We may have accidentally made Ferrari Challenge one of Jalopnik's favorite motorsports, but perhaps for the wrong reasons. There's more to the series than "LOL RICH GUY CRASHES CAR" and we're here with winning driver Carlos Gomez to prove it.
We've covered why Porsche Supercup is awesome, but why should you watch Ferraris race instead of, say, using the opportunity to beat the bathroom line?
Okay, first off, if you're having to decide between Ferrari racing and a number two, I'm not sure we can be friends. IT'S A SERIES FULL OF FERRARI 458s, PEOPLE. The cars are beautiful, high-tech Italian masterpieces and they wail like a woman scorned. If you miss the V8 roar from the Formula One cars, you should just drop whatever you're doing when the 458s are on and bask in the aural glory that is the 458 race.
We've covered all of your best chances to avoid the longest bathroom lines, anyway. Hold up, you've got this. (Well, unless the sheer awesomeness of a bunch of 458s on track at once causes you to soil yourself. Then you don't. Go beforehand.)
If you've somehow got the idea in your head that it's just a bunch of rich guys who bought cars instead of driving coaches, whoa there, buddy. Stop yourself right there.
There are two classes running in Ferrari Challenge. Coppa Shell is for relative novices, and that's a likely source of the hijinks we all know and love. You know what? If I struck oil in my yard tomorrow, I'd be doing the same sort of thing with a lilac bunny-liveried 911, so I can't fault them for getting out there on track and enjoying themselves. Trofeo Pirelli is for the more experienced racers and those guys can really drive.
The pointy, Pro-Am end of the grid is full of talent, and last year's battles for the win was some of the closest racing all weekend. I remember being glued to my seat hoping local racer (and guy who helped build the track) Mark McKenzie would eke out the win at the last minute, only to end with a heartbreaking mechanical failure towards the end of the race.
Axis of Oversteer's Carlos Gomez actually won one the second race of the weekend last year, so we're glad to be hanging around with his pit all weekend. If there's anyone who can demonstrate that it's not just Rich Guy Bumper Cars, it's a guy from one of the best racing blogs on the internet.
Here's one of Gomez's laps from Daytona this year, in the same chrome and neon orange car he'll be using this weekend:
That's some pretty crazy driving, especially in the hairy braking zone at the end of the banked oval section. The lack of downforce on these cars makes for higher top speeds and harder braking.
Anyway, we'll be around all weekend to answer any questions you may have about the series and/or maybe photobomb the Porsche paddock in a horse head. Have any questions about the series? Let us know in the comments below.