ESTIMATE: $250,000 – $350,000
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This 2013 Ferrari 458 Challenge was raced with considerable success by Rinaldi Racing of Germany. Rinaldi Racing owner Michele Rinaldi has long been respected in European racing circles as an expert Porsche tuner and restoration specialist, but when he saw the quality of Ferrari’s support for its racing customers, he decided to field this car, which wore number 457, and another 458 Challenge in the VLN (Veranstaltergemeinschaft Langstreckenpokal Nürburgring) Endurance Championship, a series of 10 races held at the Nürburgring’s Nordschlief (North Loop) circuit, and in the European Blancpain racing series, all under the GT Corse banner and often with Rockstar Energy Drink sponsorship.
While the standard and Challenge versions of the 458 share the same chassis and driveline, the 458 Challenge is in fact an all-out race car designed and built to compete in the Ferrari Challenge. To prepare the already-incredible 458 for competition, Ferrari engineers first commenced an aggressive weight-reduction program, reducing the thickness of the aluminum body panels and replacing other pieces with carbon fiber; the windows, including the windshield, are Lexan.
The suspension was completely overhauled to meet the demands of serious track use. The ride height was lowered 2 inches all around and mechanical grip enhanced by using solid aluminum bushings, stiffer springs with special high-rate shock absorbers and 19-inch center-lock forged alloy wheels with Pirelli racing slicks. Those changes combine with aggressive camber specifications to produce tremendous grip—1.6 lateral Gs, to be exact, and with the added benefit of very light steering feel. Braking is another strong suit of the 458 Challenge thanks to upgraded Brembo carbon ceramic rotors and pads and advanced ABS. The 458’s soul-stirring 180-degree 4.5L V-8 engine, the first in a mid-engine Ferrari road car to use direct fuel injection, retains its factory specification of 570 HP at 9,000 RPM. The lone modification is a new exhaust system that adds even more auditory beauty to the V-8’s lovely howl. The smooth-shifting, automated dual-clutch 7-speed F1 gearbox is also standard fare, but the ratios have been changed to better suit the 458 Challenge’s racing mission.
The 458 Challenge also employs the production 458’s E-Diff electronic differential, a first for Ferrari track cars. Another first is the F1-Trac traction-control system, the most advanced of its kind, offering three calibrations—full, partial and off—developed from Ferrari’s F1 and GT programs. The F1-Trac is completely integrated with the E-Diff to guarantee maximum acceleration out of corners.The Challenge’s cockpit trades the comfort of hand-stitched leather for purposeful racing buckets with 6-point harnesses. Driver controls are minimal but complete: a digital rev counter, warning lights and paddle shifters on the padded competition steering wheel.
Fitted for the VLN series with a special GT3 aero package comprising carbon-fiber front splitter and rear spoiler, wheel flares and front bonnet, this Rinaldi Racing 458 first competed in the Le Mans Challenge race in 2012 and went on to race in the 2013 and 2014 VLN series at the Nürburgring. Driven there by Andrea Barlesi, Mike Jager and Stephan Kohler, the car finished 2nd in the SP8 class on July 5, 2014 and then took the pole on August 23, finishing 3rd in class.
Offered with approximately 6,400 kilometers on the engine and gearbox, this well-known 458 Challenge racer from Germany’s only international Ferrari GT team qualifies for the North American Ferrari Challenge Series and several other “gentleman’s racing” series across the continent and around the world.
– Raced in the VLN Nordschleife SP8 Class
– Built and maintained by Rinaldi Racing
– Driven by Andrea Barlesi, Mike Jager, Stephan Kohler and Arturo Devigas
– Qualified on pole position on August 23, 2014 at VLN race at Nurburgring and finished 3rd in class
– Finished 2nd in class on July 5, 2014 at VLN race at Nurburgring
– Special aero package
– GT3 width front and rear
– GT3 front axle and wheels
– Approximately 6,400 kilometers of running time on the engine and transmission
– Competed in the Challenge race at Le Mans in 2012
– Competed in numerous VLN races in 2013 and 2014 with class podium finishes
– Rinaldi Racing’s GT Corse is the only international Ferrari GT team under German leadership
– Non-street legal race car