A couple of weeks ago it seemed like just another slow day at the office until we received a phone call from our friends at Shell Australia. Last time we got one of these calls, we were invited to check out Shell’s role with the Ferrari Formula 1 team at the Melbourne Grand Prix.
Our quick phone conversation became a blur and I had to wait for an email to hit our inbox before it really sank in… “Hi guys we’re releasing a new formula of the V Power fuel and would like you to come to Sydney and experience it first hand behind the wheel of a Ferrari on the coast of NSW!”
Needless to say, we said yes without even having to think about it and jumped on a plane to Sydney!
After a quick flight from Melbourne, I arrived to the familiar faces of Matyas from Downshift and Luke from Full Boost. We checked into our rooms at the hotel and found something for dinner before calling it an early night.
I spent most of the night editing some more WTAC content to the soothing sounds of the nearby waves crashing into the sand that came in through the open door.
Like a kid on Christmas morning, I sprung out of bed bright and early and dashed down to the lobby to find these gorgeous bright red Ferrari’s awaiting us.
Was this real life? I had to pinch myself as I took in all the incredible details of the 458 Italia.
Every inch of this car was simply a masterpiece. Not a single bolt was the way it was simply because ‘that would do’, no every bolt was carefully selected and crafted to make this car every boys’ dream.
The interior was all about precision and excitement. All the controls were placed in the center of the steering wheel akin to its’ F1 brother. This is definitely a ‘drivers’ car!
Everywhere I looked I found the name or horse imprinted around the car… the engine, boot, seats and side steps. They’re very proud of their creations and it’s easy to see why after only just a short drive!
A few metres away was the other star of the show, another bright red thoroughbred, only this one had a folding metal roof. It was of course a California!
Next to the 458 this is a much bigger car with the hulking long bonnet housing Ferrari’s first front mounted V8. It was also one of the first to use direct injection technology, which we soon learned that the new V-Power fuel had been specially formulated with this tech in mind.
The California is just as striking as the 458, with beautiful round taillights streaming up into the body and four exhaust tips poking out through the rear bumper.
Further down the driveway was the now older brother, a beautiful F430 Spider. Despite the age of the car compared to its successors, we were actually pretty excited to drive it!
It wasn’t time for our drive yet though, so we headed indoors to hear about the new fuel.
Inside we were greeted by Dr Alex Cantlay, one of the Senior Scientists from Shell. Over the last 10 years Alex has been developing and improving fuels for Shell in the UK and is now based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
After a slideshow covering the new generation of V Power fuel, we were treated to a first hand demonstration of the benefits the new formula provides over inferior fuels.
Dr Alex Cantlay showed us two valves, one had a build up of fuel and the other almost perfectly clean. When set alight with a flame or the combustion inside the engine the dirty valve stays alight for a lot longer.
When tuning and running a high performance engine a short and controlled flame is much more desirable and helps increase responsiveness.
Aside from the higher octane we’ve come to love from V Power, the new formula contains powerful detergents that help keep the engine components clean. There has also been a vast improvement over the old formula thanks to 25% more friction modifiers, these play a vital role in helping to lubricate the pistons as they travel, helping to improve the response of the engine.
After just 60 days of use the new V Power can make improvements to nearly any engine!
After our time with Dr Cantlay it was time to sign our lives away for our scenic drive with the three bright red Ferraris out front, reading our disclaimer forms my heart sank…
“You must be at least 30 years of age to drive”.
With the air quickly escaping my lungs my shoulders fell back into my seat… it hit me! I wasn’t going to be able to drive these gorgeous exotic sports cars.
After fighting back the tears, Matyas agreed to be my driver for the day (he got twice the seat time of anyone else that day!).
He also agreed to not have any fun in any way, shape of form whilst driving that day.
Not 10 meters down the road, I learned that Matyas cannot be trusted! And with every press of the accelerator, he was quickly grinning like school boy in a candy shop!
Soon the sadness faded as I became aware of my surroundings… I was sitting shotgun in an amazing piece of machinery blasting along the beautiful NSW coastline on a Monday morning!!
The drive consisted of nearly every type of road imaginable, tight and twisting mountain roads, motorways, coastal roads and even the odd residential neighborhood street.
Our pace car for the day was an Alfa Romeo Giulietta and we all agreed it was a rather striking little hatch back!
It was hard to notice anything else on the road thanks to the amazing symphony of noises coming form the back of our 458.
Matyas backed it into first, then hammered through the gears utilising all 560 horses in the boot yelling “YESSS, OVER NINE THOUSAND!!!”
During our drive we pulled into a Shell service station for a quick refuel and car swap, the faces from all the Monday morning commuters was priceless.
You could see each person trying to work out what each of these six young men smiling from ear to ear holding the keys to these exquisite beauties did for a day job.
We hit the road again heading back into the hills.
We eventually came to a stop next to a field of horses and a mind blowing view through the nearby valley and coastline.
This was certainly the highpoint of our day, three beautiful cars, the peace and quiet of a country road and some roadside refreshments. This is certainly the life!
Next we jumped in the F430, it was rough in comparison to its’ younger siblings but we enjoyed it!
The sound from every shift of the gears was pure ecstasy to our ears!!
Everywhere I looked I was reminded of the theater and excitement that is driving a Ferrari! With vents everywhere, hand stitching on all the leather and of course those sounds and vibrations!!
Our friends looked like they were enjoying the Cali nearly as much as we did!
Our last stop for the day was right next to the water on our way back into town.
This made for some of our favourite shots of the day.
After our final stop we headed home to the hotel for one of the best lunches I have ever had!
To finish off our perfect day, Shell had booked out the local Seabreeze restaurant where we ate some truly amazing food! I couldn’t choose which dessert to get so I got all four!
I would like to thank Shell Australia for another incredible opportunity and an amazing day!
If you would like to enjoy some new V Power fuel for free then enter Shell’s photo competition.
Simply tweet a picture of your car with the hashtag ‘#ShellVPower’ and @Shell_Australia between the 4th of November and the 8th of December.
Shell will be choosing ten winners a week to receive a $100 Coles Express gift card!
Thanks for reading,