A track day at the Yas Marina Circuit introduces Tom to a special(e) feature on his performance-hewn 458.
|Date acquired:||February 2014|
|Kilometres this month:||916|
|Costs this month:||$0|
|L/100km this month:||Who cares…||?|
As loyal Journal readers know by now, it’s not about ‘owning a Ferrari’ for me, it’s about the driving. My Ferrari has never seen a hotel’s valet parking, hasn’t been crawling at a snail’s pace on the inside lane of the highway, or been paraded across the Burj Khalifa Boulevard. Driving the Speciale on normal, heavily trafficked Dubai roads defeats the purpose for me.
So on this month’s trip into the mountains, a friend and I drove the 458 Speciale as well as my BMW 1M, swapping cars throughout the day. Not only is it an amazing view to see your own car driven properly (thanks Paul), it also made me realise that one of the differentiating features of a truly great car is its capability to make you fall in love with it over and over again. And similar to the Speciale giving me its spell again after the summer break, ‘the little One’ did the exact same, finally being driven in anger after eight months of mere city-driving since the Ferrari’s arrival. I promised myself once again that I would never sell this car.
This month’s most recent event was another Ferrari track day at Yas Marina Circuit. My passengers, both very experienced in the car trade, were amazed by the Speciale’s grip and its immense brakes, so I guess the newly fitted Michelin Sport Cup 2s and new brake pads have paid off. On that note, those pads need some cleaning again. Sure, one could break at 220m if the pylons so indicate, but where’s the fun in that, if doing it below 150m works out just fine? Speaking of which, next time I need to bring some marshmallows or sausages to those track days, because the flames from the Speciale’s twin exhausts proved to be more than capable of grilling them.
Driving back from Yas Island back to Dubai, on an empty highway, I came to the sad realization that the ‘pit speed limiter’ option (also known as ‘cruise control’ with other brands) could quite possibly be the most useful option that I’ve added to my rather bare-bone Ferrari, regardless how boring that might sound. Because sticking to the speed limit with that over-eager high-revving engine and a rather poorly compliant right foot only is close to Mission Impossible. I’ll be using that again on my next trip: off to Al Tayer to get those brakes cleaned again.
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