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Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli Asia Pacific Series arrives in New Zealand

28 March, 2018



The Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli Asia Pacific Series will take place on New Zealand’s iconic Hampton Downs circuit in April 2018, the car manufacturer has announced. Running 12–15 April, the four-day race schedule will incorporate the open-to-public Ferrari Festival over the weekend.

“Ferrari has a longstanding history with motor racing in New Zealand, and some of our most committed Corse Clienti race drivers hail from here,” said Louis Colmache, Head of Corse Clienti, Asia Pacific.

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Established in 1993, the Ferrari Challenge has achieved distinction as the widest ranging and most envied one-make client racing series in the world, and runs in Europe, North America, and Asia-Pacific. The Asia-Pacific series opens at Melbourne’s Albert Park Circuit in support of the Formula 1 Australia Grand Prix on 22–25 March, landing on our soil for events at Hampton Downs from 12–25 April, before heading to support the Singapore Grand Prix in September, culminating in Italy at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza for the Finali Mondiali (World Finals) between 1–4 November, where the Asia–Pacific race drivers will join drivers from the Europe and North America Series for the traditional end-of-season celebrations.

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“New Zealand is home to some of the most passionate Ferrari owners and drivers in the world,” explained Herbert Appleroth, CEO of Ferrari Australasia. “We are excited to be able to now offer our clients the opportunity to experience the thrill of racing with Ferrari on some of the most iconic race tracks in the world, including Auckland’s iconic Hampton Downs circuit in New Zealand. We encourage all of New Zealand’s Ferrari fans to join us for the celebrations.”

These celebrations include the chance for clients and fans to see the Ferrari 488 Challenge car in action — the first turbo-charged model to race, and the most powerful Challenge car ever — as well as a spectacular array of classic and modern Ferrari models and special edition cars on display, and family-friendly entertainment including face painting and Ferrari giveaways.

Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli Asia Pacific Series 2018 Schedule
Round 1: 22–25 March, Melbourne, Australia (Formula 1 GP)
Round 2: 12–15 April, Hampton Downs, New Zealand
Round 3: 24–27 May, Shanghai, China (Ferrari Racing Days)
Round 4: 28 June–1 July. Fuji, Japan (Ferrari Racing Days)
Round 5: 23–25 August, Suzuka, Japan
Round 6: 14–16 September, Singapore Marina (Formula 1 GP)
Round 7: 1–4 November,  Monza, Italy (Finali Mondiali)

Motorsport Flashback – Kiwi rallying in the 1970s

Rallying arrived in New Zealand in 1973 like a tsunami. It had been only a few years since the sport was introduced here and shortly afterwards Heatway came on board as the sponsor to take rallying to a new level. The 1973 Heatway would be the longest and biggest yet, running in both islands with 120 drivers over eight days and covering some 5400 kilometres. The winner was 31-year-old Hannu Mikkola — a genuine Flying Finn who had been rallying since 1963 before putting any thoughts of a career on hold until he completed an economics degree. The likeable Finn became an instant hero to many attracted to this new motor sport thing. I was one of them.

Think of it as a four-door Cooper

New Zealand Mini Owners Club coordinator Josh Kelly of Dunedin loves his Minis. It’s a family affair. Julie and Mike, Josh’s mum and dad, are just as keen, and they can usually all be found taking part in the club’s annual ‘Goodbye, Pork Pie’ charity run from the North of the country to the South.
But lately Josh’s young head has been turned by some other revolutionary BMC cars. He has picked up a couple of Austin and Morris 1100 and 1300s, which he started to restore — that was until an opportunity arose to buy a rare example stored in a shed.