Maranello, 15th October - Maranello was up at dawn yesterday. On a Sunday Sunday morning, Ferrari fans and marathon runners met in the town of the Prancing Horse. The former started to arrive at the start of the weekend, from all over Italy and...
Maranello, 15th October - Maranello was up at dawn yesterday. On a Sunday Sunday morning, Ferrari fans and marathon runners met in the town of the Prancing Horse. The former started to arrive at the start of the weekend, from all over Italy and even other parts of the world. There was strong representation from most European countries as well as some from across the oceans. On Friday and Saturday evenings, restaurants in the area welcomed hosts of Americans, Greeks, Germans, English and Italians. They were all there sharing the same passion for the Prancing Horse. The main topic of conversation was the 2001 Formula 1 season and Ferrari cars. The streets of the area rumbled to the distinctive sound of the Maranello marque. While this season was a record breaking one, the crowds did not match the tens of thousands who turned out last year, but no one in Maranello and the surrounding area could forget there was a grand prix taking place in Suzuka. Even before sunrise, the television sets in the bars were tuned in to events in Japan and the first runners in the 13th Enzo Ferrari memorial race were awaiting the start, enjoying the early stages of the final race of the year. In Maranello, the celebrations all revolved around sport, with a grand prix and a marathon in the morning and a historic car race in the afternoon.
The marathon did not start until the end of the grand prix. The streets of the town were a strange mixture of sport and spectacle, fans and athletes. The marathon competitors ran down between two rows of red caps and flags with the prancing horse blowing in the breeze. A long procession of Ferrari cars appeared shortly before the marathon, taking the road to Modena, like a procession of honour. The roads were crammed, as were the central square and the area in front of the Galleria Ferrari, which was where the television crews were camped out and all the side streets were also bursting at the seams. Most of the cars were Ferraris with the Cavallino flags hanging off the wing mirrors and bonnets.
Then, everyone got out of the cars and a long line of visitors waited to go into the Galleria Ferrari, drinks and snacks tucked into rucksacks. While some would hang around for a few days in the land of Ferrari, others later headed for home, all of them determined to be ready to return for the 2002 Formula One World Championship.