The first ever Ferrari Racing Days in South East Asia was held in Sepang International Circuit, in Malaysia recently. The three-day event directly from Ferrari showcased special track day events to the delight of fans of the Prancing Horse from Malaysia and Singapore. With the emergence of Ferrari cars and race machines in Sepang supported by many Ferrari staff from Italy, the Sepang Int Circuit was transformed to a mini Maranello of the East.
Lots of events had been lined-up from 21-23 February 2014, starting from the launch of Ferrari 458 Italia Speciale on Friday, followed by the Ferrari Challenge race on the weekend. Also awaiting fans of the Prancing Horse were the track joyrides in a Ferrari FXX and 599 XX and a demonstration of Ferrari’s F1 car on the track.
Yours truly attended the event on Sunday and here are some of the pictures gathered during the event. In this post we will cover the scenes during Sunday, followed by the track action from the Ferrari Asia Pacific Challenge races right after.
It was a scorching hot day at Sepang, which meant it was a no-brainer decision for the guests to scramble to the hospitality area to enjoy the air conditioned rooms, complemented with great food and Italian coffee. But this is not a food blog and instead what caught my attention was the display of limited edition die-cast models of Ferrari from renowned brand Amalgam. Simply said, by looking at the incredible level of detailing of these Ferrari models, Amalgam is simply the epitome of die-cast car models, and I can attest that.
Ferrari’s next hypercar, the LaFerrari, did not make an appearance in Sepang, so the next best thing was this car model from Amalgam. It does suggest the LaFerrari will be an ultimate hypercar from the Prancing Horse to fend off rivals like the McLaren P1 and the Porsche 918. However, just like its real counterpart, the LaFerrari from Amalgam is insanely expensive for a model car as it could fetch the price of Malaysia’s favorite supermini.
There are a few F1 model cars on display, but my favorite one will be Niki Lauda’s 312T as featured in the movie Rush. I could spend hours just looking at the amazing detailing of the engine. There was even a modern F1 steering replica on display, and at the price of RM10,000, it is strictly only for hardcore F1 fans with fat wallets.
There are a few sections at the pits that have been converted into a Ferrari showroom, with exotic models like the 430 Scuderia, 458 Italia, Enzo, 599 GTO and so on, were displayed.
Over at the pit garages and spotted here are the two FXXs. The FXX the Enzo based car embedded with F1 technology, which results in a track-only beast, with only 30 units produced. Also in the garages are a few units of the 599 XX, the track-only machine based on the 599 GTB Fiorano.
Scuderia Ferrari bought two F1 machines to Sepang. One of them is the F2001, which was driven by the great Michael Schumacher that won both driver’s and constructor’s title in 2001. Also on display was the F2007, the last title-winning car where Kimi Raikkonen became world champion in 2007.
The 458 Italia that raced for the Ferrari Asia Pacific Challenge was being prepared in the pits before the second race at noon. We will cover more on that in our next post.
Group photo with Scuderia Ferrari’s other Spaniard driver, Marc Gene, who is the team’s test driver. Gene threw some Ferrari caps to the lucky fans at the grandstand.
The event has also seen the largest gathering of Ferrari cars in a single place. As seen in the parking area is a huge variety of Maranello’s finest, ranging from the 355, 430, 458, 599, 612 and FF. But it was the rare and the older models that caught my attention the most. Classics such as the Dino, 328, 248 and the Mondial were spotted in the parking lot. Best of all, most of these old-school Ferraris have manual transmissions, a rarity compared to the modern Ferrari’s as seen today.
Overall, despite the scorching heat, I did have a great time seeing such exclusive Ferrari race machines with these passionate Ferrari staff to bring the spirit of Maranello to Sepang. The FXX program has seen the FXXs and 599 XXs on track action at limited but internationally acclaimed race tracks such as the legendary Spa, Suzuka, Monza, Imola, Mugello, Silverstone and so on and we are glad to know Sepang is added among the list. If there were two drawbacks I could think of, one of them is a less than spectacular attendance from the public, despite there not being any entrance fee were charged.
Fortunately the excellent attendance from Ferrari owners where they bought their families along bought a lot of cheer to many. Perhaps my biggest disappointment of all is I couldn’t see the legendary F40, but yet again its not that bad as I got to witness and feel the speed and roar from the FXXs at Sepang.
Come back again to see our next coverage of Ferrari Racing Days, where we will cover the track activities, which includes the Ferrari Asia Pacific Challenge!