181 view(s)With more than 100 wins – including victories in the 12 Hours of Sebring and the 24 Hours of Le Mans – to its credit, the Ferrari 458 GTE was the proverbial tough act to follow. But the Ferrari 488 GTE was more than equal to the task, securing the 2016 World Endurance Cup for GT Manufacturers in its debut season with victories at Silverstone, Spa and the Nürburgring, as well as the 19th running of Petit Le Mans.
Designed to capitalize on the FIA's new “mid-engine-friendly” aerodynamic regulations, the Ferrari 488 boasted a 50% increase in downforce over its predecessor thanks to a new front double splitter, exhaust-blown diffuser and underbody vortex generators; all with significantly reduced drag compared to the Ferrari 458. Coupled with a four liter, twin turbocharged V8 producing an estimated 490 horsepower and 479 ft/lb of torque, the Ferrari 488 GTE’s purposeful but sensuous shape makes it one of the world’s most potent GT race cars.
LENGHT 4614 MM, HEIGHT 1090 MM, WIDTH 2050 MM, WHEELBASE 2710 MM
The 488 GTE made its competition debut in the 2016 Daytona 24 Hours. With one car each from SMP Racing, Risi Competizione and Scuderia Corsa, it was the last named, with the sister car to that offered here, who defied expectations to take an excellent 10th place overall and 4th in class, behind established GT class grandees Corvette Racing and Porsche.
Scuderia Corsa purchased a second 488 for the Sebring 12 Hours in March, where it was driven by Alessandro Balzan, Jeff Segal and Christina Nielsen. Against strong class opposition from Aston Martin Racing and the Alex Job Racing Porsches, the car ran faultlessly to win the GT Daytona class and finish 22nd overall – ahead of some nine other GTE cars on the same lap.
In the IMSA Championship, 2nd and 3rd places at Laguna Seca and Detroit were followed by another class win at the prestigious Watkins Glen 6 Hours which, as at Sebring, equated to 22nd place overall. Thereafter, Nielsen and Balzan took 3rd in class at Elkhart Lake, Circuit of the Americas and in Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta, culminating in a class victory in the end of season championship standings, which marked the first time a female driver won a major North American sports car championship for Christina Nielsen.
In the 2017 Daytona 24 Hours, Sam Bird and Matteo Cressoni joined Nielsen and Balzan, and although officially retired after 22 hours, the car was still classified a finisher in 38th place. Following a one-off appearance in the Pirelli World Challenge, the car was converted from GT3 to GT3 specification and entered at Le Mans in June, with Bret Curtis the third driver on this occasion. After a tumultuous race that involved a late-race collision and resulting in lengthy repairs, the car crossed the line in 44th place and 14th in the GTE-Am class, the class having been won by another 488 GTE.
|Models for Ferrari 488 GTE