THE 2017 Ferrari Challenge Asia-Pacific will kick off its 25th season this weekend in Abu Dhabi, the first leg of a seven-round championship that finishes up at the end of October in Mugello, Italy.
This year’s car in the single-make racing series is the Ferarri 488 Challenge, the first-ever turbocharged model used since the series’ debut in 1992. It is powered by a derivative of Ferrari’s 660-horsepower, 3.9-liter V8 production engine that was awarded the 2016 International Engine of the Year honor.
Ferrari has reported that the 488 set a track record for a Challenge car at the company’s Fiorano circuit, lapping in 1:15.5. As a point of comparison, the absolute record at Fiorano is 0:55.999 seconds, set by Michael Schumacher in the Ferrari F2004 Formula One car.
The series is expected to field about 30 drivers representing Singapore, Japan, China, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Australia, Thailand, South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, the United States, Canada, France and Italy.
The highlight of the season will be the race at the Singapore street circuit on Formula One weekend, September 15 to 17. Although it has not yet been confirmed by Ferrari or the Singapore organizers, it is believed that 2017 will be the last Challenge race at Singapore. To mark the occasion, Ferrari has already pledged an undisclosed sum to the President’s Challenge, Singapore’s official charity organization.
The full schedule for the Ferrari Challenge is as follows: Round 1 will be on April 6-8 in Abu Dhabi, UAE; Round 2 is the Ferrari Racing Days event in Shanghai, China on May 27-29; on June 9-11, the series moves to Zhejiang, China; Round 4 will see the Challenge mounted as a support race to the Super Formula meet in Fuji, Japan on July 7-9; Round 5 will be August 25-27 in Sepang, Malaysia; Round 6 is the Singapore race; and the seventh and final round, the Finali Mondiali, will take place in Mugello, Italy on October 26-29.