Festival Italia Brands Hatch 2022

At what is now becoming quite an annual tradition, it was great to see the UK Barchetta Owners’ Club with seven cars on display at Festival Italia 2022, Brands Hatch on the 14th August.

2022 will be remembered for the exceptional heat but that didn’t prevent us from meeting up with old friends and making new ones too whilst enjoying the displays of various Fiats, Alfa Romeos and Lancias. This year Ferrari celebrate their 75th anniversary so it was understandable that there was a huge display of the cars from Maranello sparkling in the sunshine.

Our club line up with the much appreciated shady spot in the background – photo Mark Simmons

There was also some great racing on track and the sight and sound of the F1 car demonstrations is always welcome. As usual the colourful Barchettas got plenty of attention and we also got some jealous looks as our parking spot was next to a nice shady area where we could shelter so thanks to the organising team for that!

Ferraris under blue skies

Attending this year with me and my Dad were Mark Simmons, Carl Williams and his wife Melda, Dave Carver, Tim Sawyer and his son George (who had never actually seen another Barchetta before!) and Ross Williams.  Also club member Jeremy Kraft and his son Link joined us, minus their Barchetta as it is a little sensitive to the hot weather and it might have made for a challenging drive home!

This fantastic Alfa Romeo caught our our eye!

In addition we were pleased to welcome an honorary club member for the day from Italy, Edward Ruffini, who was on the last day of a trip to the UK in his Barchetta before returning home. It was great to hear about his travels and his Barchetta that he drives regularly and also uses on track.

Barchettas on the parade lap

Sasha Adib-Yaghmai also joined us later in the day which meant he could not park in the club area but he did join in with the very busy Italian car parade lap at the end of the day. At one stage Italian cars of all types almost filled the entire Brands Indy circuit which made for quite a sight and we had the pleasure of racing around alongside a rather excellent Fiat camper van!

It was great to see everybody and I wish to thank them for coming along as there were some long journeys involved with overnight stays. It again demonstrated that these social events are a real benefit of club membership and we would encourage anybody with ideas or suggestions about events or day drives to please get in touch and we will look to provide support where we can. I have attended this show each year since 2016 when I parked on the grass, one lonely Barchetta, so to see everyone enjoying themselves shows how the club has developed and what it can offer.

Let’s hope we are there again next year.

Neil Mead