It was back in 1972. In Enzo Ferrari’s view, it was time to equip the Maranello plant with a circuit where the Prancing Horse cars could be tested.
Various sites were inspected, and the most suitable area was found to be a piece of land in the municipality of Fiorano. It was convenient and nearby: bordering on Maranello, it was just a few kilometres from the Ferrari plant. It was also in a rural setting with few other buildings in the vicinity, considered mentally less stressful for the racing and test drivers.
The circuit rapidly took shape and the Fiorano circuit is still in use today, solely as a test track for Ferrari sports and GT models. The circuit is more than 3 kilometres long, with 14 bends and a chicane. Its layout was far from random, since it included features copied from various European racing circuits. A telemetry system supplies all the data required for cars’ optimisation. A TV system with 10 cameras in fixed positions films the car throughout its lap. What’s more, the circuit has a special sprinkler system that wets the track in just a few minutes, while recovering most of the water applied to the tarmac.
Ten years after the circuit’s construction, Enzo Ferrari was granted the freedom of the town of Fiorano for giving it such a crucial role in the work of his Maranello plant. Unfortunately, 1982 was also the year of the death, on the Zolder circuit, of one of Ferrari’s most outstanding drivers: Gilles Villeneuve. He is now commemorated by a statue at the entrance to the Fiorano circuit.