Traveling down a beautiful country highway through the serine views of Floridian orange groves and quaint rivers I arrive at Palm Beach International Raceway. I pass through the security gate and hear an amazing sound from the race track. Through my open sunroof echos the glorious sounds of the ultra-exclusive Ferrari FXX as it rips down the straight at PBIR for the annual "Maranello Madness" event hosted by the local Ferrari Club.
The 2.6 million dollar FXX is one of thirty and in brilliant yellow. Owned and raced by Preston Henn it has been mentioned on my blog before as it is often on display at the Ft Lauderdale Mega Flea Market known as the Swap Shop
There were hardly any public spectators at all at "Maranello Madness" , just a sea of Exotic cars on the blacktop awaiting their turn on the racetrack. I can't say I am surprised that the event isn't more publicized as the majority of the racers are very high rolling investors, CEO's, and professional race drivers out for a day of fun with few limits.
I can't tell you how wonderful it is to see Exotics actually being driven and I'm not talking about the occasional Ferrari highway spotting, I mean full throttle, tire screeching, fireball out the exhaust pipe type driving.
As you can see above there were several flavors of Ferrari prepped "Challenge Cars" on the track. Of all the cars on the track that day this group of drivers were putting down the most laps and doing so with some impressive driving skills to boot.
The new Ferrari F12 was present as well as the 458
Aside from the Ferrari bliss there were some powerhouses from the far east with the Nissan GTR and Lexus LFA turning heads with their unique sounds and impressive cornering ability's.
There was also a bit of unexpected Japanese Tuner influence there with a race prepped Scion FR-S and Mitsubishi EVO chasing down an aggressive British rival, the Lotus Elise.
And though it was not racing I did spot this beautiful NSX sitting near the track
Of course there were other flavors of European firepower willing to take on the "Prancing Horses"
The Maserati Granturismo
The Audi R8
The McLaren MP4-12C
and yes that is a full blown NASCAR sitting next to that Porsche GT3 in the photo above; the american beast was by far the loudest thing on track and according to other drivers the NASCAR had a good time pelting exotics with rubber marbles flying off it's tires.
The NASCAR wasn't the only american head turner, the radically re-designed 2013 Corvette Stingray was not only out to play but putting on an impressive show on the track.
...of course where there is Ferrari there is the nemesis Lamborghini nearby. There were some beautiful "Italian bulls" out running that day.
and the popular Lamborghini Gallardo
For the classic exotic fans "Maranello Madness" offered up some of Ferrari's greatest hits:
This stunning Daytona was a real crowd pleaser, you just don't see these out and about.
This Dino was in perfect condition.
The old school "Miami Vice" style Testarossa was out doing night laps... anyone from my generation has a soft spot for this car as in it's hay day it was the iconic exotic car.
This 328 was not afraid at all sharing the track with the latest 458 during a few mid-day laps
The rarely seen Ferrari 512M took the honor of my favorite shot of the day looking absolutely radiant in the golden hour .
Of course the younger sibling that notoriously stole the 512's glory back in the mid 90's, the Ferrari 355F1 was dressed in black for some hot laps.
The "Maranello" series Ferrari's were fashionably present at the race and turning many laps throughout the day.
To make things a little more intense there were also a few open air race car cars... I thoroughly enjoyed the Radical vs Ferrari laps
For nearly 12 hours I watched these racers have a great time behind the wheel of machines most of us only dream about. Being an automotive photographer it was a blast seeing exotics from past and present racing the clock against each other. On the side of the track, the vibe was much like that of a typical SCCA type event, just guys and gals cheering each other on, talking cars and getting pumped up for the next set of laps. It was great to see that type enthusiasm.
As I said before it was great to see these exotics get out on the track and do what they were built to do.
Overall an amazing day! I felt very privileged to be a part of it all and get a chance to chat with some of the drivers as well. PBIR was certainly a choice venue for "Maranello Madness", it was the most fun with Ferrari's this side of the Atlantic.
More photos can be found here:
Flickr - 2013 Maranello Madness
Thanks for reading,
- Jesse James Allen
Photos and story by
Jesse James Allen
© 2013 Savage Land Pictures