2006 Ferrari 599 Panamerican 20,000 - 6


(from Ferrari Press Release)  Los Angeles, 23rd October 2006 - A sprint along the motorway from Ensenada to Tijuana saw the Ferrari berlinettas draw up to the United States border.

The highway runs along the coast, parallel to an uninterrupted series of beach front houses. The customs clearance for the 599 GTB Fioranos and Alfa Romeo 159s took some time but eventually were waved through. However, the Daily Iveco trucks were denied entry for reasons of bureaucracy and were left in Tijuana. It was late evening before the expedition could cover the 130 miles that lay between the border and Los Angeles.

The sense of being in the United States was obvious once past the customs point. The houses were typically owned by single families, some fairly simple, and extended as far as the eye could see. San Diego did not present much of a distinction with nearby Los Angeles. The Panamerican 20,000 began exactly two months ago today and the 599 GTB Fioranos have covered a total of 18,662 kilometres.

Las Vegas, 25th October 2006 - The journey of the two V12-Berlinettes stops for half a day so the team can visit the city of Los Angeles - city of cars, of hundreds of highways, and of thousands of parking spaces. Life in Los Angeles happens in cars. But once the two 599 GTB Fiorano leave this city, they immediately enter another desert.

The desert begins right behind the last houses of the periphery of Los Angeles; a highway leads the cars in the direction of Las Vegas. Along the road the railway can be spotted with long trains cutting the horizon. The road leads through the Mojave desert, to the left the team can see the famous Death Valley and to the right the Mojave National Park.

At that point the two 599 GTB Fiorano are leaving California and enter the state of Nevada. From time to time an oasis is spotted in the distance, where next to springs diners have been built for hungry travellers: truck stops of an incredible modernity, considering that they were built in the desert, in the middle of nowhere. In Las Vegas the cars and the team are welcomed with a Cocktail Party at the local Ferrari dealer. Later the team members take the cars and explore the city by night: an incredible place smack in the desert of Nevada.

New Orleans, 1st November 2006 - After the walk of fame in Houston the Ferrari Berlinettes are leaving for New Orleans. The team takes the highway eastwards heading through the flat terrain, passing various rivers flowing towards the sea. The team stops infrequently on their way, only when neccessary to arrive at their destination as soon as possible: in the city of jazz with its characteristic spots, with what remains from the era of land owners, the wide water expanses between the Mississippi and the Pontchartrain lake.

The two chinese journalists, Baoqing Dong and Qun Xu, behind the wheel of the Berlinettes during this section have shown incredible enthusiasm, were impressed by the performance of the two 599 GTB Fiorano and by the warm welcome they received in the state of Louisiana passing with the two Ferrari cars. To arrive in the city wide lagoons have to be passed via aqueducts. Trees which were destroyed by the hurricane Catrina can be seen along the road. Signs of this devastating storm cover the city and it will take years to rebuild New Orleans to its former splendor. As the cars arrive in the city the usual crowd gather around the two cars from Maranello. In the evening the team visits the French Quarter to listen to music in the various hot spots on Royal Street.

Miami, 3rd November 2006 - After leaving the university town of Gainesville, the two Ferrari Berlinettes drive southbound in the direction of Miami. The highway runs through woods, passes lakes, and the cars cross bridges where they can see numerous ships and yachts in this tropical climate of Florida , America's pensioners' paradise. Driving along the coast the team can sport various tourist harbours packed with yachts and small fish trawlers. This is an area famous for deep sea fishing. In Miami the team rendezvous with the local Ferrari dealer for the presentation of the new Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano. Naturally the two Panamerican Berlinettes are the evening's toast of the town and welcomed, with a roaring applause together with the team.

The evening proceeds with interviews for the press and the local TV stations, while a wonderful cocktail party rounds off the day. Tomorrow the tour will stop in Miami for maintenance and a deserved break for the team of the Panamerican 20,000.

Serious Wheels