Ferrari Panamerican 20,000
NEWS ON RADIO
21st July, 2006
After the success of last year’s “Ferrari 15,000 Red Miles” tour of China by two 612 Scagliettis driven by a team of international journalists, Ferrari has announced another challenge for this year, the Panamerican 20,000.
On 24th August, two examples of the Prancing Horse’s just launched 12-cylinder model, the Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano, will begin a journey from Brazil that will take them through 16 countries and across 32,000 kms to New York where they are scheduled to arrive on 17th November. A total of 50 journalists, will take turns behind the wheels of the two cars, during the 15-stage, 84-day tour.
Every Ferrari naturally conjures up images of the track and motor racing at its finest. As the most powerful production model ever to be built at Maranello, it is easy to imagine the 599 GTB Fiorano going through its paces on the world’s circuits. Uniquely, however, not one but two of this new model are about to embark on an adventure that will take them to the precarious mountain roads of the Andes and the dirt tracks of Central America, along a route so tough that they really will experience the same conditions as the very earliest racing cars.
A new challenge that really will put the cars and their reliability to the test in no uncertain terms.
This is far from Ferrari’s first foray into this kind of adventure, however. To celebrate the marque’s 50th anniversary in 1997, an F355 embarked on a massive world tour over five continents with 147 journalists taking turns at its wheel as it passed through their various nations. The “World Tour”, as it was known, was designed not only to communicate how strong the company was but also the reliability of the F355, a model that would prove its strategic value to Ferrari’s development plans. The “World Tour” proved a success and the car arrived back at the very spot in New York from where it had started on 18th March, after 75 days on the road.
The latest and most spectacular Ferrari road trip was, of course, last year’s “Ferrari 15,000 Red Miles” tour. This was a feat never before achieved by any other car manufacturer: a 24,000-kilometre dash right across China in two virtually unmodified production 612 Scagliettis. This time 51 Chinese and international journalists drove the cars from the start line in Beijing all the way to the finish in Shanghai over 45 days. Enroute the cars visited 37 different cities and climbed to an altitude of 5,231 metres in the mountain passes of Tibet.
The Panamerican 20,000 will be divided into 15 stages over 84 days and will take the two Ferrari 599 GTB Fioranos through 16 different countries. The route will also wind its way through the most famous areas of Pre-Columbian and Native American historical interest. They will visit the Foz do Iguazu falls on the Argentinean-Paraguayan border having first stopped off at the beaches of Rio de Janeiro and Saõ Paulo and then crossed the tropical rain forests around Curitiba. After the Falls, they will drive through the Argentinean pampas before powering up through salt plains of Chile and Bolivia. From there they will make their way along dirt roads to La Paz and through the spectacular countryside around Lake Titicaca, which, at 4,000 metres, is the world’s highest lake. The 599 GTB Fiorano’s entry into Peru will be the first contact with the Inca civilisation: the sacred valley of Cuzco, the peaks that guard Macchu Picchu and the mysterious lines of Nazca. But then it’s on to Lima and back to sea level again. From there the Tour makes its way past the towering volcanoes and deserts of Ecuador to get to Colombia. Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala will make up the tropical South American leg of the Tour and will also provide the first encounters with the vestiges of the Mayan civilisation. One of the most magical views on the entire American continent, the ruins of Palenque, will greet the Tour which, after it passes through Mexico City, will make its way up into the United States via Baja California. The American leg of the Tour will take the cars all the way from Los Angeles to Houston taking in Monument Valley enroute, before they drive on to Miami and then Washington.
After that they continue on to Chicago and Toronto (Canada) before finally making their way to the finish line in New York.
The Panamerican 20,000 will be receiving invaluable assistance from the various Italian diplomatic services in the states it passes through, particularly with regard to security and customs issues.
Assistance and spares will be provided by six support vehicles: three Fiat cars which will be replaced by three Alfa Romeos in Mexico, and three specially equipped Iveco trucks. As the Tour’s technical partner, Shell will be providing a specially equipped vehicle and its own team of technicians for the entire duration of the Tour.
Around 50 journalists will take turns behind the wheels of the two Ferraris.
In addition to the journalists, a photographer and a video camera person, a technical assistance and logistics team will accompany the Tour along its entire route.
The Tour begins from Fiat’s Brazilian headquarters at Belo Horizonte and will visit the main Case IH plants at Curitiba (BR), Racine and New Holland (USA), and the Iveco facility at Sete Lagoas (BR) to pay homage to these important members of the Fiat Group.
The route and main stages
The Panamerican 20,000 route is divided into 15 stages. The stages also correspond to the changeover points for the various teams of journalists taking part. The Tour gets underway on 24th August from Belo Horizonte and six days later the cars will make their way into Foz do Iguazu 2,000 km away.
From there they head west to Argentina and onto San Pedro de Atacama in Chile which they will reach after five days and 1,800 km of driving through pampas and the first of the salt plains.
This is where the toughest part of the tour begins and will see the cars climb to altitudes of more than 4,000 metres in the Andes. They will head north setting a course for La Paz in Bolivia which they reach on 7th September after four more days on the road and having added another 1,100 km to their mileage as they zoom down the dirt roads through the salt plains.
After 1,700 km and 6 more days on the road, the cars will drive into Lima where they will encounter the vestiges of the ancient Inca civilisation.
The next four stages to Mexico will take them through spectacular landscapes enroute to Quito, Pasto, Cartagena, Panama, Managua on an 8,000 km, 18-day dash.
The two Mexican stages, which start from Palenque on 13th October, traverse the lands of the Aztecs and the Mayans as well as Baja California. It will take 10 days to cover this 4,500 km distance.
From Las Vegas, the Tour turns east, calling to Houston and also making its way through Monument Valley and Dallas, before arriving into Miami on 3rd November. This 6,000 km stretch will take 9 days to complete.
At this point, the Tour will move north to Washington before arriving into New York on 17th November having first called to Chicago and over the border to Toronto. A 5,000 km dash that will take 11 days in all.
The two specially-liveried 599 GTB Fioranos (one a Tour de France blue and the other a Rossa Corsa red) will only be very slightly modified to help them cope with terrain in the toughest parts of the route.
They will each be fitted with a special underbody protector made from 4 mm thick duralumin rather than plastic and their suspension set-up will be slightly higher to cope with the difficult road conditions. Apart from this, however, they will be regular production models powered by a 620 hp 65° V12 engine which delivers 62 kgm of maximum torque at 5,600 rpm. Both cars will be equipped also with the electro-actuated six-speed F1 gearbox and transaxle transmission.
The Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano
The Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano is the highest performance 12-cylinder berlinetta ever produced at Maranello.
The new model boasts the most innovative and technologically advanced features ever to be used by Ferrari in a mid-front engined two-seater, setting a whole new standard in terms of sportiness, design and exhilarating driving. The Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano delivers stunning performance, putting it right at the very top of its category. In fact, its 5,999 cc V12 engine is directly derived from the one that equipped the “Enzo Ferrari” super car. It punches out 620 hp at 7,600 rpm, giving the new model a weight-power ratio of 2.6 kg/hp. Both the Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano’s chassis and bodyshell are all-aluminium and the most accomplished example of Ferrari’s already well-honed skills in this area. Thanks to an inimitable Pininfarina design, the Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano’s styling incorporates aerodynamics to ensure nothing short of excellence in terms of performance. The new car replaces the 575M Maranello of which, like the 550 Maranello unveiled in 1996, 5,700 were produced, a record in their segment for the Prancing Horse.
From the legendary 250 GT to the 275 GTB, the 365 GTB4 and the 575M Maranello, the powerful 12-cylinder two-seater has always been the most symbolic of Ferrari’s sports cars, and the new Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano is a powerful addition to that list of names.
Ferrari on the American continent
With around 1,150 cars sold there each year, the North American market accounts for 30% of Ferrari’s output and is thus its largest single market worldwide. Within North America, the largest market is California which accounts for 27% of sales in the US. This is followed by the North East (16%), Florida (11%), Texas (7%) and Chicago (6%).
Two new dealerships (one in Silicon Valley, California, and the other in Las Vegas) were added to the Ferrari dealership network in North America in 2005, bringing the total up to 36 (32 in the US and 4 in Canada). However, the existing distributors have also made significant investments in recent years in upgrading their facilities and processes. In 2004, Ferrari North America opened a showroom at 410 Park Avenue in New York to showcase its cars at one of America’s most prestigious locations.
In January 2006, Ferrari North America also took over responsibility for Central and South America to enhance and consolidate Ferrari’s presence there. The main markets involved are Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Venezuela which offer a total of 12 dealerships in all. This consolidation will also boost the distribution network and increase customer satisfaction.
Ferrari North America Inc., which has its headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey and is headed by CEO and President Maurizio Parlato, is now in its fourth year at the helm of Ferrari’s largest market worldwide. Ferrari North America is the only authorised Ferrari importer and distributor in North, Central and South America. It is responsible for all of the marque’s organisational and operational activities in the United States and Canada, including technical training and spares assistance. Ferrari North America also has one dealership on the West Coast, in San Francisco.
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