Pony-up or miss out on this bad boy of racing 

Pony-up or miss out on this bad boy of racing 

WHEN you’re rich and into racing - meaning that’s you behind the wheel, not just watching - then you can probably afford to buy a car from the very best brands in the business, and it’s wonderful when price is not an obstacle. I learned this at Melbourne’s Grand Prix event in March when talking to some of the competitors lined up to race in the Ferrari Challenge

Martin Berry, an Aussie-made-good as a globetrotting entrepreneur now living in Singapore, was impressive in his cool blue, white and black livery. Australian model-come race driver Jarrod Scott was held back by a technical delay that prevented him from taking the track before the Melbourne Formula One opener. But one of the few female’s pitting it against the boys, Thai competitor Kanthicha Chimsiri, absolutely nailed things when she turned up for a chat not only in her car-branded pink and black race suit but also sporting an alligator Hermes Birkin. As well as running a successful private client advisory service, Chimsiri enjoys her downtime on the beauty circuit.

Anyway, the point of this missive is to calibrate these people’s ability, as owners and therefore people of interest on the Ferrari radar, with the prospect of owning a car like the special edition Piloti Ferrari 488 Pista. 

This unique tailor-made specification for the 488 Pista may just have been unveiled but it’s only available to customers who participate in Ferrari’s racing programs. Which makes it clear from the outset that this is going to be expensive, not that Ferrari will give us anything on the numbers. 

Nevertheless, it helps explains why with the Ferrari Challenge, Ferrari has managed to attract a loyal following of believers willing to race its cars, as well as all those happy to tag along in the associated motorsports programs. So it was fitting, really, that the car made its debut on the eve of the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race in France.

There’s lots to love about this car, On each side the owner can designate a custom number that will also be placed on the steering wheel. In the model seen here, the number 51 references the number 51 car used to win the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) Drivers’ and Manufacturers’ titles.

Madam Wheels loves the way the car’s been dressed up with a special Italian flag scheme harking back to the championship-winning 488. Inside the Italian flag covers continue to unfurl on the seat backs and and discreetly on gearshift and doormats.

Under the bonnet it’s pure Ferrari, with an engine powered by a turbocharged V8 which has won accolades for being the best engine in the world for the three years in a row in the 2018 International Engine of the Year Awards. 

Does that get you race-ready? If not, you can see it and weep. This car is available only or the for those Ferrarista on the move.