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 |  Mar 21 2011, 5:05 PM

Ferrari has quietly responded to recent allegations that it unfairly preps its vehicles used by journalists – particularly when it comes to comparison articles. Rather than give respected auto journalist Chris Harris’s shocking article (published by Jalopnik) credibility though an official release, the Italian automaker responded in what amounts to rebuttal article written by The Telegraph‘s Andrew English.

Ferrari communications director Sefano Lai denies all of Harris’s charges, including that the Prancing Horse fiddles with suspension setups or engine electronics on press cars. He then goes a step further, commenting that, “I think Chris has done more harm to himself than to Ferrari.” That seems unlikely, however, with claims that Ferrari ‘fixes’ cars lighting up the blogosphere, while Harris seems to have gained credibility and notoriety beyond what he has already earned as a professional auto journalist.

Lai even comments that when it comes to eking out every last second from a car, “For most Ferrari owners, these things are not important.” Many of the Ferrari faithful will no doubt be offended by this remark, even if it has more than a grain of truth to it.

Ferrari couldn’t have hand-picked a better piece for a rebuttal, with the larger scope of the article essentially a history of how automakers have cheated to get the best result from auto journalists and judges.

Reading the piece its hard not to feel sympathy for the Prancing Horse. That is, after all, the point of rhetoric.

While seemingly innocent, the piece is little more than a classic example of the ‘Two Wrongs Make a Right’ logical fallacy. Or to put it more bluntly for anyone who skipped Journalism 100: just because others cheat, it doesn’t justify your cheating – which, according to Lai, Ferrari isn’t doing anyway.

Should you feel sympathetic for Ferrari? One would think so, as that does seem to be the larger point of the piece. Should you be sympathetic? If you believe what Harris has to say, the answer is: hardly.

[Source: The Telegraph]

 |  May 21 2010, 3:40 PM


“A racecar for the street” is one of auto journalism’s most wretched cliches, but the moniker might be fit for one car in the world; the Porsche 911 GT3 RS.

The most hardcore 911 features things like ceramic brakes, one piece bucket seats, adjustable aerodynamics and a rollcage, making it suitable for racing right off the showroom floor. Porsche decided to enter a GT3 RS into the Nurburgring 24 Hour race, and ended up starting 42nd and  finishing a very respectable 13th. The car was driven to and from the track under its own power, and competed with its license plates still on the car, the only car in the entire field to do so.

Porsche also had the benefit of having hot shoes like British auto journalist Chris Harris and pro drivers Patrick Simon and Horst von Saurma to help bring the 911 home, not to mention better than average fuel economy (the car could go 11 laps before needing a refuel, a significant distance compared to its rivals) meant that the GT3 RS was able to overcome the odds and show that Porsche’s baddest street car really is an everyday racer.

GALLERY: Porsche GT3 RS Nurburgring 30 Hour