The 2016 edition of Ferrari Finali Mondiali was held December 1-4 at Daytona International Speedway in Florida, the first time the event has been organized in the Americas. Scuderia Ferrari drivers, Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel, ended the four-day event with a spectacular exhibition at the legendary circuit.
Raikkonen and Vettel provided a show behind the wheel of the two Ferrari F60 Formula 1 machines, demonstrating blinding starts, lightning fast pit stops along with the Scuderia mechanics and of course the traditional burnouts. Before returning to pit lane, the two drove side-by-side over the finish line in a tribute to the famous parade finish of the three Ferraris at the 24 Hours of Daytona in 1967.
The 2016 Ferrari Finali Mondiali opened up with a tribute to the Prancing Horse’s other achievement at Daytona in 1998 when the F333 SP was the first to cross the finish line. Seven of these cars paraded on the track to the excitement of the American fans who saw them win so many races in the mid-nineties. Then it was the GT drivers’ turn at the wheel of the 488 and 458 Italia machines in which Christina Nielsen also lapped, newly crowned winner of the IMSA championship in the GT-D class with the 488 GT3.
Additional celebrations were staged on Saturday evening, when the biggest parade of Ferraris ever seen on an American track took center stage, with more than 800 cars driven by their owners. This moment followed the dinner where CEO Sergio Marchionne, invited those in attendance to the charity auction for a unique LaFerrari. The car was sold for the record amount of 7 million USD that will be used for a reconstruction project in central Italy struck by the earthquake.
The schedule also included 10 races for the Ferrari Challenge, including the final rounds of the three series and the two races for World Champion. Titles were awarded at the World Finals to Carlos Kauffmann, of team Ferrari of Ft. Lauderdale in the Pirelli Trophy, Sam Smeeth (Stratstone Ferrari) in the Pirelli Pro Trophy and Thomas Loefflad in the Shell Cup (StileF Squadra Corse).
The F1 Clienti and Programmi XX clients were on the track, once again giving the fans the thrill of seeing in action so many of the single-seaters that have characterized recent years in F1, as well as the powerful FXX K machines, boasting more than 1,000 horsepower and hybrid technology derived from Formula 1. The event marked the first time modern Ferrari F1 race cars lapped Daytona Speedway. Drivers were initially cautious, but they rapidly became comfortable with the high-speed curves and 31-degree banks. The roar of engines being pushed to the limit filled the speedway as the single-seaters raced along one of the international temples of automobile racing.
Ferrari also staged the inaugural Ferrari Classiche Concours during the Finali Mondiali this weekend. With 73 of cars entered into the Classiche Concours, the standards were high under IAC/PFA guidelines, with many rare and special cars on display. The ‘Ferrari Classiche Enzo Ferrari’ award for the overall Best in Show went to long-time Ferrari collectors, Brian and Kimberley Ross for their 166 MM Touring Barchetta of 1947, chassis 006, while a 330 P4 Drogo Spider won the award for ‘Most Historically Significant Ferrari’.
The award for the ‘Most Elegant Classiche Certified Ferrari’ went to a 1957 250 GT Cabriolet Pinin Farina Spider Series 1, while the award for ‘Best of Show Ferrari Classiche Preservation Award’ went to a 1972 365 GTB/4 Daytona. Two different Ferrari 400 Superamericas each won an award — a 1961 Pinin Farina Cabriolet won the ‘Best of Show Ferrari Classiche Road Ferrari’ and a Pinin Farina Aerodinamico only 400SA alloy body, also of 1961, won the ‘Best Concours Prepared Classiche Ferrari’. Phil Bachmann won the award for ‘Spirit of Show’ for having brought 12 cars from his Ferrari collection.
In 2017, the Ferrari World Finals will return to Italy at Mugello, but the drivers, enthusiasts and fans will no doubt long remember the first American edition of the event organized on the legendary circuit of Daytona.
Ferrari Finali Mondiali Daytona 2016 – Photo Gallery
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