In a rapid-fire Q&A session with Prestige, Louis Colmache reveals three things that come to mind when he thinks about racing: Concentration, hard work and adrenaline. Lim Hui Ping, Ferrari’s Singapore-based head of communications, chirps in from across the table, and asks, “Not ‘to win’?”, in which Louis Colmache hesitates before suavely answering, “Winning is a consequence of all these, no?”
SEE ALSO: The Ferrari 488 Pista Spider
The head of Ferrari Corse Clienti Asia Pacific is clearly one who doesn’t bother too much about scores. Rather, he enjoys the sportsmanship exhibited by his clients during a race. “You see a change in their approach. They eat healthier, exchange notes. They start to become a true racer.”
In town for the second-last leg of the 2018 Ferrari Challenge Asia Pacific, a one-make series race, before heading to Monza Italy for the Finali Mondiali from November 1-4, Louis Colmache counts Marina Bay Street Circuit as an important track on the calendar. “For urban tracks, if you don’t participate at that particular weekend, you wouldn’t be able to otherwise. So it’s quite unique for our clients — it’s very exciting to be able to race on a track you normally only see on TV.”
At its core, the Corse Clienti programme, which includes two other races such as the exclusive XX and F1 Clienti, helps Ferrari customers achieve their dreams of becoming full-blown racers. “Passion is a word people can feel with Ferrari. It’s not just a marketing concept,” says the 38-year-old Frenchman as he sips on a cup of Darjeeling tea this morning (he’s had too many glasses of Veuve Clicquot the night before, he admitted), “Racing is really in our DNA. We’ve never missed a single Formula 1 race and we’re involved in many other racing series, so I think the genuine interest in Ferrari and racing cannot be challenged. That gives us the opportunity to discuss with our customers to fulfil their dreams they had as a kid to become a race car driver.”
So depending on which type of car you decide to buy — a Ferrari race car, a prototype, or even an F1 machine — Ferrari is ready to deliver the right services that’ll take you from the training room to the tracks in about a year or so, depending on your availability as well as ability to absorb the different techniques and understand what it takes to race.
“While other F1 teams do sell their former F1 cars that’s been raced in the world championships, those usually sit in museums or in a private collection. Our approach is different: We believe race cars should be driven, and their natural environment is the race track — that’s why we’ve put together a programme that offer our clients the same mechanics and engineers competing with us in the world championship. Even the massage therapists are the same for our professional drivers and our hobbyist racers.”
While Louis Colmache says that the best of these amateur drivers do very well, in terms of achieving time laps almost as fast as the pros, what impresses him most is that his clients normally race while running a business too. “It’s definitely a hobby that requires a lot of time, because you have to travel to different countries for the race. This means time away from your family and business but sometimes, our clients bring along the family or business partners because they want to use this event as a platform for social networking. We see a lot of them creating business together at these events because in racing, there is no filter.”