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Powered by thesame 3.9-litre, turbocharged V8 as the 488 GTB road car (660bhp/570lb.ft)Race-focusedengine mapping and shorter gear ratios for its dual-clutch transmission488GTE-inspired aerodynamics,different bonnet, bumper, side ventsand rear wingFinished in sparkling Rosso Corsa.
Delivered in 2018 and has coveredless than 5,000 kmOptioned with a passenger seat, upgraded front dampersand car-to-pits radio systemProvento bevery competitive withfastest laps, pole position and a number of podiumsImmaculately prepared by established FF Corse and nowready for its next owner to enjoyIf you exclude the Italian-market 208 GTB Turbo tax-break special of the 1970’s and 1980’s, the 488 GTB is only Ferraris second turbocharged mid-engined car after the F40.
Its engine retains the flat-plane configuration of all Ferrari V8sand has a capacity reduced from the 4.5-litres of the 458 to just 3.9-litres but its power output has been raised by an incredible100bhp. The cars construction is still all-aluminium, Ferrari resisting as ever the lure of anything more than cosmetic carbon fibre in its production models, buteven so, there are no fewer than 12 different alloys in its structure and body and, despite the additional turbos, wastegate and 20% increase in required cooling capacity, the 488 is still 10kg lighter than the 458 it replaces.Born as a racing car manufacturer that made road cars to pay the bills, Ferrari has never forgotten its illustrious sporting heritage.
Today, alongside Formula One, the firm produces an unrivalled range of racing cars for customer motorsport, one of which is the 488 Challenge, the latestcar specifically built for the marques single-make series. The concept is similar to the Challengespecification variants of the 348, F355, 360, F430, and 458, all of which werebased largely upon their relevant road-going versions specifically developedwith upgrades and lightweight materials to make them more suitable for the strains and stresses of one-make racing.With each new model,Ferrari has pushed the limits on what it considers to be a suitable package for anamateur driver, perhaps accepting that Challenge entrants, although obviously sufficiently comfortably-off to spend their summers motor racing in Europeare now more likely to be focused athletes who take it a little more seriously and with the 488 Challenge Feratrihas taken this mentality a little further, producing a car that is four seconds quicker than a LaFerrari around Fiorano.
Compared to the production 488 GTB V8, the Challenge’s powertrain features specific engine mapping, optimised for racingand shorter gear ratios. The variable torque management has been modified to prompt the (perhaps comparatively inexperienced) driver to change gear at the optimalmoment making maximum use of the performance characteristics of the turbo engine.In terms ofdynamics, Ferrari’s patented Slip Slip Control (SSC) software makes its first-ever appearance on a Challenge car. Thisis integrated with the vehicle’s electronic dynamic controls and is calibrated, along with the traction control and E-Diff3, to improve turn-in, cornering, and acceleration out of corners ensuring that maximum traction is availablethroughout.
To enable Challenge drivers to tailor the car’s handling to their driving style to an even higher degree, the vehicle control functions (traction and braking) are now governed independently, thanks to the adoption of three ‘Manettinos’, one is dedicated just to braking, while the other two, set either side of the steering wheel, govern the traction control and electronic differential.Externally, a massive carbon-fibre rear wing from the 488 GTE dominates proceedings, with lower side skirts, a new bonnet, and a reprofiled nose section completing an aerodynamic package that apparently creates 10% more downforce than its predecessor, the 458 Challenge Evo.
In the pursuit of weight loss,lightweight plastic panels replace themain windows and internally the car differs extensively from the road-legal version. Gone are the standard centre console, seats, dashboard, door panels, carpets, and trims, all replaced by a fully stripped-out motorsport cabin with integrated roll bar, fire-extinguishersystem, racing steering wheel, and fixed racing bucket seat.Finished in gleaming Rosso Corsa,488 Challenge was delivered in 2018 to David L Mason O.B.E. and has been used lightlysince, accumulating less than 5,000 km.
It’s fitted with the optional passenger seat, upgraded front dampers, car-to-pits radio system, and a V Box HD2 for data logging and video analysis. In the hands of the current owner and Ross Wylie, it has already proved itself to be very competitive achieving Fastest Lap in Class in all seven of the Britcar races in which it was enteredalong with a podium, pole position and four class podiums. It presents in immaculate condition inside and out and has been prepared by established FF Corse to be ready for its next owner to enjoy and race in whichever series he or she may decide upon.The 488 Challenge is a hugely competent design and, given the options of electronically controlling the car’s responses, it will react well to drivers of limited experience who will quickly develop the talents required to handle 660bhp and 1300kg.
Thanks to retaining an adjustable steering column and sliding seat, it should beeasy for drivers of any size to get comfortable and, after a bit of practice and a few races, any reasonable driver should be able to return this car to being competitive, particularly if run by one of the acknowledged Challengespecialists.