2013 Ferrari 458 Challenge
- Incredible track-oriented version of the 458 Italia
- The fifth model of Ferrari’s popular Challenge series
- Fully maintained by Dragon Racing and ready to return to the track
- Offered with a complimentary test day at the Dubai Autodrome
The Ferrari Challenge series was launched in 1993 as a way for Ferrari to give their clients the opportunity to experience the thrill of motor racing on some of the most iconic circuits around the world with dealership and factory support. It has since grown into a global program with separate series in the UK, Europe, North America, and Asia Pacific. The Ferrari Challenge remains the longest-running single-marque racing series in existence.
To date there have been six “Challenge” models, with the 458 Challenge as the fifth model of the series, replacing the 430 Challenge, which had been campaigned since 2007. Much like its predecessors, the 458 Challenge was largely based upon its road-going sibling, the 458 Italia, albeit with a plethora of optimizations for use on the track. Conspicuously and perhaps in recognition of just how potent the road car was, the 4.5-liter, naturally aspirated V-8 engine remained largely untouched, producing 570 bhp at 9,000 rpm. Only minor tweaks to the gear ratios and recalibration of the dual-clutch F1 transmission were deemed necessary for the track version, and only to improve low-range torque to improve drivability on the circuits.
However, significant changes were made to the chassis, bodywork, and interior of the car. To begin with, the Ferrari was put on a serious diet, with the thickness of the aluminum bodywork reduced and in certain areas replaced with carbon-fiber panels. In addition, the glass windows and windscreen were replaced with polycarbonate alternatives. Complementing the weight savings were changes to the suspension setup of the car. Stiffer, shorter springs and light alloy dampers replaced their road-going counterparts and permitted a lowering of the car by two inches. At the same time, solid steel motorsport bushings took the place of conventional rubber items, and lightweight 19-inch forged wheels wrapped in Pirelli slick tires completed the entirely track-focused configuration. The effect of the changes was summed up by Road & Track when they back-to-back tested the 458 Italia and 458 Challenge in 2011.
“Put simply, stepping out of a 458 road car and into the Challenge car seems like a totally different world…This is an all-business race car.”
The 458 Challenge was also the first in the series to offer drivers the assistance of F1-Trac stability control, with three modes permitting progressively more traction-control assistance from the onboard electronics to aid less experienced drivers in low-grip conditions. Naturally, the interior is an entirely no-frills affair—fully stripped out with fixed racing bucket seats, six-point harnesses, FIA-approved roll cage, and a digital instrument cluster.
This example has been fully maintained regardless of cost by Dragon Racing, where the car has been part of their arrive-and-drive fleet since its delivery to Dubai. With a newly dated and fitted fuel cell, FIA seat, and FIA belts, this car is ready to race or provide the new owner with the ultimate track car. This 458 Challenge also features Dragon Racing additions to optimize the performance on the track, including a larger front splitter and rear wing for increased aerodynamics, larger front radiator with electric water pump, bonnet duct to reduce engine coolant temperatures in hot ambient conditions, and steel brakes to reduce the running costs while on the circuit.
Today, the 458 is offered for sale freshly prepared for its next owner to enjoy, and it would make a fantastic addition to a collection focused on Ferrari Challenge cars as well as an ideal entrant into club racing or the newly announced Ferrari Club Challenge Middle East. Furthermore, the sale includes a complimentary test day courtesy of Dragon Racing at their headquarters at the Dubai Autodrome.