Kessel Racing: In the beginning there was racing

Peter Knoflach makes a turn of the large wheel and heads towards the race track.

Peter Knoflach, a Swiss national with racing in his blood, has big plans. He dreams of running his own Ferrari racing team. All under the motto: from Silverstone to Le Mans. It’s well known that everything starts out small and so it was for the motor racing mad Peter Knoflach, who has an international racing driver’s and instructor’s licence himself. Ferrari not only found a place in his heart but it is also a major part of his professional career. It is therefore not surprising that he still has many friends and contacts within the international world of Ferrari. One of the most notable of these is Ronnie Kessel from Kessel Racing, Lugano.

Peter Knoflach knows only too well that motor racing is a team sport, whether one is referring to the technology or the finances. On the technical side, he has left nothing to chance and for 2015 he has signed up Kessel Racing, one of the most famous international motor racing teams, who have already experienced countless victories with Ferrari cars in various motorsport series. And the finances? In this business, you can’t go anywhere without sponsorship. If you were to block out the pure motor racing element, to all intents and purposes you would be left with a ‘loud’ marketing platform which positions brand names internationally and actively involves clients in race day events as guests. As a shrewd car salesman, Peter Knoflach understands how to use emotions to induce buying decisions or to gain sponsors who previously had no interest in motor sports. His enthusiasm for the subject lured us to the race tracks for two weekends. The first destination was the Kessel Racing Track Days at the Circuito Tazio Nuvolari just outside Milan. Here we were not spectators as usual but were soon actively involved in the racing action. Kitted out in red Ferrari overalls, motor racing shoes, headrests and safety crash helmets, we squeezed ourselves into the unusually narrow co-driver’s seats and soon set off on a couple of fast warm-up laps. From a subjective viewpoint, we felt as though we had broken the track record there and then. And then we made the respectful switch to the driver’s seat. It had scarcely anything to do with the Ferrari 458 Challenge Evo that everything was now going by at a leisurely pace. After this Italian weekend, things then moved quick and fast: sponsorship agreements were signed for 2015/16, a Ferrari racing car was purchased and the first official race was announced in Le Castellet. The newly acquired Ferrari was now ready for racing but was not yet the finished article: it needed some sponsor’s logos. The sponsor, Volker Ruhe from Cerenes Golfsport, was pleased to lend a hand and stuck his company logo all over the racing car. Ideally equipped, it was then off to Le Castellet in southern France where the team had its first rendezvous. The lap times achieved were remarkable and all those present were given confidence for 2016. Watch this space.

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