The Ferrari brand has a long and tumultuous history of building consumer race cars. Toys for big boys and fat wallets. The 2011 Honda Indy Toronto saw the first ever Ferrari Challenge race on a true street course, which perhaps explains why Ferrari continues to build race cars for the rich and slow: Ferrari sells parts!
I really, really wanted to like the Ferrari Challenge. Sadly, I’m almost at a loss for words to describe how challenging it was to even watch the Challenge.
It became apparent during Friday’s practice that maybe 5 or 6 of the 24 car field were reasonably fast. The middle portion of the field were decidedly slower, while the aft end were downright pedestrian. Even the presence of superstar driving coaches like Randy Pobst and Richard Spenard did not seem to help. A quick scan of the race results showed a time differential of a whopping 12 seconds a lap between the fast guys and the not so fast guys.
What really drove the point home though was the level of carnage. The start of the Saturday race was marred by a MASSIVE crash as the field dove into turn one, while Sunday’s race was a comedy of expensive crashes one after another. They would go yellow, clean up the mess, go green and a couple of laps repeat all over again.
The Ferrari Challenge paddock was chock full of hyper expensive transporters that in many cases carried spare cars. The money that is spent on this series is monumental, all for a bunch of rich guys to go play bumper cars in machine worth more than many people’s homes.
Most racers work their way up through the ranks, but when you have a ton of cash, you can buy the biggest and the best and go play. It was a shame to watch so much beautiful and expensive equipment get destroyed in the name of boring “racing”.
At least they are keeping Ferrari and its dealers profitable!