News July 30 2006
Ferrari announces 32,000km tour of Americas
Following its epic record-breaking journey around China last year in a pair of Ferrari 612 Scagliettis, Ferrari has announced that it has set its newest model, the Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano, an even tougher challenge, a 32,000 kilometre crossing from South to North America
On 24 August, two Ferrari 599 GTB Fioranos, will begin a long journey from Brazil that will take them through 16 countries and across 32,000 km to New York where they are scheduled to arrive on 17 November. A total of 50 different international journalists, each one representing the most important publications from all over the world, will take turns behind the wheels of the two sports cars, during the 15-stage, 84-day tour. The adventure 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 will experience the same conditions as the very earliest racing cars.
This is not Ferrari’s first foray into this kind of adventure, however. To celebrate the marque’s 50th anniversary in 1997, a 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 of enormous strategic value in Ferrari’s development. The “World Tour” proved an extraordinary success and the car arrived back at the very spot in New York from where it had started on March 18th, after a massive 75 days on the road.
The latest and most spectacular Prancing Horse road trip was 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. En route the cars visited 37 different cities and climbed to an altitude of 5,231 metres in the mountain passes of Tibet.
15 stages – 84 days – 16 countries
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.
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 en route, before they drive on to Miami and then Washington.
After that they continue on to Chicago and Toronto in 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. Its partners on the Tour will be some of the Prancing Horse’s most loyal sponsors: Shell (V Power, Helix and Q, fuel and lubricants), Alcoa (technical partner and manufacturer of the Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano’s aluminum chassis), Case IH (a Fiat-owned company, worldwide leader in the production of agricultural machinery) Pirelli (supplier of specialist tyres for the different terrains being covered), the Fiat Group (support vehicles), Puma (clothing), Saima Avandero (transport of cars and spare parts), Buonitalia (a company working to promote Italian products worldwide).
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 from across the world will take turns behind the wheels of the two Ferraris (we think our invitation might have got lost in the post – Ed). In addition to the journalists, an official photographer and a video cameraperson, 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.
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