Shoeing the Prancing Horse - Ferrari Service Visit (Page 2)
The intraterestrial Prancing Horses
We opened the office’s door and our dreams started flooding the main servicing area. However, after only a few seconds they were nowhere to be found. We looked everywhere, including in the room for special tools, but we couldn’t find them.
When we asked our hosts for assistance, we received a series of smiles and were invited to search deeper, in the underground parking. Wait, what? There’s an underground parking?
The platform that is used to lower the automotive monsters into the abyss, takes us into a slow, sweet descend. As the field of view becomes complete, our eyes are flooded with various Ferrari models, ranging from the “usual” red 458 Italia, to a silver 575M Superamerica or a 430 Scuderia.
This is a five-star facility: we don’t know if they massage the cars, but a part of them are held in special plastic tents in order for them to be kept as attractive as they were on their first day on Earth.
After a series of intimate moments with some of the V-engined creations and a little bit of contemplation time (used for the complex ventilation system of the area) we left the intraterestial F area, heading back to the surface.
Ferrari Service is all about racing
Ladies and Gentleman (drivers), we’ve saved the best for last. Like we said in the beginning of the article, we expected to find several Ferraris receiving the usual service treatments when we entered the facility, but this wasn’t the case.
Almost every vehicle on the service floor (or high in the air, on the elevator) was there for a racing-related purpose, just like Enzo would have wanted to. You’ll be able to find all the vehicles we’ll talk about in the adjacent image gallery.
The softest approach was used by a California, who was enjoying its scheduled maintenance in order to be used for a track day event.
Talking about this with the staff, we found out that, for a few thousand euros, a customer can receive an all-inclusive trackday experience. This means that his car will be transported to and from the event, which can take place on various famous international tracks and his (or, why not, her) accommodation needs will be fully covered.
The icing on this customer racing cake is the fact that the price includes a set of custom settings for the vehicle. As an example, we can tell you that the Scuderia Spider 16M you can see below had received aggressive software for both the engine and the gearbox.
The racing 1s and 0s come straight from the Ferrari factory, being installed at the servicing location for the motorsport event, with the vehicle subsequently receiving its original settings.
The next vehicle we encountered made us forget the aforementioned dreams in order to create new ones. We are talking about a 599 GTB Fiorano, which was there to be transformed into a Group N hill climb machine. Just imagine it: a V12 monster being sandblasted to the bare metal fitted with a rollcage and a multitude of other goodies, then put though its paces on roads that are usually impossible to tackle in a standard Ferrari.
However, we didn’t spend too much time with the 599, as our attention was (re-)captured by a car that was getting ready to enter a much higher tier racing series. Remember the 458 Challenge we mentioned in the beginning of the story?
Yes, it was there, having just arrived from the factory. As you can see in the gallery, the racer still had a sheet of paper with the word “Finizione” (finished) handwritten on it - this is the last quality check. We were told that the vehicle would be the main element of the upcoming Forza Rossa Ferrari Challenge team, a project that aims to complete the entire 2011 season and aim for the victory in the 2012 one.
We weren’t allowed to take the vehicle out for play, as it isn’t road legal, but we can tell you one thing: forget the Eiffel Tower or the idea of making efforts to find an original way of asking your sweetheart to marry you. Just place her in the driving seat of the 458 Challenge, kneel down next to her (in front of the data logger would be just fine) and propose her!
We’ll leave you to it - we’re off to convince Enzo that this only shows how dedicated one is to the Ferrari spirit...
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