25.06.2007 Ferrari sports cars star at the festival of speed

Ferrari once more took pride of place at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this weekend, its exclusive nature emphasised by its now-traditional location in the majestic Stable Courtyard. Ferrari GB has been present at the Festival of Speed for several years now in the historic cobbled stables, a perfect symmetry with the 'Prancing Horse' brand being emphasised by this positioning.

In fact Ferrari stamps its exclusive nature right across the Festival of Speed, which has in recent years has grown to become one of the most important dates on the global automotive calendar. While the other prestige car makers have their display stands clustered together of the other side of the 'Hill' track which divides the rolling grounds, Ferrari's offering is situated on the side which features all the car paddocks, and adjoins Earl March's spectacular country mansion.

And not only this but whilst all the supercars, including such luminaries as the Bugatti Veyron, sit in undistinguished rows in the 'Supercar Paddock' Ferrari's representatives at the Festival (this year a 599 GTB Fiorano and 612 Scaglietti) join the supercar batch, imperiously appearing through the Courtyard's tall Ferrari-emblazoned arched gateway and then roll down a wide pathway to enter the track access road via their own dedicated gateway.

This year Ferrari is celebrating its 60th anniversary, and this weekend has seen the culmination of the Ferrari 60 Relay, a global journey involving over than 10,000 owners and their cars which started in Abu Dhabi in January and has just culminated in Maranello with several thousand cars converging on the home of the marque on Saturday. At the same time as a cast including Michael Schumacher, Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen were wrapping proceedings up at Fiorano, Ferrari GB were flying the 60th anniversary flag at Goodwood with six significant models from the six decades that the car maker has been building ground-breaking cars.

"We've got a car from every decade and we're really reinforcing the message that we've got 60 years of history here," a Ferrari spokesman tells Italiaspeed at Goodwood, "so we've got the 250 Testa Rossa from the 50s, the 250 GTO from the 60s, 365/4 GTB Daytona from the 70s, the F40 from the 80s, the F50 from the 90s, and from the 2000s the Enzo; so its really the development of the Ferrari over the 60 years of the company, and that's reinforced by the images you can see here, one from each year since 1947 with significant events, significant race victories and significant people. We've also got the 60 Relay baton here, the symbol that went around the world on the Ferrari 60 Relay." The sixty symbols, which stretch the full length of the display, perfectly illustrate Ferrari's 60 year history and allow visitors to gain a snapshot of the company's development. The Relay 'baton', encrusted along its flanks with each of the 60 symbols is impressive in the flesh and caps the display.

"It's important for us to be here in Goodwood with the international importance and significance of this event," says the Ferrari spokesman, "a lot of good customers and prospective customers are here, along with the fans, lots of interesting people." And Ferrari's display is busy, right from the moment the gates opened at first light on Friday, and with around 150,000 visitors expected over the three days there was never going to be a quiet moment in the Courtyard.


The specially "Police" liveried Ferrari 612 Scaglietti joined the 599 GTB Fiorano on the 'Supercar Run' up Goodwood Hill over the weekend.


The 599 GTB Fiorano was introduced a year ago in Geneva, and it has raised the supercar bar - by some considerable margin with some of the specialist motoring magazines going as far as saying that it has rendered the Mercedes-Benz SLR 'obsolete'.

Alongside these six significant cars which illustrate the history, Ferrari are presented two of their current road range models: the mind numbingly powerful 599 GTB Fiorano and luxurious 612 Scaglietti. The 599 GTB Fiorano was introduced a year ago in Geneva, and it has raised the supercar bar - by some considerable margin with some of the specialist motoring magazines going as far as saying that it has rendered the Mercedes-Benz SLR 'obsolete'. It started trickling into the UK at the end of last year and already has developed a 3-year waiting list.

The 612 Scaglietti joined the 599 on the 'Supercar Run'. "The 612 Scaglietti is in police livery," says the Ferrari spokesman. "That was actually the lead car on our 60 Relay when that went round the UK in April, and that was driven in the UK by members of the Association of Chief Police Officers. Here its being driven up the 'Hill' during the supercar run by members of the Sussex constabulary to promote their road safely campaign, you can see on the front of the car it says 'think!', and really the message there is that you can own a car like a Ferrari and still drive responsibly, you can be safe and sensible with a car even though it has a top speed of 200 miles per hour. The 612 has a two year waiting list, its a slightly different proposition to the 599 as its a four seater but it is the flagship, the benchmark of the range, for someone who appreciates luxury, discerning quality, they want the Ferrari but don't necessarily need to shout about it, that's why you usually see the car in more conservative colours than the red of the 599 which is quite an aggressive car compared to the Scaglietti.

"It's a nice environment here and picturesque, exclusivity is fundamental to our brand, if you look at the way our stand is displayed, we're fortunate Lord March has given us this space to show our brand off in the best light. Within the range of cars the GTO is probably worth 5 million and all the owners have been very kind to let us have these cars here without actually cordoning them off."

Goodwood is the second high profile event for Ferrari GB this month, as just a few weeks ago Ferrari Racing Days 2007 was held at Silverstone. This was the first time the 'Racing Days' event took place in the UK and the extravaganza include rounds of the F430 Challenge as well as the FXX programme. By all accounts it was a big success. "We've had letters from owners saying what a fantastic event, the best event they've been to ever been to," says the Ferrari spokesman, "particularly it was also the Ferrari owners' club's 40th anniversary so we worked very closely with them in the UK to make sure the event was designed around customers, the majority of who were members of the owners' club. We also set the Guinness Book of Records for the parade of cars, 385 of them. The logistics of getting 385 cars on and off the track was quite tricky and the Owners' Club did a fantastic job, the owners were very patient, but when every car came off the track the owners were smiling, they had obviously enjoyed it."

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This weekend is seeing the culmination of Ferrari's high-profile 60th anniversary celebrations and to mark the occasion Ferrari GB is lining up six significant models from its history in the Stable Courtyard at Goodwood

2007 Interfuture Media/Italiaspeed