Ferrari is an automaker the operates in two spheres: racing and road cars. The company builds the latter to fund the former, but while the two have long operated as fairly separate units, there is plenty of room for overlap. Like its Corse Clienti department.

Established to facilitate privateer racing teams running Ferrari GT cars in various series, the Corse Clienti division also runs the firm's elite XX development program that allows some of its best customers the opportunity to act as "client test drivers." In other words, people pay big money – and by big, we mean millions – to test out new equipment developed by Maranello's skunkworks before it's implemented on future road cars.

The program started with the Enzo-based FXX back in 2005, which was succeeded by the 599XX in 2009. But like the FXX led to the even more extreme FXX Evoluzione, so has the 599XX. More an upgrade package than a new car, the $250,000 evolution kit includes a bigger front splitter, giant rear wing with moving foils, a 30-horsepower upgrade to 740 and another two years of factory-supported track days.

The most recent was held at Japan's Suzuka circuit, where the 599XX Evoluzione hit the track for the first time since delivery to its eager new owners. It was also the first time the upgraded track car was run in public, following its debut at the Bologna Motor Show back in December. Of course, now that the 599 range is being phased out, we can't help but wonder what Ferrari will base its next developmental track car on: the new F12 Berlinetta? The 458 Italia? The upcoming Enzo successor? It's early to tell, but you can check out the 599XX doing its thing in the video clip and press release after the jump, along with the fresh crop of high-resolution images we've added to the gallery.

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Ferrari Racing Days at Suzuka
- A great success with a crowd of over 21,700 owners and spectators over the weekend
- The world's first shakedown of 599XX with new evolution package took its first ever appearance in Japan
- Mika Salo wows the Japanese fans

Suzuka, 18 March - The first Ferrari Racing Days in Japan took place at the Suzuka Circuit, with the weekend seeing owners involved in the non-competitive F1, FXX and 599XX programmes. The special event groups together the races for the entrants in the Asia Pacific series of the Ferrari Challenge Tofeo Pirelli and the track sessions for clients involved in the XX and F1 Programmes whereby the world's first shakedown of 599XX evolution package had its first appearance in Japan. Adding to the interest of the weekend programme, over six hundred Ferraris ran on the famous track over the weekend, thus providing a unique spectacle which ended with a thrilling display from Mika Salo, at the wheel of a F2008, the car the Scuderia raced in that same year's F1 championship. The Finnish driver also tried his hand in the two legs of the Asia Pacific Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli held for the first time in Japan. Going up against the regular series contenders at the wheel of a 458 Challenge, the racing proved to be exciting with plenty of passing moves.

High level of competition shows that this new championship is proving ever more popular with its competitors with thirty-one drivers attending this round. In the grid for those 458 Challenge cars running in the Trofeo Pirelli, the Race 1 was dominated by Hisamori Hayashi (Japan) who crossed the line ahead of Philippe Prette (Italy) and Motoaki Ishikawa (Japan). The Race 2 of Pirelli produced a spectacular result with victory going to Prette, who won over Hayashi and Pasin (Thailand). The situation is very open in the Coppa Shell, with the top spot in Race 1 going to Eric Cheung (Canada), who crossed the line in front of Alex Au (Chinese Hong Kong) and Gregory Teo (Singapore), second and third respectively, while Tack Sung Kim (South Korea) emerged victorious in Race 2, followed home by Au and Teo. Having the technicians, engineers, racing managers for our Challenge race all flown from Maranello, Ferrari's one make race remains one of the most unique experiences, which rolls into the next round in Shanghai.

The weekend was also an opportunity for the spectators to admire some beautiful classic Ferraris that have written the history of the Prancing Horse, as they took part in the Concorso d'Eleganza, promoted in conjunction with the prestigious watch brand, Hublot, a partner of the Maranello company. The Ferrari 250 GT SWB built in 1961 and completely restored by Ferrari Classiche department was awarded for 'Best of Show' while 250 GTO, another unique piece of historic value won the 'Preservation Trophy'. 'Excellence cup for restoration' went to the beautiful Dino 206GT built in 1968 and the '340 America Vignale Spider' built in 1951 was awarded for the 'Public's choice'. The success of the event was confirmed by the fact that the number of owners and spectators who attended over the weekend, exceeded the 21,700 mark. They also helped to raise over 8 million Yen with proceeds going to help the children of Ishinomaki, as a part of the many activities aimed by Ferrari at raising funds for the victims of last March's terrible earthquake in Japan.

'The first ever Ferrari Racing Days in Japan was an overwhelming success. Never before have so many Ferrari owners and fans from all over the world come together to celebrate the myth of Ferrari. The rich mix of Ferrari F1's & XX/ Challenge race cars, Super cars, classic Ferrari's and road going Ferrari's has never been seen before in this scale. Over 600 Ferrari's and over 21,700 owners and fans enjoyed the world of Ferrari at Suzuka. Ferrari Racing Days was the ultimate day for lovers of the Cavallino Rampante' commented Herbert Appleroth, the President & CEO of Ferrari Asia Pacific.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      Will Massenburg
      • 3 Years Ago
      What genius decided that people would want to hear that 90's video game music blaring over the actual engine/exhuast note of the 599XX. One of my most favourite things about the 599GTO is how nasty it sounds. Shame I couldnt enjoy it in this video.
      • 3 Years Ago
      hahahah...millions of dollars of aero R&D, all screwed up by a $200 GoPro on the windshield
      Prince David
      • 3 Years Ago
      That is one crazy rear wing. Japan likes stuff like that too so good place to show it off.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Oh goodness. I love Ferraris more than most anyone you will meet, but this thing is not easy on the eyes.
      • 3 Years Ago
      dafuq is up with the music LOL
      Charles Houghton
      • 3 Years Ago
      I like the look of it, even if it does look a little cartoonish
      • 3 Years Ago
      Kind of like DTM and Super GT (among others) when does a race version of a car get so far from the street version that it just doesn't matter? A really long time ago, parts on this car or that car used to be a Nissan 350Z. Now it's a very fast almost all carbon track monster. Well a really long time ago, this space ship used to be a Ferrari 599. I like that is pushes the tech forward. I'm all for that. But just build a one-off. Also, they start with bazillionaires for have a ton of money, but less raw driving talent. Then they build a car with so many nannies that even they can drive fast. And you end up with a 599 GTO, a car that second guesses everything you do because that's what made the bazillionaire fast.
        • 3 Years Ago
        People complain about DTM and SuperGT rules, as well as NASCAR and even Aussie V8s, b/c the cars are nearly 0% production car. The entire vehicle is bespoke racing parts, often times built to a single spec, with no dimensional relationship to the production vehicle. The silhouette body panels are made to look like the production car, but that's about it. The 599XX is a 599 unibody and engine block/casings with lots of racing parts attached. This car is more GT racer than current FIA GT race cars, which are all indexed and performance balanced until they go make identical lap times.
      • 3 Years Ago
      that side exhaust looks like it will pump hotness right into the rear break cooling air intake
      • 3 Years Ago
      That wing!
      • 3 Years Ago
      Be cooler if was road legal
      Alex Butti
      • 3 Years Ago
      Sick ! New dual-element rear wing. No more winglets on the rear quarter panel. New canards up on the front bumper. New front headlights. New exhaust, with a new tune. New read diffuser.
      • 3 Years Ago
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