2014 North American Ferrari Challenge Series: Legend of a Prancing Horse

So it begins, your lifestyle is accentuated with all the joys and modern indulgences a man or woman could possibly ask for. You are blessed to have made strategic business moves and intelligent investment decisions. A paradigm of modern sophistication and social acceptability, you have become an opinion leader and trendsetter amongst your peers. Yet one thing bothers you -- the Rosso 458 Italia sitting outside your 10-car driveway is part of a storied history you wish to interpret a bit deeper from a motorsports perspective. A symphony of interactions transpire in your head and next you are suiting up to race your 458 Challenge EVO at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and take on the infamous corkscrew turn.

Of course, Enzo Ferrari built road cars to help finance the company’s motorsports endeavors. Today, racing is still a substantial component of Ferrari business and continues to spearhead their efforts in breakthrough technologies and innovations. The Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli series is an exhilarating and entertaining combination of races conceived to provide owners the ability of evaluating their skills and wits against one another in North America, Asia Pacific and Europe, ultimately culminating at the customary December Finali Mondiali at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi for top bragging rights. In North America, gentlemen drivers run through eight rounds of intense, but adrenalin pumping competitions. For example, during a recent visit to the third race of the season in Salinas, CA, Harry Cheung of Ferrari of Beverly Hills took the victory in race one, while Ferrari of Houston’s Ricardo Perez won race two to take the overall lead in the series. The popular one-make Ferrari Challenge is sanctioned by IMSA and managed by Ferrari and authorized dealers who prep and maintain this year’s 458 Challenge EVOs for their proprietors.

Why not showcase your hard-earned wealth on some of the most stunning circuits around the world. Ferraris are special machines and the Prancing Horse is a superior mark. Voted the strongest brand in the world, Ferrari’s estimated value is stated to be $3.5 billion. The name alone conjures emotions of technology and innovation. And whether you’re a fan of the marque or a Ferrari owner, the passion is sequential to childhood daydreams of taking the checkered flag in an F1 showdown. The Prancing Horse’s stats corroborate your respect for the company and what their messaging means to millions of loyalists around the globe. Pay a visit to Museo Ferrari Maranello to observe firsthand the importance of motorsports to Ferrari. In fact this is the only official Ferrari-run museum in the world and displays historic vehicles from the 1947 125S V12, 1962 250 GTO V12, 2002 Enzo, 2005 FXX, 2009 599XX, to the innovative and high-tech LaFerrari. There is the SUPERCAR showcase, Formula 1 auditorium, a wax figure of Enzo Ferrari sitting in his original office, a mini Ferrari store, a simulator to test your FI racing skills and much more. Magically, the museum is open seven days a week except Christmas and New Year’s Day.

It was a marvelous and beautiful weekend in the Monterey Peninsula of California during the most recent session at Laguna Seca to witness the sound of 28 Ferrari V8s roar from the beat of 570-horsepower. Hot laps in the EVO with pro drivers gave me a precise understanding of the euphoria these vehicles emanate and the advanced performance technology Ferrari instills with every level of engineering. The 458 is both striking and powerful as it sketches exquisite lines around the track. With the first two races of the season transpiring in Daytona and Sonoma it is always a perfect vision viewing an inconceivable field of Ferraris on display from VIP owners for the exclusive spectacle. Here is where men become boys as some showcased their love affair with the Italian legend from Maranello with special racing variants. Others put their passion directly behind the wheel and took to the track with mettle in the cockpit. Intermixed with various activities such as dealer lapping, shopping at the Ferrari store, pit crew visits and an owners BBQ at the glamorous Bernardus Lodge, Ferrari ascertains that every weekend is maximized as the company celebrates 60 years of motorsports in the United States.

My weekend was even more spectacular since I was loaned the keys to a $ 446,514 (Base MSRP $315,888) Grigio Titanio Metallic F12berlinetta for a few days. The 740-horsepower V12 super coupe was glorious on roads like California Chrome on land. The company’s fastest road car to date motivates itself 0 to 60 mph in just 3.1 and was enough to blow strain from my brain while relaxing with Italian purity while Prancing Horse aficionados glazed with obscurity.

The Challenge races were great, but the F12 was perfecto! Thank you Ferrari!

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