- The most powerful racing version of the 458
- Stored by ANSA Motorsports
- Limited track use to date
Introduced in 2005 as a relatively low-tech response to rising costs and speeds of GT competition, the GT3 category was aimed as a sub-hypercar class for such models as the Porsche 911, Aston Martin DBRS9, BMW Z4, and Ferrari 458. All were subject to so-called “Balance of Performance” testing by an independent driver at the start of each season to ensure that no one car had any noticeable technical, power, or weight advantage over the others.
Following the successes of the F430 GT3, Ferrari introduced its new 458 Italia in 2009. The racing GT3 variant appeared two years later. The engine is a bespoke 4.5-liter V-8 built for motorsport purposes, with only the engine block carried over from the road-going 458 Italia. Producing 550 bhp at 9,000 rpm—with 550 Nm of torque with GT3-specification restrictors—power is channeled through a Hewland MLS six-speed sequential gearbox and Hewland’s steering-wheel-mounted “paddle shift” gear-change system. The entire transmission weighs just 66 kilograms and, like the rest of the car, is an exercise in weight savings; the bodywork is nearly all carbon fiber and features the fully race-optimized aerodynamic package, including a colossal rear wing and diffuser at the rear and splitter at the front. In all, the 458 Italia GT3 is over 200 kilograms lighter than the road-going variant, with immeasurably more downforce and mechanical grip.
Aimed principally at “Pro-Am” driver combinations contesting the long-distance classics, it was soon apparent that Ferrari had hit upon a winning formula: Five consecutive Pro-Am class wins at the Spa 24 Hours, two overall victories in the Gulf 12 Hours, and one in the Bathurst 12 Hours were indeed testament to the car’s user-friendliness and reliability.
Chassis 3238, offered here from a private owner, has been minimally driven and otherwise stored by ANSA Motorsports. Having only occasionally been raced in small, local track-day events, the GT3 has seen limited track time. With proper preparation, chassis 3238 offers the ideal chance for either a collector looking for entry into GT competition or a racing veteran that wishes to add another successful Ferrari GT3 to their stable.