The highlight of the day however was saved for the afternoon, with a spectacular brought ice race bringing the week-long motorsport festival for PUMA’s partner teams Ferrari and Ducati to a close with a bang, as fireworks and rockets soared through clear winter skies.
Thousands of locals and winter sports fanatics packed the surrounds of the oval circuit created on the village’s frozen lake, with VIPs, dignitaries and the media taking up vantage points in the infield.
Piero Ferrari, son of the founder of the legendary marque, opened proceedings by demonstrating the company’s latest road car, the four-seater, all-wheel drive 600 bhp Ferrari FF, on the lake before the same vehicle officially opened the circuit as the ‘Safety Car’.
The first race was staged in ice karts to decide the grid positions for the main event. 15 laps saw nine-time world motorcycle champion Valentino Rossi take the chequered flag ahead of Felipe Massa. Fernando Alonso spun twice on the ultra-slippery surface in his quest to beat his Ferrari team-mate, and was thus relegated to the back.
The finale of the week long festival was the 25-lap race for six identical FIAT 500s specially prepared for the demands of ice racing.
The race started to the thumping strains of AC/DC, with Vale leaping into an immediate lead from Felipe, while Fernando gradually fought his way through the pack. A mid-race Safety Car saw the field close up, and at the restart it was clear Felipe was not content with playing second fiddle to the Ducati rider.
Some superb driving saw the Brazilian close to within inches of Vale’s yellow 500; then, at turn 1 Felipe, snuck up the inside, forcing Valentino wide and into second. Fernando tried all he could to make it a Ferrari one-two, but the Italian just managed to hold off the Spanish two-time F1 champion to the delight of the local crowd.
Thus the 23rd edition of Wrooom! came to an end, deliciously setting up the prospect for a great Moto GP and Formula One season in prospect.