Ferrari launches 296 GT3 car inspired by F1 technology

Ferrari launches 296 GT3 car inspired by F1 technology

The new customer race car to replace the 488 GT3 Evo for 2023 features fully removable front and rear ends in the name of increased serviceability, Ferrari revealed during the unveiling of the car ahead of this weekend’s Spa 24 Hours round of GT World Challenge Europe.

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

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

“We have exchanged some ideas and concepts with the F1 team.”

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

Cannizzo explained that making Ferrari’s GT3 racers easier to drive and work on had been one of the guiding principles during the new car’s design and development.

“We thought about this from the concept stage, because we wanted to simplify assembly and make track operations much easier,” he said.

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

“The ease of driving the car and how quickly you can change components is a key part of the performance.

“Front and rear bodywork can be changed very quickly, within seconds, although there is still some research to see really 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 doing a shakedown at Ferrari’s Fiorano test track back in April.

The engine of the new racing car retains the architecture and capacity of the road-going 296 GTB launched in 2021, which means it is a three-liter V6 twin-turbo with a 120-degree vee angle.

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

“We started with them from the very beginning and looked at the requirements of the race car,” he said.

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

The engine is tilted up front to rear by two degrees in the name of aerodynamic efficiency.

“Two degrees doesn’t sound like much, but having the diffuser properly shaped and sized is enough to increase efficiency and have better rear ride height sensitivity,” Cannizzo said.

Ferrari 296 GT3

Ferrari 296 GT3

Photo: Ferrari

The wheelbase of the road car has been increased by 60 mm over 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 road cars because it removes the hybrid system, which is not allowed in GT3.

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

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

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

No price has been released for the new car, but Ferrari has promised that there will not be a significant increase on the 488 GT3 Evo.

Ferrari policy is not to publish the prices of its racing cars, but it is believed that the 488 is close to $500,000 less tax.

Ferrari 296 GT3 cockpit

Ferrari 296 GT3 cockpit

Photo: Ferrari

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