Ferrari has been racing with the 488 chassis in GT3 competition since 2016, and while it has racked up a serious number of trophies for the prancing horse’s cabinet, it’s getting a bit long in the tooth. With stiff competition from Porsche, Corvette, Lexus, Acura, Mercedes, BMW, Lamborghini, Aston Martin, and McLaren, it is probably time that Ferrari pressed forward with its next generation GT3 car. The 488 exited production nearly three years ago, after all.
According to Ferrari the outgoing 488 GT3, which was sold in original spec and Evo 2020 guises, managed to secure 107 championships, 429 race victories, and 770 international racing starts. I’d love to see the full stats on that, but Ferrari didn’t issue that information in total, just the cliffs notes. Ferrari says the 488 GT3 is “the most successful car in Prancing Horse history”, so the new car has some pretty big shoes to fill.
The next Ferrari Competizione GT racer will be the based on the hybrid 296 GTB, which will be un-hybrided for the racing version, much as Acura’s NSX has been. Interestingly the 296 takes much of its design inspiration from Ferrari’s most recent Le Mans 24 overall winner, the 250 LM from 1965, so it comes from good stock as they say. The new 296 GT3 will be the first V6-powered Ferrari sports racing car in quite some time.
The 296 GT3 is little more than these two sketches at the moment. Ferrari says the car will begin track development during the 2022 racing season before making its race debut in 2023. It would be pretty cool to see this aggressive-looking racer make its initial bow at the 24 Hours of Daytona next year. GT3s will be eligible to race at Le Mans from 2024 onward, so you can bet that Ferrari and pretty much every other major sports car manufacturer wants to get their spec dialed in before that happens.
This one looks pretty extreme, and is probably going to up the ante for GT3 yet again. This class is already beyond bonkers, so we’ll have to see what other makes come up with to compete with this monster.