Maranello, 15 November – Only a few days have passed since the Ferrari Challenge Finali Mondiali, but already work is going on apace for the coming season, the twenty second of the Prancing Horse’s one-make series.
This Monday past, a few owners were able to try the 458 Challenge Evoluzione on the Mugello track and, despite the bad weather, they soon felt the benefits of increased driveability from the modified aerodynamics. The kit will be obligatory for all cars in the 2014 championship, but that is not the only change.
On the sporting side, the most significant changes concern the format of the weekend (a qualifying session and its relative race on Saturday, a further qualifying and the second race on Sunday, an increase of more than four hours total driving time,) the introduction of a handicap system (the first three in each race will each get a grid penalty for the next race – 6 places for the winner, 4 for second and two for third - , only one driver allowed per car and a split in the Trofeo Pirelli classification between a Pro and an Am category.
The points system covers the top 10 in each category (20, 15, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 3, 2, 1) as well as a point for each event entered, each pole position and each fastest race lap.
The calendars for two of the three series have already been decided, those being the North Amerian and Asia Pacific ones. The former gets underway on 23-25 January in Daytona on the same card as the eponymous 24 Hours race, before moving to Sonoma (25-27 April,) Laguna Seca (16-18 May), Montreal as usual on the same weekend as the Canadian Formula 1 Grand Prix (6-8 June), Mont Tremblant with the Ferrari Racing Days (27-29 June), Road America (11-13 July) before ending at another historic track, Watkins Glen, on 12-14 September. There is still a non-championship event in Austin (14-16 November), over the USA Grand Prix weekend.
The Asia Pacific series gets underway in Sepang 21-23 February with the Ferrari Racing Day, which is then repeated in Sydney on -13 April for the start of the Oceania part of the season. Shanghai (6-8 June) will host a scaled down version of Racing Days which will be repeated with an identical format from 19 to 21 September in Fuji: in between there will be a round in Inje (4-6 July) and at aother Japanese venue (22-24 August.)
The Finali Mondiali, which will also feature the final rounds of all three championships, will for the first time take place outside Europe, at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina circuit from 3 to 6 December.