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Here we present collectors with the very rare opportunity to acquire the car that bookends the V12 racing history of Ferrari, and from its original and sole owner no less! This very rare racing GT Ferrari is in fantastic condition and would make a wonderful addition to any serious collection of the marque’s cars, of racing cars in general or someone looking for a competitive car in a variety of series on both sides of the Atlantic.
The origins of the Ferrari 575 GTC can be traced back to the late 1990s when Stephane Ratel, a co-founder of the legendary BPR Global GT Series, yearned to see Ferrari produce a true GT race car to join his burgeoning FIA GT Championship. One issue with previous regulations in GT racing was that in order for a car to be eligible, the manufacturer had to produce the cars. However Ratel finally managed to persuade the FIA to change this rule so that tuners could build racing versions of a road car with or without a manufacturerʼs involvement.
In 2000 he founded Grande Tourisme Racing Development Ltd (GTRD) to commission Italtecnica to build a racing variant of the 550 Maranello. Four orders were placed, but reliability issues plagued the cars, so it was not the glorious debut Ratel envisaged. Frederic Dor had placed an order but being unhappy with the early results he cancelled and asked Prodrive to develop a car. Their 550 GTS enjoyed much success including class victories at Le Mans, plus the 2003/4 FIA GT Championship for Teams and Drivers, although in effect its resources were similar to a major works effort.
Encouraged, in early 2003 Ferrariʼs Corse Clienti department announced they would produce their own car in collaboration with N.Technology, to be called the 575 GTC. The new car was specifically aimed at the gentleman GT racer, so as with the legendary 365 GTB/4 Competizione ʻDaytonaʼ, there never was a works team. The car was to be based on the new 575M road car, sporting a 6-litre 65 degree V12 tuned to produce 605bhp on FIA restrictors, which transferred power through a 6-speed Xtrac sequential gearbox.
Proving its calibre the new 575 GTC won straight out of the box in the FIA GT round at Estoril driven by Philip Peter and Fabio Babini. The 575 GTCs went on to be raced in the American Le Mans Series, FIA GT & Italian GT Championships, plus in the Sebring 12 Hours, Spa 24 Hours and of course the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Whilst they didnʼt accumulate the same level of success as Prodriveʼs 550, which was not endorsed by Ferrari, the 575 GTC did prove to be as quick when in the right hands, taking outright victories in both FIA & Italian GT, plus and a number of podiums in both championships, along with a class podium in the 12 Hours of Sebring and 2nd overall in the Spa 24 Hours. Of course this disparity in results against the Prodrive cars was in the most part because the 575 was aimed at gentleman drivers, whereas the Prodrive cars were often driven by professionals. The results donʼt really show how closely matched the cars actually were.
In many ways it could be said it was a descendant of the iconic Group 4 ʻDaytonaʼ. What is of great historical significance is the fact that the 575 GTC is the last front- engined V12 Ferrari racing car, bookending a tremendously significant and popular chapter in Ferrariʼs racing history. In all just twelve examples were built, making it one of the rarest GT racing Ferraris of all time.
Chassis 2224 was delivered to Antonin Herbeck of the Czech Republic ahead of the 2005 season. In fact it was the very last 575 GTC built, so is known as an ʻEvoluzioneʼ. Herbeck created his own team, called Rock Media Motors, to run the car and elected to contest the 2005 CSAI Italian GT Championship. Herbeck enlisted the services of Italian ex-F1 and Champ Car driver Andrea Montermini, who by 2005 had spent many years in endurance racing.
The season featured seven rounds, each with two races, at Imola, Misano, Vallelunga, Monza, Hungaroring, Magione and Mugello. Interestingly only qualifying occurred for the first round, with the races being cancelled due to the death of the Pope John Paul II. The GT1 class that year was hotly contested and the Rock Media duo managed to qualify inside the top ten six times across the season including a pole position and a 2nd on the grid, finishing inside the top ten three times. Not a bad performance at all considering Herbeck was in only his second season of racing! Rock Media also contested their home round of the FIA GT Championship, the ʻBrno Supercar 500ʼ, with 2224 in June where they finished 10th overall.
Throughout the year 2224 received various upgrades as they became available including suspension parts and a new rear wing. Herbeck contested Round 1 of the 2006 Italian GT Championship at Imola with Richard Lietz as co-driver, where 2224 was painted yellow. Following this it was retired to Rock Media Motors collection because the Pagani Zonda GR Herbeck has since become so well known for racing across eastern Europe had been readied. Whilst its racing history may not feature major international events like some other 575 GTCs, 2224 has the unique distinction of being the very last front-engined and also the last V12 racing car built and sold by Ferrari (since the FXX and XXK cars were track specials only, never homologated for racing). This car effectively heralds the end of a competitive chapter that defined the marque from the very beginning and its significance is not to be underestimated. Indeed the V12 configuration was one that defined Ferrariʼs image during the 1950s-1970s which were arguably the marqueʼs most significant decades for endurance racing.
2224 has been well maintained since its retirement, and will be sold in good working order and with a new safety fuell cell. The car presents in fantastic condition and includes various spares, including a complete second engine, in itself a very rare item indeed. The engine that is fitted to the car has around 6 hours running time, whilst the spare is rebuilt. The car is eligible for a variety of series including Peter Auto’s Endurance Racing Legends, Masters Endurance Legends and Ferrari’s Club Competizione GT.