Ferrari PH holds 70th anniversary celebration weekend in Baguio
By Alvin Uy
Philippine Daily Inquirer
November 15, 2017 at 12:11 am

This year marks a milestone for Autostrada Motore, the country’s official Ferrari dealer in the Philippines. It celebrates its fifth year of being the official Ferrari dealership, coinciding with the brand’s 70th anniversary.

“We opened our doors to the public in 2012, and we’ve been bringing one of the best, most powerful, and most recognized car brands to the Philippines ever since,” said Wellington Soong, chairman and president of Autostrada Motore.

He added: “We’ve celebrated many milestones in our short history in the country, and our fifth anniversary is the most momentous yet.

“Having delivered five years of the highest quality of customer service to our clients, our commitment to uphold this standard for the next 5, 10, 15 years has only gotten stronger.”

Anniversary gala dinner

With Pilipinas Shell, Autostrada held a gala dinner held at the open garden of The Manor in Camp John Hay, Baguio City recently in an event dubbed “Driven by Emotion” as 18 Ferrari owners parked in a reserved area inside the hotel compound, capping a fun run from Baguio City to Ambuklao Dam and back.

During the gala dinner, Soong recounted that the 70th anniversary also coincided with the same year he moved in to his ancestral home in Mandaluyong, where he still lives up to now.

Soong also noted another highlight this year with the participation and podium finishes of Angie King at the Ferrari Challenge APAC in Sepang, Malaysia and a promising mid-season start at the Fuji Speedway in Japan.

King bagged top honors for the fifth round of the Ferrari Challenge APAC in Sepang, Malaysia. “We have complete confidence in Angie’s talent as a competitive racer, but this first place podium finish is still a milestone worth celebrating,” said Soong. “Nobody expected a newcomer to bag a win, but Angie, in the first two rounds of racing she has ever done in her life, made it happen. We are proud of Angie and she has our utmost support.”

The Ferrari Challenge was established as a one-make series in 1993 that brought together amateur race drivers. It is a race series that spans three regions: North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific.

Last month, King was also the top placer in the Asia-Pacific region category in the Finali Mondiali (World Finals) leg of the Ferrari Challenge, a very promising finish considering this was her rookie year.

Partnership with Shell

Shell’s partnership with Ferrari began even before Scuderia Ferrari was established. It dates back to when founder Enzo Ferrari started racing for another Italian carmaker, Alfa Romeo.

This partnership with Shell blossomed to one of the most successful technical associations in motorsports history.

In 1924, Enzo Ferrari became an official Alfa Romeo race driver, and after five years, he founded Scuderia Ferrari in Modena which mostly assisted gentlemen racecar drivers by working on their cars. It became the de facto racing department for Alfa Romeo.

By 1938, Enzo was appointed head of Alfa Corse, Alfa Romeo’s own racing division, although later, he quit and went to put up Auto Avio Costruzioni, which operated out of the old Scuderia buildings.

This Ferrari 458 Spider was the lead car in the trek from Baguio City to Ambuklao Dam and back.

In 1947, Enzo decided to use the now famous prancing horse symbol on the first Ferrari-built car called the 125 S (sport), which was adopted from a highly decorated Italian World War I pilot, Francesco Baracca, who had a prancing horse painted on the fuselage of his aircraft.

Baracca’s parents asked Enzo to use the Cavallino Rampante (prancing horse) symbol, and the logo was used for his racing Scuderia, placing it on top of a yellow shield in honor of his hometown Modena.

The use of classic Ferrari red, however, was the color assigned by the International Automobile Federation (FIA) to Italian Grand Prix cars in the early years of the last century.

In 1948, Ferrari won its first Mille Miglia title; and in 1949, its first Le Mans 24 Hour Race.

In 1951, using a specially-mixed fuel developed by Shell, Scuderia Ferrari used significantly less fuel than its super-charged rivals on its normally aspirated 4.5-liter engine for the first time in a Formula championship race.

In 1952 and 1953, Ferrari with the support of Shell, won back-to-back championships driven by Italian race driver Alberto Ascari. His 14 consecutive victories spanning two seasons remains a record in racing history (excluding two Indy 500 races).

In the 1970s until the 1980s, the partnership underwent a hiatus, and in 1996, it resumed under a technical partnership. In 2000, Michael Schumacher joined Ferrari and became the first F1 world champion under Ferrari in 21 years. By 2004, Michael Schumacher held the record of being the F1 Drivers’ World Champion for five consecutive years while Ferrari took the F1 Constructors’ Championship for sixth straight seasons. In 2007, Kimi Räikkönen won the F1 Drivers’ Championship. In 2012, Shell’s technical partnership with Scuderia Ferrari reached a new milestone at the Singapore Grand Prix the teams when it celebrated its 500th Formula 1 race together.

Top photo shows the 125S, which was first tested on open roads in 1947. Above, Ferrari owners in the Philippines park their cars after a day-long fun run.

Today, Shell fuels and lubricants continue to deliver an unprecedented 25% of total performance gain to the Scuderia Ferrari power unit as these two racing legends extend their relationship not only in Formula 1 but Ferrari also continues to support Shell’s global Eco-marathon programs. With this technical partnership, Shell invests over 21,000 man hours per year to support Scuderia Ferrari in Formula 1, dedicating over 50 of its technical staff in supporting Ferrari’s Formula 1 campaigns. To date, Shell has powered Scuderia Ferrari to ten FIA Formula 1 Constructors’ titles and 12 Drivers’ Championship wins.

It is interesting to note that a Shell V-Power race fuel blend for Scuderia Ferrari can contain over 200 different compounds and the fuel you typically pump from your favorite Shell station contains 99% of the same types of compounds as found in all the Shell V-Power Unleaded road fuels available to customers worldwide.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

View Comments