Racers participating in the Ferrari Challenge race series next year will have a new car to pilot. Ferrari has introduced the 488 Challenge, which will be ready to hit the grid next year just in time to celebrate the one-make series' 25th anniversary.
Since the formation of the Ferrari Challenge in 1992, there have been more than 1,000 drivers taking part in over 1,000 races on three continents with numerous competitors going on to find success in Grand-Am, IMSA, the FIA World Championship and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Like the road car, the 488 Challenge is powered by a 3.9-liter turbocharged V8 engine with 661 horsepower, but the drivetrain itself is lighter, receives special engine and transmission mapping as well as shorter gear ratios.
Special calibration for traction control and the electronic differential optimize the 488 Challenge for track duty, while three manettinos provide drivers separate adjustments for brakes, traction control and electronic differential to tailor the car's behavior to their driving style.
The aerodynamic alterations are most noticeable, which include a new front bumper with a bigger splitter to improve downforce and inverted rakes for better air flow to the radiators. The hood features a trio of vents to again help with cooling, while the rear of the car with a big wing is similar to the one found on the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship-winning 488 GTE racer.
Compared to its 458 Challenge Evo predecessor, the 488 Challenge is a second quicker around Ferrari's Fiorano test track with a lap time of 1 minute, 15.5 seconds. For some perspective, the fastest Ferrari road car to circle Fiorano is the LaFerrari that does it in 1 minute, 19.7 seconds.