Ferrari Challenge Prologue
Sonoma Raceway 2014

Ferrari Challenge Prologue
Ferrari Challenge 458 Challenge EVO car race. Ferrari customer and Ferrari Club members in street cars on track between the races
Starts: 04/25/2014 12:00PM
Ends: 2014-04-27
Sonoma Raceway
Sonoma, California

GALLERY 1 Race Day

GALLERY Friday Practice


Final Report

Ferrari Challenge Preview, Sonoma Raceway 2014
Michael Rockich

On April 25-27 Ferrari's tremendously successful one car racing series will return to Sonoma Raceway in Northern California. In its twenty-second year, the Ferrari Challenge takes place on tracks world wide. The event takes place in Europe, North America, and Asia Pacific. Thoughtfully, Ferrari designed the series to permit novices as well as more seasoned drivers to race. "One car" means that in any given year only a particular Ferrari model is raced. Annually revisions in the mechanics of the car may be made, and occasionally a new model replaces the former.

The Challenge is structured to permit novices to race simultaneous with those already having competition experience, sometimes considerable. The categories each have their own trophy. Novices race in the Coppa Shell category while more experienced competitors compete in the Trofeo Pirelli category.

The cars raced are prepared by Ferrari dealers or Ferrari authorized organizations to rigid specifications. This requirement ensures drivers will be competing on an equal platform, keeping emphasis on the driver's ability.

Ferrari has always maintained close relationships with its clients who wish to race. To further enhance these relationships Ferrari created the "Corse Clienti" organization in 2001. Based at the Fiorano track in Italy, Corse Clienti is the organizer of the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli, and also supports other Ferrari racing programs including the Gran Turismo Championship, F1 Clienti, FXX Programme, and 599XX Programme.

Cars from some of these other Ferrari racing programs are often seen on track during the Challenge events. These cars include the FFX , an exotic Ferrari high performance track-only prototype of which only a few handful have been produced. The FXX produces output in the 800 hp range and employs technology from Ferrari's F1 program.

Another, the 599XX, is a front engine V12 also in micro production quantities. For track-only use, the car generates about 800 hp. It is another testbed for advanced Ferrari technology.

The F1 program is from Ferrari's legendary F1 team. Only noncurrent vintages of Ferrari F1s are permitted to be raced by private clients at Challenge events. Notwithstanding, some models include the renowned pneumatic valve train which permits the engine to rev to 20,000 RPM, although usually 17,000 RPM is employed by the Clienti. The striking sound these F1 engines make as they blast through their seven forward gears makes a unique music and is not to be missed.

The requirements for the car raced in 2014 have been modified, mainly for improved aerodynamics. The car is known as the 458 Challenge Evoluzione, or "EVO."

At the event don't miss the Paddock and garage area which are open to spectators. Occasionally Ferrari conducts live demonstrations of Ferrari technology. Private Ferrari owners of past glories and current models stage a corral of the "prancing horse". Before they take to the track in a slower paced display drive, they queue up and often the cars entirely wrap the large parking grounds and more.

The Sonoma Raceway features a challenging course to race on with over160 feet of elevation changes. There are numerous points around the track to watch the races with varying perspective. I like to watch from several different places during the course of the event, each with its own perspective.

Don't miss this excellent event!

Ferrari 458 Challenge

Ferrari 458 Challenge EVO (1): Specifications
Dimensions and weight: Overall length, 179.5 in; Overall width, 76.3 in; Height, 46.8 in; Front track, 68.1 in; Rear track, 64.6 in ; Dry weight, 2815.4 lb; Fuel tank capacity, 24.8 Imp gal / 29.8 US gal; Tyres: Front, 255/650 19"x9"'; Rear, 305/690 19"x11; Brakes: Front, 15.7 x 1.5 in; Rear, 15 x 1.34 in; Engine: Type, V8 - 90 degree; Bore/stroke, 3.7 x 3.2 in; Total displacement, 274.5 cu in; Compression ratio, 12.5:1; Maximum power, 570 CV at 9000 rpm; Maximum torque, 540 Nm at 6000 rpm.

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Challenge contestants

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Ferrari Challenge

Closely competed
These are gentleman drivers but aggression is the word on the track

Ferrari Challenge

Shortening the racetrack
A 458 pilot pushes too hard

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Ferrari corral enters racetrack

Ferrari Challenge

Ferrari Club taking laps on the Sonoma Raceway

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