When the Ontario road racing season opens in two weeks at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, professional driver Kyle Marcelli of Barrie will be in the middle of a pretty steep learning curve.

You see, a year ago, when he was racing an Audi R8 GT3 for an American in the Pirelli World Challenge series, there were only two buttons on the car’s steering wheel — one to activate a radio exchange with his pit crew and the other to squirt water into his mouth. It was a piece of cake, particularly since the drinks button didn’t work. It was not difficult to remember the one radio button.

This year, he’s driving a Ferrari in World Challenge for Vaughan-based R. Ferri Motorsport and the steering wheel has — wait for it — 20 buttons and there are another 20 on the Ferrari’s dash. Forty buttons in all, which can present a bit of a challenge.

Marcelli — who’s 27 — and I were talking a few weeks ago about the upcoming season — he’s partnering Spanish driver Alex Riberas in SprintX races, which will be one of the World Challenge series classes on display at the upcoming Victoria Day Speedfest at CTMP — when he mentioned the difficulty of remembering which button does what on the 488 GT3 Ferrari while he’s shifting gears and turning laps averaging more than 100 miles an hour.

Excerpted from the Toronto Star. Read the full article online at: