for those three causes in a couple weeks at the Imola Ferrari Challenge.”
After Hurricane Harvey devastated much of the Texas Gulf Coast, PETA’s Community Animal Project rescue team members spent a week on the ground in Texas, where they trudged through the floodwater to search for abandoned, lost and injured animals. You can read more about that here. PETA also made similar efforts in Florida following Hurricane Irma as they have in the past after devastating storms, flooding’s and weather events.
For more on PETA Cruelty Free and how you can support their effort to help the animals who were victims of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma visit PETA’s website. You can also visit Coach Sam’s Inner Circle Foundation and Cornerstone of Hope to learn more about how they are making an impact in the community. For more behind-the-scenes coverage from Silverstone in England, visit EMS Race Team on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Next up for EMS Race Team is the Ferrari Challenge at the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari in Imola, Italy on October 6-8.
The world tour continues for EMS Race Team as Erin the ems+ Ferrari 488 Challenge travels to Silverstone Circuit in England on September 22-24. After races outside the United States in Canada, Hungary and France this season, driver James Weiland and the crew from Boardwalk Ferrari will compete for the first time ever in the United Kingdom later this weekend. The trip marks a return to Ferrari Challenge action for EMS Race Team who most recently secured a first-place finish in the Pirelli World Challenge Sprint X class at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas earlier this month.
“We enjoyed making our debut in the Pirelli World Challenge at COTA but are certainly excited for the Ferrari Challenge at Silverstone,” Weiland said. “After representing PETA Cruelty Free, Cornerstone of Hope and Coach Sam’s Inner Circle in Canada, Hungary and France, we’re also excited to spread the word for those missions in England as well. This will be our first trip to the UK as a team so we’re focused on being as prepared as possible and putting forth an effort we can be proud of when we get on the track.”
The Silverstone Circuit is built on the site of a World War II Royal Air Force bomber station, RAF Silverstone. The first race was held at Silverstone in 1947, which went on to host its first British Grand Prix a year later. In 1950, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth attended the British Grand Prix as the first and only time a reigning monarch attended a race in Britain. Over the next several decades, innovative upgrades to the track helped Silverstone continue to host England’s premier Formula One race on an annual basis. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) is the reigning F1 champion at Silverstone and has won the British Grand Prix each year from 2014-17.
“We’re excited to compete against all of the terrific drivers in England and to race an historic track like Silverstone,” Weiland added. “We will be racing against some of the best Ferrari Challenge drivers in the world so we know the competition will be stiff. We also know that Silverstone will be a fun but challenging course and we’re looking forward to the test. We’re dedicating the trip to PETA Cruelty Free and the tremendous work they’ve done helping stranded animals who were victims of the vicious hurricanes that touched down in Texas and Florida recently. It’s been inspiring to see the effort that so many people have taken to rescue those affected animals and we’re hoping to shine a spotlight on that with a strong outing.”
After Hurricane Harvey devastated much of the Texas Gulf Coast, PETA’s Community Animal Project rescue team members spent a week on the ground in Texas, where they trudged through the floodwater to search for abandoned, lost and injured animals. You can read more about that here. PETA also made similar efforts in Florida following Hurricane Irma as they have in the past after devastating storms, flooding’s and weather events throughout the country.