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Ferrari Finali Mondiali the annual end of season extravaganza was held at their Mugello circuit


Mugello, 24-27 October, 2019

Ferrari’s annual end of season extravaganza was held at their Mugello circuit nestled in the Tuscan hills over the weekend of 24-27 October. The gathering was blessed with beautiful warm weather over the weekend, with an ambient temperature of 24degC on both the Saturday and Sunday, although some early morning mist on the Sunday morning delayed the day’s activities for a short while until the sun burned it off. The fine weather attracted massive crowds, some 43000 over the four days, with 28000 on the Sunday, to enjoy the racing in the 488 Challenge series finals and display runs by the Corse Clienti participants running in the FXX and F1 programmes.

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The paddock area became a small Ferrari town for the weekend, with not only temporary structures for the Multiple series Challenge car garages, but others for a Ferrari Showroom, a Ferrari Store, Pirelli display area, a Junior Paddock with a children’s play area and an impressive structure housing the Finali Mondiali Display. This celebrated the 90th anniversary of the formation of Scuderia Ferrari in 1929, and also the 70th anniversary of Ferrari’s first Le Mans 24 Hour Race win courtesy of Luigi Chinetti and Lord Selsdon in a 166 MM Touring Barchetta in 1949. It was fitting that in 2019 an AF Corse entered Ferrari 488 GTE driven by James Calado, Alessandro Pier Guidi and Daniel Serra, won the LMGTE Pro class in the legendary Sarthe classic on the anniversary of the first victory, and the 2019 winner’s trophy was on display at the entrance to the exhibition. There was also a demonstration run of 488 GTEs as part of the “Ferrari Show” on the Sunday afternoon.

The models on display ranged from a Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 MM representing the formation of Scuderia Ferrari, which raced Alfa Romeos in the pre-war era, through the factory built replica of the first Ferrari model in 1947, the 125 S, to impressive and expansive displays of F1 cars, together with GT and sports racing cars that have competed at Le Mans through the years.  The exhibition was the venue for a dinner on the Saturday evening, where new EVO versions of the 488 Challenge and 488 GT3 for the 2020 season were announced, with EVO kits available to upgrade current models to the new specification. This pair of cars remained on display through the Sunday.

Apart from the various Corse Clienti F1 and XX programme sessions, there was also plenty of other activity on the track throughout the event, with free practice sessions, qualifying sessions and two races for each of the three Challenge groups, plus the finals for the Coppa Shell AM, Coppa Shell, and Trofeo Pirelli and Trofeo Pirelli AM on the Sunday. The three groups were Challenge Europe with 54 entries, Challenge North America with 26 entries and Challenge Asia Pacific with 20 entries, so a widely diverse array of nationalities and colourful liveries took part. The race action was fast and furious, too furious in some cases, with frequent safety car periods for various misdemeanours, which often resulted in involuntary and detrimental changes to the shape of some of the cars, but that’s what can happen when the red mist comes down! By keeping it on the black strip and being quicker than the pursuing pack, saw the Coppa Shell AM World Final win go to Ingvar Mattsson (who also won it in 2018) from Sweden, whilst the overall Coppa Shell World Final win went to the USA’s James Weiland, whilst in the Trofeo Pirelli AM World Final it was Emanuele Maria Tabacchi from Italy who took the victory laurels, and in the overall Trofeo Pirelli World Final it was Brit Adam Carroll who took the honours. The “Ferrari Show” saw a quartet of drivers, Giancarlo Fisischella, Olivier Beretta, Andrea Bertolini and Davide Rigon, out in F60 F1 cars, culminating in the always popular tyre smoking doughnuts, much to the delight of the enthusiastic masses in the grandstands It concluded with an aerobatic display by two Eurofighters of the 4th Wing of the Italian Air Force over the main straight.

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Keith Bluemel