Maranello, 4 April –Even a normal working day in Maranello always has something special about it. This Thursday, that extra something came in the shape of Kamui Kobayashi, who this year will make his debut on the GT racing stage, at the wheel of a Ferrari 458 GT2 entered by the AF Corse team.
Kobayashi’s visit was even more noteworthy as he had a special guide. It fell to Scuderia Ferrari engineer Hirohide Hamashima to give his fellow countryman a tour of the main areas of the Gestione Sportiva, taking in everything from vehicle assembly to the engine build department. It was also an opportunity for Kamui to soak up some Ferrari history, including the not to be missed visit to Enzo Ferrari’s house in the grounds of the Fiorano circuit, as well as a trip to the Ferrari Museum, where Kobayashi was met by its curator, Antonio Ghini.
Kobayashi was thus treated to a journey into the very heart of the Ferrari legend, personalised in that it was carried out in his mother tongue by Hamashima. However, the visit ended very much on an Italian note with the two of them having lunch at the Cavallino Restaurant, with a rigorously Italian menu, much appreciated by both men.
This enjoyable gastronomic treat was a pleasant interlude in an otherwise busy first visit to Maranello. The previous day was spent running through an intensive test session at the Fiorano track, at the wheel of a Ferrari 458 GT2. Kobayashi took to the track along with some other drivers who are on the Corse Clienti books, including Giancarlo Fisichella, Andrea Bertolini, Gianmaria Bruni and Toni Vilander. The Ferrari novice then ended his day with some physical training, as he prepares for a busy season which kicks off next week, when the Japanese driver will take part in the Silverstone 6 Hours, the opening round of the World Endurance Championship.