Ferrari has just launched its latest race car, the 296 GT3. The follow-up to the ultra-successful 488 GT3, the 296 GT3 is based on the road-going 296 GTB – the Prancing Horse’s latest two-seater mid-rear-engined sports Berlinetta. The new car has been designed not just to get professional drivers to the top of the podium, but to also be accessable and fun to drive for track-going customers too.
The 296 GT3 marks Ferrari’s return to a mid-rear-mounted six-cylinder engine race car, an arrangement made legendary with machines like the incredible 246 SP. Built in compliance with newly-revised GT3 regulations, the new engine is a 120-degree turbocharged 6-cylinder, with the turbos positioned inside the vee. For this track-going version of the 296, the engine package benefits from reduced weight, and is by design very compact, with a lower centre of gravity, and of course, capable of high power levels. The V6 can produce 600 hp and 710 Nm of torque, and is paired with a six-speed gearbox with an electronic clutch actuator, specifically designed for the 296 GT3. The chassis has a longer wheelbase than its road-going sibling and is made entirely of aluminium.
The extreme aerodynamic features of the new race car offer a gain of 20% in downforce compared with its 488 GT3 predecessor. Impressive details such as the front splitter and rear extractor with 3D diffuser all contribute to a refined design that aims to achieve the lowest possible drag while still providing huge amounts of downforce. The cabin has also been completely redesigned when compared to the 488 GT3, providing a more intuitive, accessible, and comfortable experience for the driver.
The 296 GT3 completed its first shakedown in April and since then has run tens of thousands of kilometres in preparation for the coming race season. We can’t wait to see the car in action when it debuts at the 2023 Daytona 24 Hours in January.