In just four years, the Ferrari Drivers Group Sarasota continues to produce truly premier car shows in Florida. The 4th Annual show also celebrated Ford winning Le Mans in 1966 thru 1969 and the Oscar-winning Ford v Ferrari. Best of all, 100% of proceeds from its event weekend goes to charity.
The SARASOTA: EXOTIC CAR FESTIVAL 2020 produced by Joe Brielmann and Jurgen Otto, principals of the Ferrari Drivers Group Sarasota and members of the Sarasota Café Racers, benefited The Flight To The North Pole Foundation. A non-judged car show on Lakewood Ranch’s Main Street is the centerpiece of the weekend program that included a road rally and brunch and a Gala and auction. The Festival was started in 2017 and a second show event at St. Armands Circle was added in 2018. In 2017 the Festival raised $25,000, doubling to $50,000 in 2018. Last year’s show generated a donation in excess of $100,000. Internationally recognized and local comic, daredevil and circus performer, Bello Nock, above, right, ran the charity auction and once again served as the show’s Grand Marshall.
The Sarasota Café Racers International carguy lunch group, with satellites in the U.S., Canada, Europe and the Middle East, celebrated the Oscar-winning film, Ford v Ferrari and Ford’s legendary winning of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, with a special exhibit at the Exotic Car Festival on Main Street in Lakewood Ranch.
“We’ve put together a unique selection of 2005-2006 and 2019 Ford GT Supercars (built to commemorate Ford GT40s beating Ferrari and winning Le Mans), Ferraris and Shelby Cobras to showcase the marques featured in Ford v Ferrari,” Joe Angeleri, FIA 289 Cobra owner and exhibit organizer.
For decades, show promoters and organizations throughout the United States have attempted to create car shows/concours that rival the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, started in 1950. Only a handful has come within reach of what has been touted as the platinum standard of the genre.
However, what had started as an affordable day of soaking in the art of the automobile has become a gathering of those who can afford or are willing to spend, hundreds of dollars for admission to the show field and pricey hotel, food and parking expenses. Pebble Beach, as well as other events that make up Monterey Car Week, and just about all quality shows/concours around the country, do support local charities.
Sarasota’s Exotic Car Festival is certainly not a Pebble Beach wannabee, but in many ways is much more fun. And, it’s free for spectators, and all proceeds go to support The Flight To The North Pole, a charity that serves local area families with children dealing with life-threatening or special heath problems. The Ferrari Drivers Group Sarasota works closely with the Manatee County (FL) Sheriff’s Office for show and event security as well as for the direct connection to the charity.
While the SARASOTA: EXOTIC CAR FESTIVAL 2020 show’s raison d’être is to showcase the latest and greatest exotics and Supercars, Breilmann and Otto feel that real enthusiasts also enjoy seeing a mix of vintage automobiles that may not qualify as “exotic.” In addition to all the usual suspects – Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, McLaren, Porsche and Ford GT – this year’s Festival on Saturday, February 29th, hosted a wide variety of marques from Aston Martin to a classic vintage VW Beetle.
There was also a full compliment of specialty collector vehicles, ranging from a Model A Ford and hot-rodded ’32 Woodie to a supercharged MG-TD, a Saleen S7 and a state-of-the-art Lamborghini racecar from Corsa 7. Carrying the ultra-luxury banner were stunners from Bentley and Rolls-Royce. Corvette enthusiasts were not disappointed. There was also a head-turning, uniquely customized mid-series Sting Ray coupe powered by modern LS Corvette engine. Approximately 140 cars were displayed.
For more information about the SARASOTA: EXOTIC CAR FESTIVAL 2020 and all its events, please visit https://exoticcarfestival.com/
To learn more about The Flight To The North Pole Foundation, check out https://flighttothenorthpole.org/
You can visit the Manatee County (FL) Sheriff’s Office @ http://www.manateesheriff.com/
For additional photo coverage of the Exotic car Festival 2020, please visit Evan Lewis’ coverage, https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1ziuP2XwGCvhEnsUZRjWnMd-p9Mn-G6Ca