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Thousands thrill to F1 show in Soweto

NEWS STORY
16/02/2014

Thousands of spectators turned out as Ferrari took F1 back to South Africa, if only for a street demo.

The promotional event, Ferrari's first of 2014, saw Marc Gene let loose in the Soweto suburb of Johannesburg in a 2009 Ferrari F60. Forming part of the launch of Shell V-Power Nitro+ fuel onto the South African market a 1,480 metre long track was created on the streets around Soccer City, the stadium that hosted the 2010 football World Cup Final.

Thousands turned out to see Gene complete demonstrations ruins in the morning and afternoon, the home of the infamous Vuvuzela that dominated the 2010 World Cup brought to life by the roar of F1 V8 power 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 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," Gene told the team's website. "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, Gene visited the stadium where his countrymen won the 2010 World Cup. The President of Soccer City, Jacques Grobbelaar, presenting him with a photo of the game in which Spain defeated Holland.

Chris Balfe

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