Soweto, 15 February –Excitement and spectacle were the order of the day as Scuderia Ferrari returned to South Africa, for its first street demo of 2014, featuring the F60 and test driver Marc Gene, in the Soweto suburb of Johannesburg. The event was part of the launch of Shell V-Power Nitro+ fuel onto the South African market and a motor show set up on the streets around Soccer City, the stadium that hosted the 2010 football World Cup Final. A 1480 metre long track had been created on which Gene put on a show in the morning and again in the afternoon, doing several laps and thrilling the crowd with drag starts and breathtaking slides.
Thousands of spectators turned out to see the car that raced in the 2009 Formula 1 World Championship, rush past just metres away from them. They were clearly amazed by the noise from the eight cylinder Ferrari 056 engine, running at over 17,000 rpm. The street demo was rounded off with a series of pit stops carried out by the F1 Clienti crew, who put on a skillful show of the tasks that are normally carried out in the pit lane. There was an enjoyable break between the two Formula 1 show runs, with a parade of road going Ferraris organised by Viglietti, the importer for the Maranello marque in South Africa. Leading them was a 458 Italia, again driven by Gene.
“That was a great day,” Marc said to www.ferrari.com. “It’s always fun to bring a Formula 1 car up close to the people, which is something that never happens at a Grand Prix. I am pleased to have been able to do this for the South African people, especially the youngest ones, to show them the excitement of these types of car that haven’t been seen in this country for a while.” Before leaving Soweto, Marc also visited the stadium where his fellow Spaniards had won the 2010 World Cup. The President of Soccer City, Jacques Grobbelaar, also gave him a photo of that game in which Spain defeated Holland.
Soweto, 14 February – It was a special Saint Valentine’s Day for Marc Gene, in South Africa as from today to take part in a Shell event for the launch of its new V-Power Nitro+ fuel in the rainbow nation. Having landed at Johannesburg airport this morning, the Scuderia Ferrari test driver made the most of this short trip to visit a truly special place, not just for South Africa but for the whole world.
8115 Vilakazi Street, Orlando West, Soweto is the address of the house lived in by Nelson Mandela from 1946 and where his family stayed until his release from prison in 1990. The house where Madiba, to use his clan name, lived has been rebuilt and opened to the public in 2009 and now serves as a study and conservation centre to remember his life and his moral legacy. It provides visitors with an insight into the greatness of one of the most important figures of recent history, not just South Africa’s but the world’s.
“It was a wonderful feeling for me to be able to visit Mandela’s house,” Marc told www.ferrari.com. “Anyone who comes to Johannesburg must absolutely come here to realise who this man was and what he achieved in the promotion of human rights, democracy, reconciliation, mutual respect and tolerance among all the population of South Africa. His lessons should always be remembered by everyone.”
In the afternoon, Marc was able to inspect the track where tomorrow he will drive an F60 in Scuderia Ferrari’s first street demo of 2014, in an area set up opposite the Soccer City Stadium, where his fellow Spaniards beat Holland in the football World Cup Final four years ago.
Soweto, 13 February – The F60 has arrived in Soccer City, prior to Saturday’s first street demo of 2014 for Scuderia Ferrari. There is a buzz of expectation in Johannesburg around the event organised by Shell to launch the new V-Power Nitro+ fuel in the rainbow nation. The event will take place in an area opposite the stadium that hosted the football World Cup final in 2010. The highlight will be a demonstration run by Marc Gene, at the wheel of the car that the Scuderia used in the Formula 1 World Championship in 2009. The F1 Clienti department crew arrived in South Africa this morning and immediately went to check out the temporary circuit prepared by the organisers, which is just under one and a half kilometres long and to prepare the area that will serve as the pits. Gene arrives in Johannesburg tomorrow morning and the Spanish test driver’s programme also involves a visit to the Nelson Mandela Museum in Soweto itself.