Sonoma Raceway is a bumpy, undulating track with blind, off-camber corners. It’s a scary place that does not suffer fools. So anyone wanting to royally spank an old V10 F1 car around the northern California facility is pretty damn heroic in our book.
Marc Gene is the driver in question. At one of Ferrari’s recent, super-exclusive Corsa Clienti events, he took around an F2004 F1 car - the machine which nabbed 15 wins out of the 2004 season’s 18 races - to dramatic effect. The footage is nothing short of sensational, and it barely looks real.
The Spaniard set a 1.21.004, an unofficial (as it wasn’t at a race weekend) lap record. As it happens, the fastest official time on Sonoma’s full course was set the same year the F2004 was busy dominating F1 - in 2004 Marco Werner knocked out a 1:21.688 in an Audi R8 LMP1 car, which is yet to be bettered 15 years on.
If you like what you see here, you’re in luck, as this isn’t the first time Marc Gene has had a play in an old Ferrari F1 car at a US track. About a year ago Gene smashed the Road Atlanta lap record by five seconds in an F2003-GA.
Update: It turns out this isn’t quite the unofficial lap record it’s claimed to be as Gene’s lap actually took place on a slightly different (and slower) layout of the circuit to that driven on by Werner in the Audi LMP1 car. It’s still a record, just not that record.