Ferrari releases first images of new 296 GT3 car

The new car, which has been developed in-house at Ferrari under a team led by head of GT race car design Ferdinando Cannizzio, will be based on the production 296 GTB that is powered by a turbo-charged V6 hybrid engine.

However, Ferrari has stressed that the race model will not be equipped with the electric unit in compliance with technical regulations.

The road model was partly inspired by Ferrari’s last outright Le Mans winner, the 250 LM that took victory in the 1965 race.

It was announced in October that seasoned French manufacturer Oreca will take over from Michelotto as the constructor of Ferrari’s new GT3 car.

It will mark a return for Hugues de Chaunac’s operation, which has most recently concentrated on prototype racing in LMP2, to the GT theatre it dominated in the late 1990s with the Chrysler Viper GTS-R that claimed three class victories at Le Mans, as well as outright victories at the Spa, Nurburgring and Daytona 24 Hours.

A Ferrari statement said the 296 GT3 “will begin development on the track in the coming months in view of its race debut, scheduled for 2023”.

It will be eligible to race at the Le Mans 24 Hours from 2024, when GT3 cars will replace the current GTE machines.

The 296 GT3 will replace the outgoing V8-powered 488, which Ferrari describes as the most successful racing car in its history.

The 488 GT3 has been in service since it took over from the Michelotto-built 458 in 2016 and had an Evo upgrade in 2020.

It won the Spa 24 Hours last year with Iron Lynx trio Alessandro Pier Guidi, Come Ledogar and Nicklas Nielsen, which proved crucial in scooping a second consecutive GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup title for both Ferrari and Pier Guidi.

Ferrari will return to the top class of sportscar racing next year with its first fully-fledged works entry in the World Endurance Championship since 1973.

Its planned 2023 Le Mans Hypercar, which is as yet unnamed, will be run by works team AF Corse and is due for its first roll-out in June.

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