Weekly Price Guide–25 July 2016

F355 models (all models)

Average = $166,960.00

Change = -$2,400.00

360 (all models)

Average = $138,397.90

Change = $162.20

F430 (all models)

Average = $222,710.40

Change = $679.20

458 Italia

Average = $422,635.70

Change = –$8,774.30

458 Spider

Average = $483,950.00

Change = $0

Value = (Avg price / cars)

458 Spider = $120,987.50

458 Italia = $46.959.52

F355 = $23,851.43

F430 = $20,246.40

360 = $6,590.38

Brand value

Ferrari = $43,727.05

Change = -$255.93 (-0.58%)

Weekly Price Guide–18 July 2016

F355 models (all models)

Average = $169,360.00

Change = -$6,090.00

360 (all models)

Average = $138,235.70

Change = -$1,661.80

F430 (all models)

Average = $222,031.20

Change = $1,740.70

458 Italia

Average = $431,410.00

Change = $3,084.30

458 Spider

Average = $483,950.00

Change = $0

Value = (Avg price / cars)

458 Spider = $120,987.50

458 Italia = $53,926.25

F355 = $24,194.29

F430 = $15,859.37

360 = $6,010.25

Brand value

Ferrari = $44,195.53

Change = $212.55 (0.48%)

Weekly Price Guide–11 July 2016

F355 models (all models)

Average = $175,450.00

Change = -$150.00

360 (all models)

Average = $139,897.50

Change = $2,916.40

F430 (all models)

Average = $220,290.50

Change = -$9,142.90

458 Italia

Average = $428,325.70

Change = $6,940.10

458 Spider

Average = $483,950.00

Change = $14,505.50

Value = (Avg price / cars)

458 Spider = $120,987.50

458 Italia = $47,591.74

F355 = $29,241.67

F430 = $15,735.04

360 = $6,358.98

Brand value

Ferrari = $43,982.98

Change = $9,126.37 (26.18%)

Man’s got to know his limitations

So after detailing what the ‘experience’ is of driving Fiorano now it is time to get down to brass tacks and take a closer look at what I learned about my driving ability (or inability) and what more I need to learn.

image

The first place to start is the telemetry output which you can see above. You can click on the image to get more detail if you want. The red line in the above telemetry is my performance, while the blue line is the benchmark level set by an instructor in the same car (488 GTB).

There are two caveats here. Firstly, towards the end of the lap (turns 7 and 8) I was coming up behind a slower car so needed to back off. Secondly, thanks to my inexperience using the paddle shift I ended up in one gear higher that I should. So with that in mind let’s take a deeper dive into my actual performance on this ‘monitored’ lap.

image

To get a better idea of the track layout and importantly, the correct gearing for each corner, you’ll see the track above. You can click on the image for more detail if you need to.

image

So down the straight into corner 1 you can see that my speed here is slightly lower that the benchmark but comparable and I’m in the right gear. The main issue is that I am not on the gas hard enough down the straight, which explains the lower speed.

image

Now the major problem, for me, is the braking. I am not on the brakes hard enough entering at the end of the straight entering corner 1. This was a problem I struggled with for the whole course. It is very counter intuitive to the way the you drive on the street. On the track you need to be hard (very hard in fact, to the point of the ABS cutting in) immediately and then ease off as you get deeper into the corner.

image

If you also look at the gearing approaching this corner, you’ll see that I shift down too late and two gears instead of three. That now means, of course, that my mental gear numbering is out by one (too high). This affects me through the next few corners.

image

The speed through corners 2 and 3 is in line with the base but I don’t maintain that going into turn 4.

image

Approaching turn 4 I’m still in a gear too high due to my earlier oversight.

image

Once again, I am not braking soon enough or hard enough into corner 4 (the second sets of peaks on the right above).

image

Turn 5 braking isn’t too bad but where you see the issues I have with not braking hard enough is into the first hairpin, turn 5. As you can see from the right most output my braking (red) is way under the benchmark (blue). Thus, I carry too much speed into the corner, which means I end up turning the wheel for longer and this losing speed out of the corner. As I still hear ringing in my ears from instructors. Bake, brake, brake, keep braking, harder braking….

It is around this point that I start to catch the other car so have to back off while a safe overtake is organised by my instructor. This fact kind of throws out the rest of the lap as a comparison to the benchmark.

The lap could have been better but it was certainly a big improvement from my initial laps. Apart from changing my braking style to suit the track the other real challenge I found was simply the sheer amount of things I needed to think about approaching a corner. I had to discipline myself to break early and hard. I had to manage what gear I was in. I needed to continue to brake longer into the corner for a late entry, faster exit. After breaking I needed to release and kiss the apex and then that point apply the power while looking ahead to the next turn. That a lot to think about for simpleton like me!

Not having done a huge amount of track time as well as being in very different car from my own ‘vintage’ model, all of this combined was challenging to say the least. I think that the more time behind the wheel I got the better and would have been nice to do some longer stints to really reinforce some of the lessons I was trying to learn.

It is however very interesting to see what a handy tool telemetry like this to help you work out what you need to improve. It’s all there in black and white (well red and blue in this case, but you get the idea).

However, in the end I learned a huge amount, made progress and was challenged by the whole experience while really enjoying the whole course (once I got over the initial jitters). Hopefully, that is reflected in these in car videos from the last few runs in both cars.

First in the F12 (above) and

secondly, in the 488 GTB.

As a further illustration here’s the video out from the Vbox monitoring set up (telemetry, video, etc) that was also incorporated in the car and made available to everyone:

and of course we want the identity of the driver here to remain hidden to protect the guilty.

It is again interesting for me to review these videos now as I see all sorts of things that I could correct to improve. Oh so many….Next time. Next time for sure.

The one aspect of my driving that I didn’t need to really worry about was the line and layout of the track. That is no doubt thanks to the ‘investment’ I made for 6 month prior driving the track on my Xbox! Driving simulators do really help as it turns out. So the lesson from that is to go out and get an Xbox if you want to improve your performance on the track when you can’t be on the track!

The end result is that there is still much to learn and for that more track time clearly is required. That’s probably the toughest (and most frustrating) aspect of all this. In that, (being rather competitive), you want to go out and start fixing your issues so you don’t feel or perform like a ham fisted moron behind the wheel. Even more incentive to look at doing another Corso Pilota I suppose. Don’t worry, the planning is already in progress for a return visit.

Corso Pilota–Reflections, recommendations and resources

To have the opportunity to attend a Corso Pilota in Maranello course you firstly need to be a registered Ferrari Owner. This means that Ferrari must know about your car and it basically must visible when you login to http://my.ferrari.com with your details. 

Next, you need to select which dates you wish to attend the course on. You’ll typically find there here – http://store.ferrari.com/events/en/driving-course. Courses run pretty much all year round.

Once you have selected your course dates and there are places available (there is a limit of 28 drivers per course), you’ll need to book and pay for your course online.

image

Once you have received confirmation of your booking you’ll also receive, as part of the course, 2 nights accommodation at Hotel Una Baggiovara, which is about halfway between Modena in the north and Maranello in the south (https://goo.gl/maps/EuEYNxD1v1A2).

Your fee will also cover transfers too and from the hotel to the Fiorano track, lunch and dinner for the two days of the course as well as refreshments.

You can extend your stay at the hotel (which I did) and I’d recommend you add at least 2 days prior to the event as well as the night after the course completes to avoid a rushed departure.

DSC00564

DSC00570

DSC00567

As you can see, the rooms are very modern with plenty of room. They include a mini bar and a safe as well as free wifi.

The hotel also has a gym, restaurant, bar and garage if required.

I’d recommend the most cost effective method to get to the hotel is a train to Modena station (https://goo.gl/maps/twHhabRxuWk) and then either a taxi (Euro 15) or a private car (Euro 35).

While you are attending the Corso Pilota I’d suggest you also make time for the following:

1. Ferrari factory tour.

image

DSC00573

This needs to be arranged through your Ferrari dealer prior to departing. Pick a preferred date and you dealer will confirm your tour. Allow at least 2 months prior to departure to arrange this. You will receive a confirmation letter from Ferrari of your tour. Ensure that you bring this along with you to present at reception when you arrive. The tour takes about 4 hours. The factory is located here – https://goo.gl/maps/z3xniP1ApMG2

2. Ferrari museum.

DSC00685

Located just south of the factory (https://goo.gl/maps/MuUHhLLpG8C2). You can purchase a combination ticket for this museum and the Enzo Ferrari museum in Modena. If you have a strong interest in Formula 1 and Ferrari’s history in the sport, allow about 2 hours to fully explore the museum. If your interest doesn’t extend deeply into Formula 1 then allow around 1 hour for this museum.

3. Ferrari store.

image

DSC00574

Almost directly opposite the Ferrari factory entrance you’ll find the Ferrari store (https://goo.gl/maps/YR2tmz7qhRq).

DSC00578

It is quite large and you can easily spend at least 30 minutes browsing through all the merchandise that is available.

4. Other stores.

There are plenty of other little stores around Maranello that sell all sorts of racing and Ferrari memorabilia. Some of those include:

http://www.shoppingformula1.it/eng/index.php

http://www.giorgiogiochi.com/en/

5. Fiorano track (https://goo.gl/maps/RM418Y3n1AA2). image

If you continue along the road where the Ferrari Museum is located and then hang a right a few streets down you’ll end up at the gates to Fiorano. You generally can’t get any further than the gates but there is a nice sign above the entrance that makes for a cool selfie.

6. Drive a Ferrari.

If you really want to take a ride in a Ferrari, there are lots and lots of businesses around that can offer you this including:

http://www.motorsportitalia.it/en/

http://www.pitlaneredpassion.com/eng/test-drive-ferrari

7. Enzo Ferrari Museum transfer.

If you are planning to visit the Enzo Ferrari Museum in Modena then you should purchase your shuttle bus tickets from the offices on the left as you exit the Ferrari Museum. The buses run to a schedule and it takes about 30 minutes to get from Maranello to Modena or visa versa. The schedule for the buses is here:

http://museomaranello.ferrari.com/dedicated-shuttle-service-between-the-two-museums/

8. Ristorante Montana 

(https://goo.gl/maps/nzZMnLjqwe52).

image

DSC00878 

About 10 minutes north of the factory is this amazing and famous restaurant. The walls are covered with all sorts of Ferrari memorabilia and you’ll see signatures from famous guests from Formula 1, movies and more. The food is also amazing.

9. Il Cavallino Restaurant (https://goo.gl/maps/L5FcsRPMngA2).  Across the road from the factory.

10. Enzo Ferrari Museum Modena (https://goo.gl/maps/WqdBkHF2VxP2).

image

This museum is located north in Modena and is serviced by a shuttle bus (Euro 6 one way) that also stops at the Ferrari Museum and Modena railway station.

DSC00744

There is also the engine museum which is housed in a replica workshop right next door.

DSC00691

There is not a huge amount to see in these museums but plenty to read about Enzo’s life and each individual engine. You should probably allow 60 – 90 minutes to fully see both museums.

Now aside from everything Ferrari there are also these sites to interest the motoring enthusiast.

11. Lamborghini Factory Museum.

(https://goo.gl/maps/1jxqGLD6iPB2). This museum is about 30 minutes north east of Modena by car but can also be reached by bus from Bologna.

DSC00838

It is housed over 2 floors and isn’t as extensive as the Ferrari Museum so you should allow 45 – 60 minutes to see it all.

12. Lamborghini Factory tour

Unlike the Ferrari factory tour this tour is available to everyone BUT you must book in advance as places a limited. They run a number of tours throughout the day and to reserve a place visit – https://www.lamborghini.com/en/museum/information/reservation/.

You will normally combine the entry to the factory museum and factory tour together. As these are both out of the way ensure you plan ahead.

13. Museo Ferruccio Lamborghini.

(https://goo.gl/maps/cxFBJnZ91AM2). This museum is dedicate to the man Lamborghini rather that just the car (which is now owned by Audi). It is located further east than the Lamborghini factory and is about 50 minutes drive from Modena.

DSC00784

It contains exhibits from every Ferruccio was involved with, including cars, tractors, boats and even helicopters. unfortunately, it is not in a very central location but is also serviced by a bus from Bologna.

14.Pagani Factory tours.

http://www.pagani.com/en/contacts/pagani_factory_tours/ext/filodirettoev/factory_tour.aspx

15. Ducati Museum.

http://www.ducati.com/company/visit_us/index.do?tab=museum

16. Private Maserati Collection.

DSC00768

http://www.paninimotormuseum.it/index.php. About a 20 minute drive from Modena, situated on a cheese making farm.

Other resources

Private and individual tours of factories – https://www.mymotorland.net/

Group factory tours – http://www.motorstars.org/index.htm

Corso Pilota–Day 2

DSC00915

Day 2 of Corso Pilota started much the same way as Day 1, with a bus trip to the Fiorano circuit and a security check at entry. We again headed into the briefing room for some more driving technique tips.

We were also given the bad news that the cones designating the breaking point for each corner had been removed. All that was left were the cones representing the apexes. Oh boy, if I didn’t have enough to worry about already.

DSC00922

Our rotation into the cars commenced again. I was pleased to start with the 488GTB rather than the F12 as yesterday. I still had much to work on but was far more comfortable now than I was at the same time yesterday.

Corso Pilota Ferrari Sport_664

If my favourite corner was the turn onto the bridge (still hard to master though) my most challenging corner was the hair pin as it just seemed you needed to turn in when in fact you needed to wait on the brakes longer. When do wait you have to turn the wheel less and you get out of the corner mush faster. It ‘feels’ wrong based on what I am used to but doing it ‘correctly’ you can certainly see the difference.

Corso Pilota Ferrari Sport_709

The F12 was still a handful and a very different car to drive than the 488GTB. Being bigger, longer and with the engine in the front it is a really hard car to get smoothly around the corners, especially after driving the smaller and nimbler 488GTB. However, I did feel slightly more confident driving the F12 with all the sessions I now had under my belt. My mood had changed from one of anticipation to eagerness to get out there and improve.

Corso Pilota Ferrari Sport_568

At mid morning, our group returned to the skid pan to ‘compete’ in a more challenging car control event. A small course had been mapped out with cones which included both dry and wet sections (with one especially slippery part over a painted Italian flag). We had two laps of the course with the traction control in a different setting, starting with the most assistance first. These settings are changed via the manettino dial on the steering wheel.

Each lap would be timed, with the competition being between individuals and groups. Nothing like a bit of competition to get the ‘red mist’ going. Before being let loose on the skid pan ourselves we were taken for a ‘demonstration’ ride with our instructors. Got to say that I’m glad I wasn’t doing this session right after lunch!

After getting my eye balls to stop spinning I awaited my turn behind the wheel. If there was ever a chance to really throw a 488GTB around, now was it and I can tell you it was a blast. Tight corners, followed by a short straight, then hard breaking and through the wet all with the clock ticking was beyond fun. Gas, gas, gas, brake, brake, brake, gas again… was the standard instruction we received via radio from the instructor.

Again, it is amazing how much difference the electronics of the car makes when you throwing it around like this. With all the controls on you can look like a real expert just as readily as if you turn them all off you look like a blithering idiot!.

DSC00917

All too soon the skid pan session was over and it was back again to the main track to bang in some more laps before lunch. Like I said previously, you really do get a lot of laps with the course.

We then adjourned for a hot Italian lunch again washed down with coffee.

DSC00914

Many took the opportunity to also grab a bit of shut eye and look out across the track before the action kicked off again.

Corso Pilota Ferrari Sport_710

We were soon back on the track but this time our lap would be recorded via telemetry. Again, I’ll post this up at a later date but it compares you against a instructor so you can exactly what you are doing incorrectly.

Corso Pilota Ferrari Sport_757

It probably would have been much better if they didn’t tell us that they would be recording the whole laps. Chances are I would have made less mistakes. As it was I muffed up the gears and ended up in higher gear that I should have around a number of corners. Damm you paddle shift!

After the telemetry session you are able to sit down with an instructor a look at the exact results compared with an instructor. You can see where you got it right and where you got it wrong. For me still, the biggest issue was not breaking hard enough at the approach to a corner. More work to be done there, however I did feel that I was getting better through the hairpin which was my bogey point on the track.

We now had a quick announcement that our last sessions were here and the instructors we going to take a much more passive role in the car to see how we did without instruction.

Corso Pilota Ferrari Sport_755

Although probably not exactly ‘correct’ I did feel I performed well in these last sessions. Still plenty to work on, but I was around all the corners much better and my braking into each had certainly improved. My instructors were also happy with my progress which is a reassuring thumbs up and confidence boost for me after having to overcome many self imposed mental barriers initially.

My instructors did comment that I did much better on these final laps compared to the telemetry laps. Just shows you how a little pressure can cause you to stuff things up just when you think you have it all together. Heaven knows how race drivers do this sort of stuff.

Corso Pilota Ferrari Sport_760

No sooner had it started, then it was over. We handed in our helmets, gathered our gear and headed to the briefing room for the round up and presentations.

Everyone received a certificate of completion and a memory stick with photos, videos and more. We said good bye and thanks to the instructors and the Ferrari staff who had made this event so memorable. We bade farewell to new friends as some boarded the bus, others drove away in the own cars or via other arrangements.

As the bus pulled away from Fiorano, it was sad that it was all over but I felt a sense of accomplishment in leaving with more skill than when I arrived. Combine that with the unique experience of driving these cars in way that you are unlikely to ever be able to do elsewhere and there was a contentment knowing that these were two very special days in your life.

Upon arrival at the hotel it was time to grab some well earned shut eye and start saving for the return trip to Fiorano as soon as possible.

Corso PIlota–Day 1 (Part 2)

DSC00909

It was now lunch so we all adjourned the room where we had our briefing at the start of the day for a hot Italian lunch. Over here, lunch is the biggest meal of the day and socially the most important. That means there was no shortage of great food to enjoy. Traditionally, not being a big lunch person and knowing that our group was next on the skid pan I decided to keep lunch very petit.

Corso Pilota Ferrari Sport_588

Once the lunch break was complete we jumped in a van for the short trip from the main garage to the skid pan where two 488 awaited us.

A figure eight course had been set up and liberally applied with water. The idea was to turn the electronic aids off in the car and then see how well we could control the power in slippery conditions.

Corso Pilota Ferrari Sport_481

It is a bit intimidating to get behind the wheel of a car like this and then be told to ‘lose control’. The initial worry for most is not knowing the figure eight course layout, which is only marked by cones. However, it is surprising how quickly you visualise the ‘virtual’ track when you are out there. If you also want to know where those 30 kilometres of travel are when you pick up your Ferrari then we think we know know! All in the names of testing, of course.

Since there weren’t any initial takers I thought I might as well go for a ‘spin’. I can tell you with this much horse power at the disposal of your right foot getting out of control is pretty easy. Staying in control through tight turns also requires a lot of work at the wheel. However, at the end of the day it is brilliant fun and a real learning experience.

What is really interesting is when you turn all the electronic control back on how rarely the car will actually lose control. That’s the smarts that are now built into these cars. Truly impressive stuff, and something you don’t appreciate until you get the opportunity to play like we did.

DSC00901

Our group returned to the main garage complex and this time our drives were to out of the ‘box’ or the main garage.

DSC00904

So the rest of the afternoon was again spent trying to master the correct driving technique and for me braking hard enough early enough into the corners. I can still hear my instructor ‘Brake, brake, brake more…’, and regular response ‘Damm, damm and more damm’.

Each participant is provided with a memory card which you plug into the vehicle before you set off. Onto this card gets saved all sorts of information including videos of your sessions (which I’ll post up in a little while). Having all these sessions available is going to be great for review later. I haven’t as yet had a chance to go through all these yet. I’m saving that for when I get back home and return to being ‘boring’ as a way to remind me of my time on the course.

The recoding of the sessions onto the memory card is just one of the ‘quality’ offerings of the course. You have a personal ‘host’ assigned to your group who informs you of what car you are next scheduled to drive and for those who have wandered off, they also come and find you. There is plenty of food and drink available in a cafe inside the garage. There are also photographers walking around taking pictures so you don’t necessarily have to worry about recording the memories. The whole course has been well thought out and produced so you can focus on the driving.

Corso Pilota Ferrari Sport_327

During the afternoon I was beginning to make progress and had ‘graduated’ to using the paddle shift in both cars. However, that meant I had more things now to think about, which again meant that the chance of mistakes was dramatically increased but using the paddles, or driving in manual, certainly gave you more control and was also basically more fun.

At one stage I remember looking down at the speedo, while rocketing down the straight, and being pretty sure it read just over 200 kmph! Wow. The more your drive, the better your technique gets (slowly) and the faster you go. The course does not time your laps and it is not until you step out of the car after your drive that you realise, ‘Hey I just drove a Ferrari’.

I will also say that you plenty of time in both cars. Although your sessions are short (clearly to reduce fatigue and errors) you are swapped to another ride very quickly. The timings is great, because you have time to grab a drink or go to the toilet, have a bit of a rest and then you are back behind the wheel again.

Kudos goes to the instructors who are in the passenger seats pretty much constantly. You are never out their on your own, they are always riding shotgun giving you help to improve your driving. It is certainly humbling to be constantly told what you need to do to improve but it is all done with the aim helping you improve and get more enjoyment from the cars. Tough love, as they say.

DSC00911

The track part of the day was now over and we all headed back to the bus all buzzing about the experience.

We had about a 90 minute break to get refreshed and then we were off to dinner in Bologna. The location for this was Palazzo Albergati. This basically a summer palace for some very influential people in Bologna’s history.

IMG_20160630_203504

We were treated to a short guided tour and then dinner in the wine cellars.

IMG_20160630_211523

With dinner over it was back on the bus to the hotel. I am not afraid to say that by now I was totally and utterly knackered and couldn’t wait to hit the sack. It had been a huge day and my mind was still full of everything that I’d done and all the things that I need to do to improve my driving tomorrow. The Corso Pilota was now half over for me but I was keen to go at again and this time I’d be far more prepared and less intimidated of getting behind the wheel of a Ferrari at speed.