The new customer race car, which will replace the 488 GT3 Evo for 2023, has fully removable front and rear sections in the name of improved serviceability, as Ferrari unveiled the car ahead of this weekend’s GT World Challenge 24 Hours of Spa Europe revealed .
The front and rear body panels 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 race car design at Ferrari, said: “We looked at how they do things in Formula 1 and prototypes and copied that.
“We exchanged some ideas and concepts with the F1 team.”
He added that during the development of the 296 GT3 there was a lot of interaction with “all departments at Ferrari”, including Scuderia F1 operations.
Cannizzo explained that one of the guiding principles during the design and development of the new car was to make Ferrari’s GT3 racer easier to drive and work on.
“We already thought about it in the concept phase because we wanted to simplify the assembly and make the track operation much easier,” he said.
“If you remove the front or rear body, there is only one electrical connection [at each end]not many cables anywhere.
“The ease of driving the car and how quickly you can change components is a key factor in performance.
“The front and rear body can be swapped out really quickly, in seconds, although some research needs to be done to see how fast that really is.”
The full specification of the 296 GT3 was unveiled at the launch, which followed the release of the first photos of the car, which shakedowned at Ferrari’s Fiorano test track in April.
The new racer’s engine retains the architecture and performance of the road-going 296 GTB launched in 2021, meaning it’s a three-liter V6 twin-turbo with a 120-degree V-angle.
Cannizzo revealed that Ferrari’s Attivita Sportive GT division was involved in the 296 road car program from the very beginning.
“We started with them right from the start to look at the requirements for the race car,” he said.
He explained that this played a big part in the decision to go for the engine’s wide-angle configuration, which allowed the turbos to be housed in the V for more effective packaging.
The engine has been canted two degrees front-to-back 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 ride height sensitivity at the rear,” Cannizzo said.
Ferrari 296 GT3
Photo by: Ferrari
The road car’s wheelbase has been increased by 60mm over the road version, as permitted by the 2022 GT2 rules, to make it more user-friendly, particularly for amateur drivers.
The racer has a different gearbox than a road car because it does not use the hybrid system that is not permitted in GT3.
The new car is the first Ferrari GT3 designed exclusively with Attivita Sportive GT; The three previous Ferrari generations built to GT3 rules were developed in collaboration with in-house tuner Michelotto.
French designer Oreca has taken on the task of assembling Michelotto’s Ferrari GT3 for the new project.
The first 296 GT3 has completed around 8,000 kilometers of testing and customer deliveries will begin later this year before making its race debut next January at the 24 Hours of Daytona, the inaugural 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 for the 488 GT3 Evo.
Ferrari doesn’t want to publish the prices of its race cars, but the 488 is believed to cost almost $500,000 less in taxes.
Ferrari 296 GT3 cockpit
Photo by: Ferrari