RACING

Ferrari launches 296 GT3 car inspired by F1 technology

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The new customer race car that will replace the 488 GT3 Evo for 2023 has fully detachable front and rear ends in the name of increased serviceability, Ferrari revealed at the unveiling of the car ahead of the Spa 24 Hours round of this weekend of the GT World Challenge Europe.

Front and rear body sections can be removed in one piece, while both ends of the car are built on removable subframes for ease of maintenance.

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Ferdinando Cannizzo, head of GT racing car design at Ferrari, said: “We looked at how they do things in Formula 1 and in prototypes, and we copied that.

“We exchanged ideas and concepts with the F1 team.

He added that there had been a lot of interaction with “all departments of Ferrari”, including the Scuderia F1 operation, during the development of the 296 GT3.

Cannizzo explained that making the Ferrari’s GT3 driver easier to use and work with had been one of the guiding principles when designing and developing the new car.

“We thought about this from the design phase, because we wanted to simplify assembly and make using the track much easier,” he said.

“When you remove the front or rear body there is only one electrical connector [at each end]not many cables everywhere.

“How easy the car is to drive and how quickly you can change components is a key part of the performance.

“The front and rear bodywork can be changed very quickly, in seconds, although there’s still some research to be done to really see how quickly.”

The full specification of the 296 GT3 was revealed at the launch, which followed the release of the first photographs of the car performing a shakedown at Ferrari’s Fiorano test track in April.

The new race car’s engine retains the architecture and capability of the road-going 296 GTB launched in 2021, meaning it’s a three-liter twin-turbo V6 with a 120-degree V-angle .

Cannizzo revealed that Ferrari’s Attivita Sportive GT department had been involved in the 296 road car program from the start of its development.

“We started with them early on looking at the race car requirements,” he said.

He explained that this played a big part in the decision to go with the wide-angle engine configuration, which allowed the turbos to be housed inside the V for more efficient packaging.

The engine was tilted two degrees front to rear in the name of aerodynamic efficiency.

“Two degrees doesn’t sound like a lot, but it’s enough to get the diffuser properly shaped and sized to increase efficiency and to have better ride height sensitivity in the rear,” Cannizzo said.

Ferrari 296 GT3

Ferrari 296 GT3

Photo by: Ferrari

The wheelbase of the road car has been increased by 60mm compared to the road version, as permitted by the 2022 GT2 rules, to make it more user-friendly, especially for amateur drivers.

The racer has a different gearbox housing than the road cars because it does away with the hybrid system, which is not allowed in GT3.

The new car is the first Ferrari GT3 to be designed exclusively with Attivita Sportive GT; the previous three generations of Ferraris built to GT3 rules were developed in conjunction with tuner Michelotto.

French manufacturer Oreca has taken over the assembly of Michelotto’s Ferrari GT3 for the new project.

The first 296 GT3 has covered around 8,000km of testing and customer deliveries will begin at the end of this year ahead of its race debut at next January’s 24 Hours of Daytona, the opening round of the 2023 IMSA SportsCar Championship.

No price has been released for the new car, but Ferrari has promised there will be no significant increase on the 488 GT3 Evo.

Ferrari’s policy is not to publish prices for its race cars, but the 488 is thought to cost nearly $500,000 less tax.

Ferrari 296 GT3 interior

Ferrari 296 GT3 interior

Photo by: Ferrari

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