Ferrari Panamerican 20,000-mile adventure rolls into Los Angeles

Ferrari kicked off the American leg of its 20,000-mile Panamerican adventure this morning at a Los Angeles Shell gas station, and we were present for the rather important fill up. A pair of Ferrari 599 GTB Fioranos took on a full tank V-Power premium fuel and topped off with Q synthetic oil before heading out to Las Vegas. The U.S. is the last of 16 countries for the tour, which started in Brazil on August 24. The Ferraris will travel through Monument Valley down to Dallas and Houston before reaching Miami late next week. From Florida, the team travels to Washington DC, Chicago and Detroit and finishes in New York on November 17. Officials say the tour is designed to introduce the new Ferrari to America and to showcase the Ferrari-Shell technical relationship. According to Marcos Tatijewski, the support team leader from Shell, the cars are averaging about 5km per liter, which is just under 12mpg. Much of the driving has been on dirt or "stone" roads, leading to two flat tires and a busted foglamp. The worst road was north of Chile and the longest border crossing was into Nicaragua. Tatijewski said oil and gas samples are taken at every stop for lab analysis. Even though Shell stations are not available in some locations, the team is not relying on octane additives. Tatijewski said one of the trip's goals was to evaluate the vehicles in a "real-world" situation. Whether or not the average owner will take a Ferrari over a boulder-strewn, 15,000-foot mountain pass trail can be considered real world is left to be debated. Also, Tatjewski said the drivers are following speed limits. Some stretches have been through politically tense areas (meaning guerrilla activity), so the team doesn't want to draw too much attention to itself. Daily logs and photos can be found at the Shell Web site.

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