George Zachary joins the “Fast Lane” after completing his second-ever race at the Circuit of The Americas. Despite his limited experience, George was able to turn consistent lap times and made huge improvements as the weekend wore on, befitting someone so new to the sport. While this may be his second-ever race, he is no stranger to the track, having completed over 20 track days with the Ferrari Challenge car in preparation for this season and it has surely paid off.
Why did you decide to compete in Ferrari Challenge?
Racing is something I always wanted to do since I was 5 years old. I’ve always even just been excited by Ferraris since I was 5. And you think, now I’m in my 50s, so I’ve had this passion and desire to race for around 50 years. I first learned about the series through the Corso Pilota school and I learned about the school when I was in the process of buying a Ferrari. I did a lot of track days, about 20 of them, with two Ferrari coaches to get ready for this season.
What is your favorite circuit?
We haven’t raced at it yet, and its kind of my home court, but I like Laguna Seca. I love the weather and it’s a fairly technical track with not a lot of straightaways and I like the elevation change. Even though a lot of people say that the Corkscrew is something that they don’t like, I actually do like it, and I like that there are a lot of turns.
What is your favorite part of the 488 Challenge Evo?
It’s a really exciting car to drive. I found it pretty easy to learn how to drive the car, and its extremely powerful. Because I have a bunch of mid-engine cars from Ferrari it was a natural extension to learn how to drive it, so that could be why. Some of the other cars in my garage include a 458, a 488 Pista, 812 Superfast, an F12tdf and I’m waiting on an F8 Tributo and SF90 Stradale.
Which race do you remember the most fondly?
We had a great experience at Indianapolis and he (Alessandro Balzan, his coach) said that it was the most exciting time for him coaching. The amount of progress that I had made, I’m 54 and I’m completely green, I had never raced before, ever. So, starting from scratch at 54 and him seeing me get from zero to being in the race was important, not just for me but also for Ale. He was just thrilled that I did well, that I responded well and that I did good lap times. I’ll never forget how happy he looked.
Do you have other passions or hobbies outside of racing?
Besides my family, this is the number one thing. I love the Ferrari community and being involved in it. I’m professionally involved in neuro-biology on the science side, but that’s turned into a few companies. I just spend my free time on things Ferrari-related. I’ve become completely an obsessed person. For me its fun coming here and not only with the cars, but I love the people here and the environment of it all. There are great people here, its really fantastic.
Stream all the Ferrari Challenge action from Laguna Seca on live.ferrari.com and on the @Ferrariraces Facebook page.