In a groundbreaking unveiling before the Spa 24 Hours round of the GT World Challenge Europe, Ferrari showcased its new customer racing car, slated to replace the 488 GT3 Evo in 2023. This latest car boasts fully detachable front and rear ends, a feature aimed at enhancing serviceability, as revealed by Ferrari.
The newly designed bodywork sections at both the front and rear can be effortlessly removed as a single unit. Moreover, the car’s front and rear are constructed on detachable subframes, further streamlining maintenance procedures.
Ferdinando Cannizzo, head of GT racing car design at Ferrari, highlighted, “We drew insights from Formula 1 and prototypes regarding our approach. There has been an exchange of ideas and concepts with the F1 team.”
He emphasized the substantial collaboration across all departments at Ferrari, including the Scuderia F1 operation, throughout the development phase of the 296 GT3.
Cannizzo emphasized that enhancing the ease of maintenance and operation of Ferrari’s GT3 racer was a pivotal consideration during the new car’s design and development. “We contemplated this aspect from the conceptual phase to simplify assembly and streamline track operations,” he explained.
He further added, “When dismantling the front or rear bodywork, there is only one electrical connector at each end, minimizing the maze of cables. The ease and speed of changing components significantly contribute to performance.”
While the full specification of the 296 GT3 was unveiled during the launch event, earlier glimpses of the car in action were shared after its shakedown at Ferrari’s Fiorano test track in April.
The race car’s engine retains the architecture and capacity of the road-going 296 GTB introduced in 2021, featuring a three-liter V6 twin-turbo with a 120-degree vee angle.
Cannizzo revealed the involvement of Ferrari’s Attivita Sportive GT department from the onset of the 296 road car program, stressing its role in aligning the car’s requirements for racing.
This collaboration influenced the decision to adopt the wide-angle configuration of the engine, housing the turbos within the vee for enhanced packaging.
Furthermore, adjustments in the engine’s front-to-rear tilt by two degrees aimed at boosting aerodynamic efficiency were made. “Although a two-degree shift may seem minor, it significantly shapes and sizes the diffuser, enhancing efficiency and rear ride height sensitivity,” explained Cannizzo.
Notable alterations include a 60mm increase in the wheelbase over the road version, permitted in the 2022 GT2 rules to enhance user-friendliness, particularly for amateur drivers. Additionally, the racer features a distinct gearbox casing to eliminate the hybrid system, not permissible in GT3.
This iteration marks the first Ferrari GT3 exclusively designed with Attivita Sportive GT. Unlike its predecessors, which collaborated with out-of-house tuner Michelotto, the assembly for this project is helmed by French constructor Oreca.
With the first 296 GT3 completing around 8000km of testing, deliveries to customers are set to commence later this year, leading up to its racing debut at the Daytona 24 Hours in January 2023, marking the opening round of the IMSA SportsCar Championship.
While the price remains undisclosed per Ferrari’s policy, the company assures that the new model will not see a significant increase compared to the 488 GT3 Evo. Though Ferrari refrains from publishing racing car prices, it’s estimated that the 488 GT3 stands close to $500,000 before taxes.