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Ferrari Racing Days: A NASCAR Girl In A Ferrari World

Posted by Amy in General

When Ferrari North America invited me to attend the Ferrari Racing Days Challenge at Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca, I jumped on the invitation but with more than a little trepidation.   I am a NASCAR blogger after all and what the heck do I know about Ferraris or about racing Ferraris? Not a thing.  But still it sounded like something fun to do and I can appreciate fast cars- so I loaded up on Saturday drove out to Laguna Seca.

Right away I could tell that this was different than any NASCAR race I had ever been to- first off apparently Ferrari fans don’t tailgate.  In all seriousness though, I quickly learned Ferrari Racing Days is more of a celebration of Ferraris and Ferrari owners and admirers than it is races (not that there aren’t those because there definitely was some on track action).  There was even a special section in the paddock (infield) where attendees who drove their Ferrari in could park them to show them off- kind of like a car show:

Ferrari only parking in the paddock at Laguna Seca. (Photo Credit: Ralph Marbach for BadGroove.com)

It was during my conversation with Marco Mattiacci, President and CEO of Ferrari North America, that I learned that the drivers at the Challenge are not professional drivers, but Ferrari customers looking for a way to showcase their cars.  He told me that the drivers were considered gentleman drivers who “are entrepreneurs who during the week do their business, but on the weekend they want some adrenaline, they want to have fun, to network with their peers and talk about cars and our products.”

Ferrari in the garage at Laguna Seca. (Photo Credit: Ralph Marbach for BadGroove.com)

Damage (photo credit: Ralph Marbach for BadGroove.com)

The drivers at Ferrari Racing Days may not have been professional race car drivers but they were extremely enthusiastic:

Dr. Anthony Nobles does a cartwheel after practice right in the middle of pit road at Laguna Seca (Photo Credit: Ralph Marbach for BadGroove.com)

I had a great time watching the racing action and milling around looking at all the Ferraris.  I think one of my favorite parts of the entire day was attending the unveiling of the new Ferrari FF:

Waiting to unveil the Ferrari FF. (Photo Credit: Ralph Marbach for BadGroove.com)

The Ferrari FF is 4-wheel drive, seats four full sized adult males (you can't tell but there are four crew members in there), and has a top speed of 208 mph. (Photo Credit: Ralph Marbach for BadGroove.com)

Ferrari FF (Photo Credit: Ralph Marbach for BadGroove.com)

Rear view of the FF. (Photo Credit: Ralph Marbach for BadGroove.com)

While I may not know a lot about Ferraris, I can tell you that the FF is a beautiful car.  Also during my conversation with Mr. Mattiacci we discussed the demographics of the California market for Ferrari (46 year old predominately male, usually well educated) he described the typical driver as “ambassadors of the brand” who “love to take risks and are brave” and that rings true with the Ferrari FF.

And a little Ferrari fun fact for you: Ferrari has an amusement park in the United Arab Emirates called Ferrari World (it’s located in Abu Dhabi- which happens to be the color of the Ferrari FF shown above- Abu Dhabi Silver).

If you would like to see more pictures from the Ferrari Racing Challenge check out my Ferrari Challenge set over on Flickr.

If you would like to see more pictures from the unveiling of the Ferrari FF, check out my Ferrari FF set over on Flickr.

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