The Ferrari Challenge regroups Ferrari owners and their family around the track for a weekend of fun and gentleman racing. Those 2 days at the track feature the now famous F430 race, the FXX program, Formula One Clients and driving clinics.
As soon as you enter the parking area you are in Ferrari territory. The lot is filled with Maranello finest super cars.
After 30 minutes or more spent in the parking lot taking pictures. You will arrive in the pit where all race cars are lined up for the parade.
As I said earlier, the main event is the Ferrari F430 Challenge. The F430 is Ferrari’s entry model, mid-engine V8 offering 480bhp under your right foot. The street version of the F430 already doesn’t come cheap at $170k, but you will have to cough up an extra $100k for this special race version.
Those F430 race cars are tuned for the track and maintained by Ferrari dealership but their engines are not tuned and they are not more powerful than the street version. Upgrades are essentially about improving security, weight and handling.
For those that were unsure about the V8 483 horse power, Ferrari offered some hot laps in a stock 430. And I can tell you that it is more than any non professional driver can handle.
Anyway the Ferrari Challenge is not about cracking the world track record. We are talking about gentleman drivers here. And it is not rare to see drivers surrounded by their wives and kids. I got the following picture while driver where repeatedly asked to come to the pre-grid. As you can see it is quite relaxed.
There is still some very competitive driving happening, and this unfortunate F430 on tow truck will not say otherwise:
This year we have been very lucky to see one of only 2 Ferrari FXX event in the American continent.
You all know the Ferrari FXX . It is basically a strip down, race tuned version of the already very rare Ferrari Enzo. Only 29 FXX have been produced and each owner had to pay approximately 2 Million dollar to get their own.
But this is more than car ownership that they bought. They are part of the FXX program which will help Ferrari to build their next supercar. Ferrari is following each track session very closely through the 38 sensors located in each car. Based on these data the Prancing Horse technician will adjust and better the cars for the next event.
In fact the FXX you can see today are not exactly the same as the one the driver took delivery. Everything is over the top with this program. I was quite impressed to see that the tires used for the racing session are shipped by Ferrari from Italy by air freight!
FXX owner also have access to their own high roller lounge, where even the media cannot take any picture.
So just when you though that Ferrari FXX supercars were the most exclusive you could dream of. You hear some familiar engine noises revving up to 18000 rpm. Yep there is a more exclusive class, the Formula One Program aka ’F1 Clienti’.
Those used F1 cars are between 3 to 6 years old and they of course look like new with their original sticker and full pit crew to pamper them.
After seeing all this you will certainly add a few lines to your Christmas Wish list! I personally never even think about asking for a Formula One but this year I’ll be smarter and simply ask for the fastest used car available on the market ;).
To resume: great crowd, amazing cars, insane sounds, Ferrari and racing! You can’t miss the next Ferrari Challenge near you:
April 13-15, 2007 Infineon Raceway, CA
Includes Historics, F1 Clienti and FXX Program
May 18-20, 2007 Virginia International Raceway
Be sure to check out our Ferrari Challenge picture gallery, as there is so much to see I could not write about it all.