RACING

The 296 GT3 is Ferrari’s challenger for the future of sports car racing

ADVERTISEMENT

Image for article titled The 296 GT3 is Ferrari's challenger to the future of sports car racing

ADVERTISEMENT

Image: Ferrari

Ferrari has pulled the foil for the 296 GT3 – its next-generation sports car racing challenger which will make its debut at the 24 Hours of Daytona in January. The 296 replaces the 488 GT3, a car that had been in competition since 2016 and racked up an impressive number of wins, despite its relative age compared to the rest of the GT grid.

Side by side with the outgoing machine, the 296 GT3 has a longer wheelbase, a 20% improvement support, and a simplified construction that should make the car much easier to repair or maintain. “The front and rear parts can be switched in seconds thanks to a series of devices and solutions that ensure a quick return to the track after any damage affecting aerodynamics or performance,” reads the Maranello press release. There is also only one electrical connector for each end of the car, said Ferrari GT racing manager Ferdinando Cannizzo. Motorsport.comnot “lots of cables everywhere”.

Image for article titled The 296 GT3 is Ferrari's challenger to the future of sports car racing

Image: Ferrari

The powertrain is all new too. The V6-powered 296 GT3 is reminiscent of the Prancing Horse Formula 1 cars of the late 1950s and early 1960s, as well as the Dino SP series of prototypes that saw competition around the same time – which all used V6s. Of course the road 296 GTB also incorporates a 165 horsepower electric motor that is not included in the racing version, according to the rules of the GT3 class.

Image for article titled The 296 GT3 is Ferrari's challenger to the future of sports car racing

Image: Ferrari

Again, it’s a “hot vee” where the turbochargers are mounted inside the V6 at a 120-degree angle, for better packaging. By Ferrari:

A 120° V configuration with equidistant firing was introduced for the 296 GT3’s V6 combustion engine. This is based on its road twin, as is the positioning of the turbos inside the V. All of this brings significant advantages in terms of compactness, lower center of gravity and reduced mass, and also allows to achieve very high power levels. The engine, which has always been at the heart of Ferrari designs, is more forward and lower than in the road version, benefiting from a lower center of gravity and torsional rigidity, around 10% higher than in the 488 GT3. .

The architecture is a winner in terms of firing order, integration of the intake manifolds and the engine supports on the intake side of the cylinder heads: the engine is lighter and more compact having eliminated the plenums and external supports. Its internal fluid dynamics benefit from volume reduction, which improves intake efficiency.

Ferrari engineers worked with those of its partners to design and refine all of the engine’s internal fluid dynamics and the specific components adopted for the track version of the power unit. They were aimed at providing uncompromising performance, reliability and handling for ‘Sprint’ and ‘Endurance’ racing. For this type of competition, they have done everything to significantly limit consumption.

Design-wise, the 296’s short, pointed nose and dramatic rear haunches are reminiscent of the 250 LM, one of Ferrari’s finest racing machines of all time. It was a resemblance that was certainly more pronounced in these beautiful concept sketches the manufacturer released in the spring. The actual machine doesn’t share the oversized rear wheels and long tail from the render as it’s not a drawing and has actual rules to follow, but the 296 GTB looked very nice car already, and the same goes for the racing flavor.

Image for article titled The 296 GT3 is Ferrari's challenger to the future of sports car racing

Image: Ferrari

Expect the 296 GT3 to make its competition debut in six months and tackle Le Mans in 2024, when GT3 cars will replace the similar but not exactly identical GTE specification.

Image for article titled The 296 GT3 is Ferrari's challenger to the future of sports car racing

Image: Ferrari

Image for article titled The 296 GT3 is Ferrari's challenger to the future of sports car racing

Image: Ferrari

ADVERTISEMENT