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Thursday 29th August 2002


WHO'S THE BOSS?

We go testing with Team Ascari

Pembrey in Wales may not sound a likely venue for F1 testing but that'sexactly what we witnessed yesterday. We went there with PHer Steve Barber whowas testing with the Ascari team. Ascari may not be contesting the current F1series, but they are running a team in the closest thing to it.

EuroBOSS is not far removed from modern F1 with open regulations allowing Indy Car and pre-1998 Formula One and F3000 chassis with engines of unlimited capacities to compete in an eight race series around Europe. 

Competing at regular race meetings the EuroBOSS series allows punters to see these great machines in action at a fraction of the price of an F1 ticket. There's even overtaking!

Steve Barber plans to enter EuroBOSS next year and is seeking additional partners/sponsors to complete his support package. If you're interested in getting involved, contact us and we'll put you in touch.

Aside from interests in sports car racing and road car going supercars,Ascari's owner Klaas Zwaart has a new passion - Euro BOSS. That's Big Old SingleSeaters or ex-Formula One cars in plain language. Ascari run a number of cars inthe series and Zwaart competes very successfully himself.

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Team Ascari descended on the quiet Welsh circuit with two articulated truckscontaining three Formula One cars, a Radical and all the smart F1 styleequipment necessary to kit out a pit garage. The team then set about preparingthe two Benettons and the Ferrari for testing. All-in-all, an extremelyprofessional set up.

Sitting in the pit garage whilst the cars were prepared was fascinating as wehad the chance to see under the covers of the cars. Far simpler looking than youmight expect, the mechanical layout and design of the cars belie the hightechnology construction.

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With what looked like saline drips set up and heaters blowing on the engines,the cars were warmed to the point at which is was safe to start them. Then ofcourse the familiar noise of V10 engines drowned all conversation and Klaas andSteve took to the track.

Whilst I'm no great fan of Formula One racing, as a petrolhead you can't helpbut get a thrill from the incredible sound that these cars make. Klaas Zwaart isa bit handy behind the wheel (despite only taking up racing when he was 40), andcertainly did justice to his car as he worked his way up and down the sequentialgearbox, clearly audible all the way around the circuit. Standing by the pitwall clicking off some pictures, it was deafening as the cars blasted past atover 150mph creating what seemed like a sonic boom as they flew past!

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Experimentation with setup with the order of the day for Zwaart, whilst SteveBarber underwent an exercise in familiarisation as he cut his times down towithin four seconds of Zwaart - good going for his first ride in such a car.

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This is a series that might just inject some new enthusiasm for the machineryamongst F1 fans disillusioned with the current state of play at the top of thesport. If you get the chance to see a BOSS race, get yourself along. Closeracing and a spine tingling cacophony are yours for ticket prices closer to £10than £100.

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Links: www.ascari.co.uk , www.euroboss.com , www.eurobossf1.com , www.sarahkavanagh.com

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