One of the many prerogatives and to some extent responsibilities of a legendary brand, with its long successful history and worldwide recognition, is to pass on its inheritance of exclusivity. It is in this spirit that the Ferrari Classiche department decided to open the company’s doors to people who want a first-hand experience of the history, passion and legend. The Maranello-based company created the Ferrari Classiche Academy, a driving course focused on some of the Prancing Horse's classic supercars. Its most recent session included seven Ferrari women drivers from Poland led by Karolina Szulecka, representative of the local Ferrari dealer.
We chatted with some of them in the pits at the Fiorano track, during a short break between two driving sessions. "I've been working for Ferrari for seven years and from day one customers have asked me to organise events entirely dedicated to them, in which they could play a leading role", said Karolina.
"To hear women who had never met before deepening their knowledge and talking about gear shifts, double-clutching, and heel and toe... is music to my ears! The most useful exercise? Driving in the wet, which taught them some techniques that they can use in their Ferraris". The group includes experienced drivers from the Prancing Horse's one-make GT competitions as well as women totally new to sports driving.
Maja Krasowska, a member of the latter category, smilingly admitted: "The low-speed steering exercises on the gymkhana track made me think that this course is perfect, among other things, for physical exercise, given the strength needed to take a bend in these cars compared to ones equipped with power steering!". However, the positives of the Ferrari Classiche Academy go beyond strengthening your biceps: "I'm sure that once back in Poland, I'll feel much safer and more at ease in my Ferrari, because I can now keep control of the car in all weather conditions and I've learned to take turns as efficiently as possible", Maja continued.
The background of Agata Smolka (alias agi_chasingmylimits) is quite different. As a Ferrari Challenge driver, she decided to try her hand with icons of the calibre of the 308 GTBi, GTS and Quattrovalvole. These cars are the true ancestors of the racing cars she has been driving for two years on circuits around the world: "Driving a classic car is really an incredible challenge. The highly trained instructors have also helped me develop a few tricks that will be handy in competition".
While Agata, with all her experience, recommends Ferrari Classiche Academy to all her colleagues, Maja added: "This event is so special also because driving a supercar with a partner can sometimes be problematic if you're a woman, as unfortunately we often feel judged. Having the opportunity to take our time, assimilate concepts without any pressure and to ask all the questions we want is really... extraordinary!". The course coordinators reminded us that it was time for the women to get back behind the wheel. However, before she plunged back into the day's myriad activities Karolina added what she thinks is the main key to understanding this very special session of the Ferrari Classiche Academy: "The girls are enthusiastic because this is one of the very first automotive events conceived, organised and realised entirely around them, their needs and their interests".