New Delhi: Fresh from tasting success in the first-ever Formula One race in India, Italian sports-car maker Ferrari plans to conduct owner training programmes and a challenger series in the country at the Buddh International Circuit.

The company, which officially entered India earlier this year with the appointment of the Shreyans Group as official importer, on Monday launched its four-seater model FF at a price starting from Rs 3.42 crore (ex-showroom, Delhi).

"The idea is why not have our challenger series (a racing competition) and have customer training programmes now that there is a world-class track here in India," Ferrari SpA Chief
Executive Officer Amedeo Felisa told.

With the Formula One race being held in India and a lot of Ferrari fans in India, he said: "We had success on Sunday with Alonso... We hope that the popularity of the brand will increase."

Ferrari's driver Fernando Alonso came third behind Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel and Mclaren Mercedes' Jenson Button in the Formula One Indian Grand Prix on Sunday.

Shreyans Group Chairman Ashish Chordia said by the first quarter of next year, Ferrari might finalize modalities for the challenger series and customer training programmes in India.

Commenting on the latest FF model, which made its global debut earlier this year, Felisa said Ferrari has so far sold 800 units and bookings are already complete for next year, at over 1,000 units.

In India, Ferrari will study the customer response and it might take about 12 months for delivery of vehicles.    

"We will work closely with Ferrari to see if that period can be shortened whenever we get an order, but as of now, we have just launched the car. We will be assessing customer response first," Chordia said.

Since its formal entry into India in May this year, the company has got bookings for 20 cars so far. It had launched models such as the California, 458 Italia and 599GTB Fiorano, with prices starting from Rs 2.2 crore.

Globally, Ferrari aims to sell about 7,000 cars this year, as against 6,500 cars last year, Felisa said.

"Next year, we are looking at around the same level as this year. In 2011, we are having one of our best years despite the economic crises in Europe and the US," he said.

(Agencies)