Progress of the Ferrari 60 Relay:

Ferrari's 60th anniversary 'relay race' across five continents, which kicked off January 28th in Abu Dhabi, has been making excellent progress. By 5th February the relay reached Singapore, and then headed towards Kuala Lumpur via forest roads. Despite the 'Tropical Rally' nature of the terrain, the 20-or-so Ferraris had no problem tackling the demanding roads on the 350km between Singapore and the Malaysian capital.

Hong Kong was the third Asian destination for the Ferrari 60 Relay in Asia, and by 17th February the baton had reached Japan. The Japanese section of the adventure began in Shiba Square, in the centre of Tokyo, where some 180 Ferrari owners took part in the ceremony of handing over the baton at the Zojoji temple. The cars present included the new 575 M Maranello, 360 Modena, F430, 612 Scaglietti and 599 GTB Fiorano, plus a 275 Testarossa and 250 GTO, along with some 512 Testarossas, F40s and F355s. Matching the glamour of the cars were some of the costumes worn by the participants – such as the kimono, designed especially to celebrate Ferrari’s 60th anniversary, worn by Mrs Yasuki, the wife of a Ferrari customer. The cars then drove via Gotemba to Nagoya, in the shadow of Mount Fuji, creating a dramatic backdrop as the baton passed hands.

On its third day in Japan, the Ferrari 60 Relay Tour made its way to Osaka under a stunning sky. Lunch, and the handover of the baton to the next customer, took place near the Hikone Castle, built in the 17th Century in the city of the same name – an area rich with the history of the Samurai and their Shoguns.

At the temple of Heian Jingu Otenmon in Kyoto, the staff of the Ferrari 60 Relay were able to meet a ‘Miko’, a very refined Geisha, who posed with the cars and the drivers. The cars then set forth in the direction of Osaka, via Arashiyama, the Togetsuko Bridge and Bamboo Alley.

From Osaka, the journey led to Hiroshima, but there was time on the way to admire the fabulous Pearl Bridge, outside the city of Kobe. At 3991 metres, it is the longest bridge in the world and connects Maiko with Iwaya on Awaji Island. In Hiroshima, the relay cars passed the region which was hit by an atomic bomb during World War II, and took the opportunity to honour the traditions of peace and fraternity fostered there today.

The last Japanese stages of the rally took in Fukuoka, a city on the island of Kyushu in the eastern part of Japan, and Yufuin, which hosts one of the best-known thermal spas in Japan. Close to the Yufu mountain, from which it takes its name, and the Golden Scale Lake, the spa is surrounded by unusual greenery due to the area's volcanic soil. After spending the night in a typical Japanese spa, the crew left the lunar landscape behind and headed via Kumamoto, and the Shintu temples at Dazaifu-Tenmangu, to Jakarta.

The Indonesians have a great affection for Ferraris, and the capital of Jakarta saw the jam-packed traffic regulated by a police escort, enabling the relay cars from Ferrari to reach the Italian Cultural Institute. Here a huge crowd welcomed them enthusiastically, waving Italian flags. At a Gala Dinner, in honour of Ferrari’s 60 years, a F2005 and FXX were auctioned for charity while the Italian Ambassador received a painting by a well-known Indonesian artist: a tribute from Italy to the “Ferrari family of Indonesia”.

The 1st of March saw the convoy rumble through the streets of Taipei, and reach the 101 Tower, which at 508m is the highest building in the world. The day ended with a Gala Dinner on the top floors of the skyscraper. Here, the lifts reach a speed worthy of a Ferrari event: 60km/h and just 37 seconds to ascend 390 metres.

On 3rd March 2007, 40,000 spectators gathered in Melbourne, Australia, to watch the 248 F1 driving through the streets of the city. Ferrari test driver Marc Gené, who came especially to Melbourne from Maranello to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Ferrari, drove down Lygon Street eight times in the Formula 1 car: a breathtaking spectacle in this famous Italian part of Melbourne.

The Ferrari 60 Relay Tour crossed the African continent with two stages successfully completed in South Africa. On 9th March the cars passed through Johannesburg, and then on to Cape Town, with a total of some 400 Ferrari customers and over 40 cars involved.

The Ferrari 60 Relay Tour now heads to Miami, for the first of its stages across the USA.

Text: Charis Whitcombe
Photos: Ferrari SpA - Copyright

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