Ferrari and Eric Cheung. The Hong Kong-based Canadian and Maranello share a privileged kind of relationship. Mr Cheung is a very special customer and not just the owner of several Prancing Horse road cars.
A few years ago he honed his driving skills by taking part in one of the official driving courses organised by Ferrari worldwide.
This lit a spark in him after which he couldn't keep away from the track. Cheung competed in his 100th race with the 458 Challenge on 1 May at Mugello. His debut was in 2011 at the Italian championship, but Cheung soon broadened his horizons and was competing in the Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific series.
He even ended up trying all three continental championships in the same season, a record that still stands.
Cheng’s first love was the FXX. In 2009 he acquired a very special one, tested by Michael Schumacher. Despite adoring the FXX, not even Cheung was able to resist the charm of the FXX K, which he wanted in matte black with grey inserts.
‘The FXX K is more of everything: more stable, more powerful and safer than the FXX. This car is pure driving pleasure.’ Like the FXX, it carried the number 98, his favourite, which is also present on the Challenge car, albeit adapted to the three digits of the Coppa Shell: 198.
For all that, Cheung’s favourite car is the Formula One F2007: ‘She is my favourite, the car with which Kimi Räikkönen won his world title. I'm lost for words every time I sit behind the wheel. It's an incredible thing, a feeling that only Ferrari could offer its customers.’
Chenug’s wife Corinna follows him in his racing activities. She may be his inseparable partner, but she doesn't dream of having a go behind the wheel herself: ‘I'm made for cars of less spectacular size and power, but generally it's not that I like driving that much.
‘However, the Ferrari environment is stimulating and fascinating and I always feel very good here. It's like being in a family, but a very exclusive family.’