Antonello Coletta, head of Ferrari Attività Sportive GT, reviews the Corse Clienti department’s 2022 season, which, as per tradition, concluded at the Finali Mondiali, hosted this year at Imola. The year’s centrepiece was the 30th anniversary of the Ferrari Challenge, the Maranello manufacturer’s one-make series.
Antonello, let’s start with the Ferrari Challenge 30th anniversary celebrations...
“For a one-make series to hit the 30-year milestone is extraordinary and unique at the international level. This achievement testifies to the company’s professionalism and credibility in pursuing this programme, developing many cars. In 1993, we began with the Ferrari 348, and today we are about to start developing the 296 Challenge, the car of the future. So many models and so many customers competing on every track. I am proud to say that I have witnessed many editions of the one-make series, as many as 26. I have also known many of the drivers competing”.
Over three decades, the Ferrari Challenge organisation has grown and improved: how would you describe this journey?
“If I look back and think about when I arrived at Ferrari, remembering the Challenge organisation back then, and if I think about where we are today, I realise how much we have grown. I believe we are second to no other motorsports championship organisation. This is a source of pride for me, as it is for all employees and partners who play a valuable role. We have high levels of excellence in organisation, television production, and sports management of races, and we have never left anything to chance. We are not satisfied: every day, we look at how we can grow further, giving our customers an even better service”.
The XX Programme and F1 Clienti are recovering after the pandemic, registering a record turnout at the Finali Mondiali in Imola: an encouraging sign...
“With 2021 over, we thought the world was about to restart in terms of the movement of people and logistics. On the contrary, the time wasn’t yet ripe. So the first half of the 2022 season was tough, while in the second half, we again started to see previous numbers of participants and attendees. Our peak came at the Finali Mondiali, where we exceeded all expectations and set a record for these two programmes. This bodes well for 2023. We know we have a solid customer base. Now it’s just a matter of being free to travel again without too many hindrances”.
In the Ferrari Challenge, for the second year running, a woman driver, this year Doriane Pin, won in the Trofeo Pirelli Europe. This further confirms the championship’s openness, today as yesterday, to gender diversity...
“Of course, we were among the first to have women at the wheel of our racing cars, who are very competitive by the way. The natural consequence was the two European victories in the last two years with Michelle Gatting and Pin. These young women proved strong and competitive, battling on equal terms, and skilfully and deservedly achieved top results. We are pleased to bear a positive message to the outside world. After all, we have always been open to all forms of inclusion. We do it as a matter of course”.
Corse Clienti’s activities include managing the Fiorano track. How do you assess the year’s results?
“Fiorano is modernising, changing our activities there: not just testing road or racing cars, or shakedowns of competition cars. It is always open to our road car customers, to whom we offer exclusive experiences. Our test track turned fifty, a significant anniversary. It always keeps up with the times. For example, we have created a second pit lane for testing directly outside our building. We have achieved the FIA’s highest homologation grades and modified some corners, improving their safety. We also put in a new state-of-the-art video-recording system. Fiorano is a small circuit but one with great possibilities”.
And what about the Mugello circuit?
“Mugello is a world-recognised excellence. This year, it was very successful commercially, no less than any other season. The MotoGP race, the season’s highlight, was the only setback. Unfortunately, MotoGP didn’t have a great season for spectators, a factor we paid for. Hopefully, we learned something positive in 2022, the first edition in which tickets were fully on sale again after the pandemic, so we can work with momentum next year. In agreement with Dorna and the local institutions, we are doing our best to ensure that the public returns to the same levels as the pre-pandemic editions. Finally, I want to mention the experience Corso Pilota...”.
Are there any new developments on the way?
“Precisely. Corso Pilota, an activity that is part of our family, got off to an excellent start, for example, in America, where we broke all attendance records, thanks to the incredible work of our US branch colleagues. As for Europe, participation was very high, with almost all courses sold out. Next year, we have decided to remodel our offer to keep on innovating and give new challenges to our customers, to whom we will present some interesting new developments. The time has come to rejuvenate the overall offer”.