It is not a secret that Ferrari is known as the most successful manufacturer to ever race in Formula One. What a lot of people do not remember is that Ferrari had a very successful career in sports car prototype racing. Between 1940 and the early 1970s, Ferrari won 9 Le Mans wins and 13 World Sportscar Championships. Ferrari’s involvement in sports car prototype racing came to an end in 1974 when Ferrari Chairman, Enzo Ferrari, decided to focus the manufacturer’s attention on Formula One racing. Two decades would pass before the Prancing Horse would return to prototype racing with the release of the Ferrari 333 SP in 1994.
Designed by the famed Italian chassis manufacturer Dallara, at the request of amateur racer Giampero Moretti, the 333 SP was available for purchase until 2003, and holds the distinction of being the only Ferrari race vehicle to win the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring.
The Ferrari Challenge is a customer interaction program that allows Ferrari customers the opportunity to race their specially built Challenge cars in a structured and competitive environment against other Ferrari owners. The Ferrari Challenge takes place on some of the most challenging tracks in both the United States and Canada. The Ferrari Challenge comes to the famous Watkins Glen racetrack on September 19-21, for a complete weekend of supercar racing, gourmet food and fun filled activities for the entire family. The only requirement to participate in the Ferrari Challenge is ownership of a Ferrari. Ferrari hopes that these sort of engagements help to strengthen the bond between Ferrari owners and the Ferrari brand.
The Ferrari 250 GTO is one of the most coveted examples of Ferrari’s golden era of racing, with only 39 examples ever made. It is extremely uncommon for one to come up for auction and when they do, they tend to fetch a large amount of cash.
During most of the 1980s, the 250 GTO was selling in the six figures. By 1989, a Ferrari 250 GTO sold at auction for $10 million with a second example selling a few months later for $13 million. By 2012, the price for a GTO at auction was around $35 million with even one example selling for an astonishing $52 million.
Bonhams auction house has gotten its hands on an extremely rare example that is rich in racing history; chassis number 3851 GT will be auctioned off at the Quail Lodge during Monterey weekend next month.
Chassis number 3851 GT is the 19th example of the Ferrari 250 GTO and was released for sale on September 11, 1962. The initial owner was a French racer named Jo Schlesser, who died in an experimental Honda F1 car six years later at the French Grand Prix. The Ferrari 250 GTO was later crashed at the Montlhery Autodrome and then repaired at the Maranello factory and returned to completion the following year. In 1965, Fabizio Violati became the owner and kept the 250 GTO is his collection until his death in 2010, making this the longest single-owner GTO in existence.
During an interview with racing journalist at the British Grand Prix this past weekend, the 2007 World Champion and winner of 20 grands prix, Kimi Raikkonen suggested that 2015 will be his last season racing for Ferrari or anyone else in Formula One. When asked how long he expects to stay in Formula One, Raikkonen answered: “Until my contract is finished, and then I will probably stop. That is what I think is going to happen.”
Raikkonen has been struggling this season with an underperforming car, ranked 12th in the standings, Raikkonen is currently ranked lower than he has finished any season while driving in Formula One. This poor performance has been compounded by the fact that longtime rival and current teammate, Fernando Alonso has managed to secure a 4th place ranking while struggling with the same underperforming equipment.
At 34 years of age, Kimi Raikkonen is the oldest active driver in Formula One. Raikkonen has 3 months of age on Jenson Button and a full year on former teammate Felipe Massa. Considering how many young faces currently make up the Formula One lineup, it’s only natural to start wondering just how long Raikkonen will continue to race.
Gene Haas has announced that he will field a new Formula One team for the 2016 season versus the much easier task of purchasing an existing team. Haas also announced that the team will be housed out of his NASCAR team’s headquarters in North Carolina. Gene Haas will be teaming up with Ferrari for this Formula One partnership, Ferrari remains the most successful race team in Formula One racing, with sixteen Constructors’ Championships, fifteen drivers’ titles and 221 grand prix victories. Ferrari won its last championship in 2008.
Ferrari has patented a new steering system designed to improve accuracy. This new steering system aims to reduce inaccuracy and inconsistent feedback found in the existing steering setups. By doing so, Ferrari hopes to create future sports cars that steer with greater precision. The new system uses software to make adjustments for inconsistencies such as those found when turning the wheel at different angles from left to right. This software is suppose to calculate the angle and torque applied to the steering wheel, applying the necessary corrections to reduce “transmission error,” a term used to explain the delay between the drivers input on the wheel and response of the front wheels.
An ultra rare example of a 1954 Ferrari 375-Plus recently sold at the Bonhams Auction for a stunning $18.3 million. The abnormally high auction bid may be connected to this particular car’s racing history. Jose Froilan Gonzalez drove this 375-Plus to victory at Silverstone in 1954; the sports car went on to run at the Le Mans and the Mille Miglia. It is not uncommon for a 1950’s era racer to pull a high six figure or low seven figure return at auction, however this particular example now joins a very small group of cars that have sold for over $10 million. Current auction trends suggest that we should expect more vintage Ferraris to hit the eight figure mark in the future.
The Ferrari 375-Plus variant included an additional 400 cc, increasing the size of the then powerful V-12 to 4.9-liters. Each 375-Plus came with body upgrades from Carrozzeria Pinin Farina and was only available at the end of the Ferrari 375 production run.
The rest of the world has been able to enjoy Ferrari’s new supercar, the LaFerrari for several months now, while those of us in America have only been able to view the 963 horsepower hybrid online. That is, until now, the first LaFerrari to be delivered to North America has finally arrived! Before delivery took place, Ferrari held a special track session at Mount-Tremblant, Quebec, Canada, during the Mount-Tremblant Ferrari festival.
Out of the 499 units that will be produced, 120 of them are making their way to the North America. There is no word yet on when the first LaFerrari will be delivered to the United States, however, the Canadian model is dressed in a stunning shade of red. Those who look close will notice that the North American example of the LaFerrari has been outfitted with side markers, this is due to government regulations requiring side markers to be on all vehicles in the United States and Canada.
Ferrari was not shy about announcing the arrival of the first LaFerrari in Canada, Ferrari took to twitter and YouTube posting video of the supercar turning laps at the Ferrari Festival.
Michael Schumacher is no longer in a coma and has been transferred from the hospital in Grenoble, France, where he has been since his skiing accident last year to a recovery ward at the University Hospital in Lausanne, Switzerland.
“Michael has left…to continue his long phase of rehabilitation,” according to his manager Sabine Kehm.
As in previous statements, Schumacher’s agent asked for the media and fans to respect the privacy of Schumacher and his family as they continue forward with his recovery.
“The family also wishes to thank all the people who have sent Michael all the many good wishes,” Kehm said. “We are sure it helped him. For the future we ask for understanding that his further rehabilitation will take place away from the public eye.”
The seven-time Formula One world champion is an avid and experienced skier who suffered severe head trauma as a result of a skiing accident at the French Alps resort of Meribel on December 29. Investigators believe that Schumacher struck a rock that was hidden below the snow while traversing an area between two pistes, which catapulted him face first into another rock.
In early January, a French prosecutor tasked with investigating the accident concluded that speed was not a reason for Schumacher’s fall.
This little racer has the distinction of running over 50 races and winning half of them, making this the winningest Ferrari ever. The story starts in 1957, when a guy by the name of John von Neumann, an accomplished race car driver on the California coast, ordered a 250TR V12 Ferrari engine. His goal was to put this engine inside the engine bay of a Ferrari TRC. This was more than tricky due to the fact that the engine bay was originally designed to fit a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. He enlisted the help to fellow race car driver and technical wizard, Richie Ginther, the two of them created the first and only TRC with a factory V12 and by doing so created the first Ferrari hot rod.
Ever driven blindfolded at speeds over 180 mph? Extreme Motorsports is looking for anyone over the age of 21 with a valid driver’s license who believes they have what it takes to drive a supercar blindfolded. Last September, Mike Newman broke the world record for the fastest car driven blindfolded, reaching a top speed of 186.12 mph driving a Porsche 911 GT2. Extreme Motorsports is out to break that record, this time using a Ferrari 458 Challenge Race Car.
Those crazy enough to try will be trained by head coach Pery McCarthy who will be teaching a special military method for driving at night. This special event will take place at an airfield in York, England. Registration is open to anyone through the Extreme Motorsports Website.
Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo made a surprising declaration during an interview with an Australian journalist that Fernando Alonso is the “The best driver in the world.” Ferrari then issued a press release to praise Alonso and repeat the claim that Alonso is the best.
“Fernando is the best driver in the world, who always gives 200% in the races,” said Montezemolo.
“He knows how much I count on him, even away from the race track, in terms of his contribution and the impetus he gives to the team.
“I think it’s incredible that there are still some so-called experts who don’t understand that and are always looking for a polemical situation that simply doesn’t exist.
“The truth is that he and Kimi, another incredible driver, need a competitive Ferrari and giving them that is our sole objective.
“We are working very hard, starting with Marco Mattiacci, who knows what needs to be done and who will instigate many changes at a technical and organizational level and in speeding up the decision-making process.
“That’s what I want, as do our drivers and our fans, while all the rest is just idle chat.”
Kimi Raikkonen remains confident that Ferrari has what it needs to return to championship form and that changes/improvements have been made to salvage the 2014 season while remaining focused on improving qualifying times for the prestigious Grand Prix of Monaco.
The 2007 World Champion remained at the Circuit de Catalunya to participate in both days of testing with the new Ferrari racer, the F14 T. The focus on qualifying is very important to Ferrari with the ability to pass at Monaco being so challenging, a good qualifying position is almost required to have a solid finish. After the two days of testing, Raikkonen sees signs of overall improvement.
“Qualifying can have a big effect on the outcome, an area on which we are doing our utmost to improve,” Raikkonen told Ferrari’s official website.
“After the race, we stayed on in Barcelona for the test, which was reasonably positive: we had problems at the start, but by the end, I can say I was pleased with the work we managed to get through.”
“The F14 T is improving and I am sure that, step by step, the results will come, but we must push harder to get them.”
The Grand Prix of Monaco will prove to be a very important race for Ferrari, an event that Ferrari has not won in 13 Years.
FERRARI CHARIMAN LUCA DI MONTEZEMOLO HINTS AT POSSIBLE INCREASE IN F1 BUDGET TO ATTRACT TOP TALLENT SUCH AS RED BULL ENGINEER ADRIAN NEWLEY
Ferrari Chairman Luca di Montezemolo has suggested that he is willing to increase Ferrari’s budget to get the Formula One team back to its winning ways. One of these budget busting attempts may include going after the highest paid engineer in Formula One, Adrian Newey.
Ferrari definitely has the money to go after Newey, The Financial Times states that Ferrari recorded “record revenues, profits and cash flow” last year, with a net profit well over $330 million.
Spending more to get Formula One talent is not the only change that Ferrari has made lately in an attempt to save the 2014 season. Ferrari recently fired team boss Stefano Domenicali. Suspicions that Montezemolo was willing to increase the Ferrari budget were the results of a quote posted by the La Gazzeta dello Sport that stated, “Given heavy investment and F1, which requires an exceptional effort economically to recover the gap to the opposition.”
ROSS BRAWN VISITS FERRARI FACTORY IN MARANELLO, CREATING SPECULATION OF POSSIBLE RETURN TO FERRARI F1
Ross Brawn has went out of his way to downplay the significance of his recent visit to the Ferrari factory in Maranello on Monday stating that he was there “with a group of friends as part of a tour of Italy – no more that that!”
Brawn, 59, was the Ferrari Formula 1 technical director during the team’s dominant period of the early 2000s. With his departure as team principal for Mercedes in December, fans are left wondering if this was more than a friendly vacation to see old friends.
A spokesman for Ferrari also downplayed the significance of Brawn being on property by saying that Brawn’s visit was “simply an Italian fantasy tour with friends scheduled for some time.” Brawn and his friends tried out two Ferrari road cars, including the new LaFerrari hybrid supercar on the Ferrari owned Fiorano test track.
Ferrari is off to the worst start in recent history with only one podium finish in the first four races. The lackluster start to the season has resulted in the replacement of team principal Stefano Domenicali with Marco Mattiacci, the former head of Ferrari’s North American road-car division who is a protégé of the top management of parent company Fiat.
Rumors have been surfacing for some time now that Ferrari has been working on a track version of the LaFerrari called LaFerrari XX. There are reports that a variant of the LaFerrari XX equipped with a hybrid 6.3-liter V12 engine capable of producing 949 horsepower was seen putting down a six minute, 35 second lap time around the historic Nurburgring.
Latest rumors state that Ferrari has chosen to scrap the current powerplant in favor of the engine currently being used in Formula 1. This means that the 6.3- liter V12 hybrid will give way to a twin-turbo V-6 engine. This represents an extreme change in direction. It’s hard to tell how power and speed will compare between the two variants; however, the Formula 1 inspired engine package will definitely reduce weight, combined with a revised aero package and some suspension changes could result is much faster lap times.
Ferrari Formula 1 racer, Fernando Alonso has expressed that the team’s new car has been underperforming in “many areas” for the first part of the 2014 season.
Things did not look good for Ferrari for the first three races of the 2014 season. Things began to look better for Ferrari during the Chinese Grand Prix where Fernando Alonso scored the first podium appearance for Ferrari in the 2014 season with a 3rd place finish in Shanghai. Even a podium finish was not enough to lift Alonso’s hopes that things have turned around in 2014.
“The car was under-performing in many areas – it was not just one problem,” Alonso explained after the race.
“We need to be more efficient, have better aerodynamics, better traction, better power. We lack some big performance in the first races.”
“[In China the improvement] was nothing really big in one area, just small steps here, small steps there – better power delivery, better software, putting everything in place, all the settings, and giving a little bit more aero efficiency and a little bit more power.”
“We have bigger margins, because we started in a lower performance, but we cannot dream too much because people will not be watching TV from here to Barcelona.”
“The other teams will bring a couple of tenths to Barcelona, [so] we need to bring a couple of tenths, plus something, if we want to catch up.”
“That’s the challenge we are facing now. It’s not that we need to develop the car at a normal rate; we need to do the normal developments, plus something.”
Rumors are swirling this morning that the barely commenced LaFerrari XX project has unofficially set a track record at the Nurburgring for track-only vehicles with a stunning time of 6:35. If this rumor proves to be true, then the LaFerrari XX will have surpassed the previous record set by the Pagani Zonda R by 12 seconds making the LaFerrari XX the fastest production-based, track-exclusive car to ever take laps around the Nurburgring. This record will also smash all previous Ferrari track-based records set by the Ferrari 599XX, the only other track-only Ferrari to break the seven minute barrier at the “Ring”.
Auto Sprint magazine claims to have obtained photographs of a LMP1 racer being developed by Ferrari for a return to the Le Mans racing series. Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo did express interest in a return to Le Mans racing. This camouflaged vehicle does have all the components you would expect a racer in this class to have including center-locking racing wheels a roof scoop and front splitter. The only piece that looks out of context is the rather large carbon fiber wing. Even if this is a LMP1 racer being tested for a return to Le Mans, don’t expect an appearance by Ferrari at a Le Mans event before 2016.
According to a report by Motor Trend, Ferrari will be switching from naturally aspirated motors to turbocharged powerplants in all next generation vehicles. By switching to a turbocharged powerplant, Ferrari will improve power and create better fuel economy. This could in part be a response to tighter emissions requirements expected to take place in 2016.
This will not be the first time that Ferrari has offered turbocharged vehicles; both the Ferrari F40 and the 288 GTO were turbocharged. The F40 was introduced in 1987 as a mid-engine 2.9 liter 478 horsepower twin-turbo. The F40 was a huge success that earned the respect of Ferrari purists even though the F40 lacked the sound that roars from a naturally aspirated engine. The 288 GTO is a less known vehicle with a much smaller production run that has steadily increased in value over time.
One other important factor that may contribute to this decision is the move to V-6 engines in Formula One at the end of the 2013 season. This rule change motivated Honda to return to Formula One as a supplier of engines for McLaren.