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Gamla Tony

Those were the days…

Here comes the Tony Ring Story, enjoy…

My first ever contact with Ferrari was when I was asked by Ferrari UK to test and develop the Ferrari 348 LM, the car that should bring back some of the glory to Maranello in what still is one of the greatest races of all time, the 24 hours of Le Mans
This was in 1994 and unfortunately the visit to Le Mans that year ended in tears, Robin Smith coming together with Eddie Irvine in the warm up destroying the car totally. My work was anyway awarded with a couple of races in the 1995 BPR Global Endurance series with a fourth place at Suzuka as the most memorable moment.

For 1996 I was drafted to Ferrari France and Yellow Racing and the brand new Ferrari 355 GT2 but unfortunately the car never came up to its high expectations. The only salvation was that I got a drive for Italian Motors, the Hong Kong and China importer for Ferrari, and had a couple of very good races in Asia.

In 1997 things started to happen when apart from my Asian commitments I started to drive for Dutch Ferrari importer Kroymans in the Ferrari/Porsche Challenge. The result was a fifth place overall the first year and after that I knew exactly what we needed to do to get a better result. To my surprise Kroymans agreed to all of my ideas and gave us the money and the resources we needed for the next season, 1998.

The start was the best possible, we entered the GT class of classic 1000 km di Monza and finished in a fantastic 12th position overall and second in our class. After that it was time for the real deal, Ferrari / Porsche Challenge, and everything went according to plans until the penultimate race at Nürburgring when I just had to close the box and walk home with the price check. Ubfortunately that did not happen… I was leading the race that would had given me the championship, but just before finish the gear-leaver broke and had to limp home in sixth gear still finishing in a respectable fifth place, that great was my lead before the disaster stroke.

In 1999 we had learned the lesson in all aspects and from the double victory in the first two races at Monza we just kept on until the championship was ours and a Ferrari was the winner for the ever first time since Ferrari / Porsche Challenge started 1993. What made the last year of the 1900th century extra sweet was that I also had a class win in the 24 H´s of Nürburgring, but that was in an Alfa Romeo so that is another story.

From 2000 Kroymans changed it focus to compete exclusively in the Ferrari Challenge and I followed for the first year with the team and scored some good results with second at Zandvoort as best. 2001 was the year when I was asked by Ferrari Deutschland to drive for them because at that time the German organization was also responsible for Scandinavia. I was placed in the famous Auto Becker Team under the Ferrari Stockholm banner and despite some bad luck I managed to take several podium finishes over the year.

In 2002 we continued in the same configuration and the results started to come, my first ever victory in Ferrari Challenge came at Nürburgring after a truly exciting race. I also did a guest appearances in the Scandinavian Challenge winning both races at Mantorp Park in Sweden without too much trouble.

2003 was the season when almost everything came our way, I won the German Challenge and I was third in the European Endurance series. I also was asked to drive the Scandinavian Challenge and did so winning 8 out of 12 races to clinch the championship in the most dominant fashion so far.

2004 I decided to cut down on my racing, partly because I felt that it was difficult to top the season before and mostly because I had over 280 travel days in 2003 and I wanted to spend more time with my family with small kids that hardly saw their father.

After a couple of years with a feeling that something was missing, me and my family decided together that I should start racing again, and 2006 I made my come back in the brand new Ferrari 430 Challenge. The start could had been more silent, my first outing in the 430 ended after just 6 laps when the oil-filter broke, the car caught fire and was badly damaged. To see it from the sunny side You could say that I got a warm welcome back… Apart from the teething problems the team I was driving for did not really perform to my expectations and I had to see out my two year contract without any real success.

In 2007 a small salvation was my third place overall in the fastest class of Divinol Cup where I also was driving apart from my Ferrari Challenge duties.