Ferrari Australasia has today announced its 2020 Passione Ferrari Club Challenge series, which is an annual track day experience for the more serious Ferrari owners who want to explore the limits of their race-prepped Challenge vehicles.
It’s a revamped series compared with this outgoing year, with five tracks around Australia and New Zealand making up the 2020 calendar. Members will be able to enjoy around six hours of track time at each event, including Sydney Motorsport Park, The Bend Motorsport Park, Barbagallo Raceway, Phillip Island, and Hampton Downs in New Zealand.
The seasonal package for members includes full trackside hospitality at each event, a special personalised Ferrari race suit, boots, gloves, helmet and HANS device, and fireproof underwear. The package also includes driving tuition, in-car telemetry, and some technical support on the days. Speaking about the program, Ferrari said:
“This platform has been created by Ferrari for brand enthusiasts who love adrenaline pumping activities, as they get to indulge in the Challenge experience and make their first step in this competitive automotive world.”
It’s not a racing program but it does allow owners to really push their vehicles to the limit, and perfect their driving skills. It’s not for just any Ferrari owner, either. This is for owners of a 488 Challenge or 458 Challenge, and upon application the cars need to pass a safety inspection by an official dealer. Pre-owned examples are accepted.
During the official launch event at Sydney Motorsport Park today we were given the opportunity to go for a flying hot lap in a 488 Challenge to see what all the fuss is about. And, well, what can we say? These are extremely fast machines in standard 488 form, with the Challenge package stripped out the interior and preparing the exterior for increased downforce and grip.
Power comes from a revised version of the standard 488’s 3.9-litre twin-turbo V8. It produces 493kW (670PS) at 8000rpm, and 760Nm at 3000rpm. This is sent through a rear-wheel drive system and into a set of slick racing tyres by Pirelli. And the price for the season pass?
Well, firstly you’ll need to pay for an annual membership which is $7500, and then for the full five-track program it is $60,000 (it cannot be split up into single events). This doesn’t include transport to and from each event, and doesn’t include any parts or technical support that may be required.
For those lucky enough to own a 488 Challenge or 458 Challenge, this could be the perfect program. It’s designed to be as time-efficient as possible, understanding that most owners live a very busy lifestyle. It also allows owners to hone their skills with professional Ferrari guidance, and potentially migrate up to the Ferrari Challenge racing series. See below for the full calendar for the 2020 program:
Round 1: Sydney Motorsport Park, Sydney, 29th April 2020
Round 2: The Bend Motorsport Park, Adelaide, 24th June 2020
Round 3: Barbagallo Raceway, Perth, 9th September 2020
Round 4: Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, Melbourne, 30th October 2020
Round 5: Hampton Downs Motorsport Park, New Zealand, 3rd December 2020