Fresh off a podium finish at Daytona International Speedway to open the 2016 Ferrari Challenge season, EMS Race Team is now preparing for a trip to Asia. On March 5-6, driver James Weiland and the crew from Boardwalk Ferrari will be competing for the first time at the world famous Suzuka Circuit in Mie Prefecture, Japan. Designed as a Honda test track in 1962, Suzuka is one of the only circuits to feature a figure eight layout. The renowned track—with its back straight crossing over the front section by means of an overpass—was also featured during multiple races in the critically acclaimed films Senna and Rush.
“We’re very excited to be competing at a track as rich in tradition as the Suzuka Circuit,” Weiland said. “It will be a great test for our team, as well as myself as a driver. It will also be very inspiring to race on a circuit that so many legendary drivers have competed on in the past, and we’re really looking forward to the opportunity.”
EMS Race Team will be joining over 35 drivers from the Ferrari Challenge Asia Pacific series for the Ferrari Racing Days Suzuka event. The race signals the start of the Asia Pacific season, and is one of the largest events organized by Ferrari Japan. After racing outside the United States in Canada, Italy and Abu Dhabi over the last couple seasons, Weiland is also looking forward to the opportunity to experience life in Japan.
“We will be racing against some of the best Ferrari Challenge drivers in Japan during our trip,” Weiland said. “But when we’re not racing, we’re also excited to get to know some of our competitors and experience the culture in Japan. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime trip for us as a team, and we’ll be sure to learn as much as possible while we’re there.”
The last time EMS Race Team competed outside the United States was during the Finali Mondali in Italy for the Ferrari Challenge World Finals in November. That trip ended with a first place finish, which is something Weiland is ultimately hoping to replicate. The best way to raise awareness for the tremendous causes that inspire the fight for EMS Race Team is to win—and Weiland is well aware of that.
“We’ll be racing to raise awareness for Cornerstone of Hope and PETA Cruelty Free during our trip,” Weiland added. “Just like every race, the Cornerstone logo will be on the hood of our car with the PETA Cruelty Free logos featured throughout. Hopefully we can get them up onto the podium. The more success we have, the more questions we hear about what those logos stand for and how people can get involved to help. So, our goal is to be answering a lot of questions by the end of the weekend.”
During the Ferrari Challenge at Daytona, EMS Race Team’s newly designed car, Paris, made her official debut. For the trip to Japan, however, they’ll be bringing Erin (pictured above), the Ferrari 458 Challenge EVO Weiland raced during the previous two seasons. Erin just recently pushed past the 20,000 Kilometers mark, but she still runs just as fast as the first day she pulled off the lot. EMS is hopeful Erin has at least one more winning weekend left while Paris prepares for a return later this season.
For updates throughout the Ferrari Challenge weekend in Japan, along with live-timing race results, follow @EMSRaceTeam on Twitter and Facebook. Also be sure to check out EMS Race Team’s Vimeo Page for behind-the-scenes action following the competition.