Swapping Wheelchairs for Ferraris
The Chris Burger Petro Jackson Players' Fund, thanks to the kindness of Viglietti Motors, a specialised dealership for Ferrari and Maserati, were recently able to offer Fund recipients the chance of a life time. Ten lucky Players’ Fund recipients joined Viglietti Motors at the Killarney racetrack, Cape Town and the Kyalami racetrack, Joburg for their Ferrari Track Day, upgrading their wheels for a day! The Funds Marketing and Events Coordinator, Nick Sheard, writes of his experience at the Cape Town event.
The Players' Fund staff arrived at Killarney racetrack early, only to see our recipients had beaten us to the mark, a clear sign of the excitement brewing around the opportunity that lay ahead! The pit lane greeted us with a row of gleaming supercars, comprising of the Ferrari and Maserati Range, as well as a catering truck - compliments of Limoncello's Italian Restaurant.
After an introduction to Carlo and Piero Viglietti and Roxanne Riffel, we were given a short safety briefing - with the only real instructions being to sign the indemnity form and hold on tight! A club member, putting a Maserati through its paces on the track at 260km/h, was not helping anyone's nerves. Never the less, having put our lives on the dotted line with a flick of ink, the day was underway.
There was a wry smile on the face of Charles Oppelt when he was informed that he was first up - in a gleaming Ferarri FF. A mixture of nerves and excitement flowed through us all as the roaring V12 engine took Charles off - in what we hoped were the trusty hands of Piero Viglietti.
In a mere matter of moments the Ferrari had completed its first lap and Charles came racing past us on the home stretch at 240 km/h. The look on the face of Acting General Manager, Ali Williams, reflected her worries that she may have subjected her darling recipients to the firing line, while a collective "YOH!" rang out from the pit lane. Two more laps of madness ensued before we rushed to the door of the FF to retrieve Charles from his red steed. We were not expecting the massive smile that awaited us, and our panic was quickly subdued by his constant uttering of the word "unbelievable".
This seemed to be the pattern of the day as, one after another, Henry Afrikaner, Simon Cloete, Delvian Samuels, John Fortuin, Carl Smit, Christian Filand and JP Lugt got their opportunity to get their heart rates up in the FF. Everyone sported hearty grins when getting out of the car after their unforgettable experience. As if this wasn’t enough, Limmoncello kept up a continuous delivery of delicious croissants, gourmet pizza and steak rolls throughout the day.
A big "thank you" must go to Viglietti Motors. Roxanne Riffel organised a fantastic event and Carlo and Piero were amazing behind the wheel. The joy and exhilaration experienced by the Fund's recipients is palpable in their feedback:
"What an amazing experience - a dream fulfilled! Only problem is, once you've driven in a Ferrari, what's there left to drive? Thank you Carlo and your team for such an amazing opportunity for us all. Your generosity in sharing this privilege will long be remembered!" - JP Lugt
"Viglietti Motors, thank you so much for your time and effort in ensuring this event was such an astounding success, for me personally it was an unforgettable and once in a lifetime experience." - Simon Cloete
"Yesterday was very exciting and one I will always remember for the rest of my life. I would like to give a special thanks to the guys of Viglietti motors for their hospitality as well as creating this special opportunity for many of us to fulfil a lifetime dream. Thank you to Carlo and Roxanne as well as every driver and not forgetting the chefs for a special day I will never forget."- Delvien Samuels