Ferrari 488 Challenge at Hampton Downs
New Zealand punches above its weight in so many sports, Boxing, Rugby (of course), Cricket, Netball, Sailing and Motorsport to name but a few. However, aside from a particular chosen few, our venues still have a lot to be desired. We are seldom on the list of ‘must see’ stadiums or event centres but it would appear that we have a venue that has just appeared on a list alongside some of the World greats, and it’s located in the Waikato.
This epic motorsport event has been held on some of the finest ‘bucket list’ race tracks the world has on offer, including Laguna Seca, Daytona, Circuit of the America’s, Fuji, Suzuka, Monza and now, (drumroll please), Hampton Downs Motorsport Park. I mean I knew this racetrack was good, I just didn’t realise how good!
Initially created in 1993, this single-marque motorsport event brings together the thrills of ultra high-speed racing, with one of the most desirable luxury lifestyle brands on the planet, and did I tell you that it’s going to be here at Hampton Downs?
The Ferrari 488 Challenge attracts drivers from over 15 nationalities to participate in this ‘Arrive & Drive’ racing series and over its 25-year existence in excess of 1000 drivers from all over the world have taken part. But don’t think that it’s a bunch of professional drivers stretching their motorsport legs, no this is a racing series for owners (although you’ll be hard pushed pick it as they’re all pretty handy behind the wheel), Gentlemen and Gentlewomen that have the desire to take their driving skills to a whole new level.
This is a one-make, one-model challenge with one highly skilled team of technicians managing all the cars. The result is perfect technical equality with zero politics – the race is won and lost by the drivers alone – that’s what makes it so exciting!
In previous years, the Prancing Horse models that have raced have ranged from the initial 438 Berlinetta, through F430 to 458 but now it’s the turn of the tremendous 488. The 488 Challenge car is powered by a 670hp turbocharged 3.9 litre V8 engine derived from the International Engine Of The Year awarded 488 GTB.
The event in April promises to be a major spectacle, with thrills, spills, fun and entertainment both on and off the track. The Ferrari 488 Challenge is a must-see for Families, Motorsport Enthusiasts, Corporate Hosts and most definitely the Ferraristi – see you all there
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