Ferrari Racing Days :: Ferraris for Weeks

Ferrari Racing

From humble beginnings in Modena, Enzo Ferarri had a desire to race cars since the tender age of ten. Many decades have passed since then and the product of ‘il Commandetores’ desires have not only won races like Formula 1, but have also inspired generation after generation of enthusiasts to own a Ferrari one day.
Last weekend Sydney Motorsport Park played host to the first ever Ferrari racing day in Australia. Though the skies were dark and chances of rainfall throughout the entire weekend were high, it didn’t deter true Ferrari enthusiasts away from what was bound to be the biggest gathering of Ferrari’s Australia had ever witnessed. With over $170 million worth of Ferrari’s in attendance, we were sure to be in for a breathtaking experience.

There were four main attractions across the weekend.  The first being the Ferrari XX program, which saw owners lucky enough to purchase either the 599XX or the Ferrari FXX direct from Ferrari.  The car is only a part of the overall program as customers pay £2 million, however they are only allowed to drive the car on special track days which are approved by Ferrari.

The FXX’s Evo engine is based on the Enzo, but displacement has been increased to (6.3 L; 382.1 cu in) from (6.0 L; 366.0 cu in) while the output has been boosted from the Enzo’s 670 PS (492.8 kW; 660.8 hp), to 860 PS (630 kW; 850 hp) at 9500 rpm

The gearbox incorporates the latest developments from Ferrari’s F1 program and has a shift time of under 100ms.  The brake pads were also upgraded from the Enzo.  However, it does retain the carbon fibre-reinforced silicon carbide (C/SiC) ceramic composite discs found on the Enzo.  The tyres are custom-developed 19 inch slicks.

Ferrari has only built 30 of these, adding one special edition to the 29 that they originally had planned. The original 29 have all been sold to pre-selected past Ferrari customers.  The 30th was retained by Ferrari S.p.A. and presented to Ferrari’s F1 World Champion driver, Michael Schumacher, when he retired from Formula One.

We were lucky enough to witness 2 FXX pushing the limits on SMSP.

Ferrari bought 6 599xx along to Ferrari racing days, what a spectacle it was to hear these at full song.
The 599xx 6.0-liter V-12 makes 720 HP (536.9 KW) and 506 pound-feet of torque with a redline of 9000 rpm

The carbon-ceramic brakes are cooled by F1-derived “wheel donuts” that vent unwanted BTUs away from the rotors through slots around the wheels’ center-locking nut, under heavy braking you can see the rotors lighting up from the heat.

The car runs 29/67 R19 front and 31/71 R19 rear tyres with 19 × 11J wheel rims at the front and 19 × 12J at the rear, specifically developed to maximise stability in cornering.

Next up was the F1 Clienti, which sees the extremely wealthy who have been long time customers of Ferrari and were lucky enough to be given the opportunity to purchase an EX Formula 1 car from the 1970-present. This package from Ferrari includes: a full support crew, transporter, mechanic and handlers like a pro driver would receive on race day. We were lucky enough to witness 9 of these amazing machines grace SMSP.

Among these was the 3.5L V12 powered Ferrari 412 T1. The sheer sound of this car gives me goose bumps, it has to be one of the best sounding F1 cars I have ever heard!

Every piece of  suspension, bracing and aero was a work of art!

This particular Ferrari 412 was driven by Gerhard Berger in the 1994 Formula one Championship with 1 win and 3 poles.

Amongst the classic formula 1 cars, there was a gem from 1985, the Ferrari 156.

Powered by a classic V6 Turbocharged motor producing 900 bhp (671 kW; 912 PS), this car was well known for the incident where Alboreto famously drove half a lap with the rear of his car on fire following another turbo failure in the European Grand Prix.

There were also a few modern F1 cars belting out some hot laps, sadly this will be one of the last times I’ll get to hear that iconic and haunting sound of a true Formula 1 car. Now as the sport moves into a new age, petrol guzzling dinosaurs like this will be distant memory.

Kimi Raikinon’s former  whip was out stretching it’s legs as was Felipe Massa’s old car.

These cars were the peak of Formula One, seeing them race one last time was truly special.

We were also lucky enough to see the pit crew strip down a Ferrari.

The sheer volume of mechanical parts is amazing!

There is no doubt that there was a tonne of action on the track, but there was still more attractions to see throughout the event. The Ferrari F1 team were out and about performing a pit show to see how much support the driver actually gets from his team.

The team had a few demonstrations of actual pit stops from the drivers and showed us how it’s done!

Marc Gene leaving the pits with a fresh set of tyres.

We really can’t say no to a burn out can we?

The fun on the track was not over yet, with the Ferrari Challenge well underway.

The 458’s used in this challenge are fitted with a racing cockpit, racing wheels, track tyres and light weight panels and windows. They are also equipped with jack mountings just in case things don’t go to plan.

Some of the most exciting racing I have seen to date, with so many close calls and many overtakes it was the highlight of the day.

These 458’s were pushed to the limit, check out the heat waves coming from the exhaust!

There was so much excitement on and off the track, just take a look at this Ferrari F12 Berlinetta! Ferrari says it is the fasted road car they have ever produced!!

Throughout the years, Ferarri has always designed cars that have been (as Richard Hammond always says) a car found on posters stuck to a boys bedroom wall… The ultimate dream.

At the time the F40 was the fastest, most powerful, and most expensive car that Ferrari sold to the public. This was and in some cases still is the ultimate from for some.

Cars like the F40 and the 288 GTO have the reputation of being the biggest, most bad Ferrari’s of their respected times… Now that technology has evolved over time there is a new bad boy in town…

The La-Ferrari incorporates the use of electric motors to aid the already monstrous 6.3L V12 which produces a combined power of 800 PS (588 kW, 789 bhp) at 9000 rpm. With Ferrari stating it can do 0-300km/h in 15 seconds, it is a shame we couldn’t see a few laps around the track.

I could spend days talking about the cars Ferrari produced until my voice box gives up, from their record of Formula 1 championship wins, to their flagship cars that seem like the be all and end all of automotive production. To have an event of this magnitude organised by Ferrari themselves, hosted at SMSP, has got to be one of the highlights of my year.

Thanks for reading,

– Robert.

Photos: Full Motion Photography