Pirelli World Challenge Ferrari 458 GT3 Racers Revealed

Luke Vandezande
by Luke Vandezande

Two Ferrari 458 GT3 race cars were revealed yesterday afternoon in Toronto, Canada ahead of their Pirelli World Challenge debut at St. Petersburg, Florida next weekend.

Pirelli World Challenge is going to be nuts this year because of new regulations that allow GT3 cars to compete. Toronto-based R. Ferri Motorsport will field two GT3 spec Ferrari 458 race cars in the series this year as one of two teams running the Maranello brand’s cars. The team unveiled both cars yesterday during a special event, offering a chance to see the cars before they enter what’s sure to be a rough race series.

World Challenge races take place on tight road courses, last an hour and kick off with a standing start. The cars that R. Ferri will race with begin with the same tub as a road-going 458 and the same engine. Aside from that, everything other component is racing specific. The body panels are all made of carbon fiber and the wheels, tires, dampers are all specific to the cars. Of course, it has a pneumatic racing gearbox as well.

A normal 458 Italia makes 562 hp, but that would make the cars shown here too powerful for the races. To comply with regulations, the engines have a restrictively small intake. That allows the engine to reach its usual sky-scraping 9,000-rpm redline while still staying within the limits of the class.

The first race takes place next weekend in St. Petersburg. Round one takes place on Saturday at 3 p.m. and round two on Sunday at 11 a.m. Among the spectacles, you’ll be able to see a long-time rivals Ferrari and McLaren going head-to-head.

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GALLERY: R. Ferri Motorsport Ferrari 458 GT3

Luke Vandezande
Luke Vandezande

Luke is an energetic automotive journalist who spends his time covering industry news and crawling the internet for the latest breaking story. When he isn't in the office, Luke can be found obsessively browsing used car listings, drinking scotch at his favorite bar and dreaming of what to drive next, though the list grows a lot faster than his bank account. He's always on <A title="@lukevandezande on Twitter" href="http://twitter.com/lukevandezande">Twitter</A> looking for a good car conversation. Find Luke on <A title="@lukevandezande on Twitter" href="http://twitter.com/lukevandezande">Twitter</A> and <A title="Luke on Google+" href="http://plus.google.com/112531385961538774338?rel=author">Google+</A>.

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