The Ferrari 296 GT3 represents the future of the prancing horse in grand touring car racing, enabling a closer relationship with the customer and the most consistent transfer of technology and innovative solutions into production vehicles. The 296 GT3 was born from the 296 GTB, the most recent evolution of the concept of two-seater sports berlinetta with rear mid-engine of the Maranello brand.
The 296 GT3 is an innovative project on and off the track that Ferrari decided to develop to continue the winning tradition that has its roots in 1949 when the 166 MM won the 24 Hours of Le Mans. A new approach in terms of design, the management of the car in all phases of a race weekend, the electronics up to the new architecture of the engine, a 6-cylinder 120º turbo. An unprecedented concept, designed around the needs of teams, professional drivers and gentleman drivers, and has always been the focus of the company. A wagon meticulously studied down to the smallest detailin every respect according to the dictates of the new GT3 regulations.
The gearbox of the 296 GT3 is new and specially developed for this car. The designers opted for a single-disc clutch unit with six gears arranged transversely for better aerodynamics and weight distribution. Clutch actuation is now electronic and can be controlled from the steering wheel, rather than mechanically via the pedal, while gear changes are operated electrically. The miniaturization of the components and the use of high-quality materials made it possible to keep the weight of the Xtrac transmission low, which benefited performance.
exterior and aerodynamics
Ferrari’s future in GT racing has a sinuous shape that wraps around the volumes of the 296 GTB, redefining them thanks to the teamwork between Centro Stile, aerodynamicists and designers to meet track and performance requirements. Therefore, apart from aerodynamic devices or specific features of the racing version, the design of the car remains related to the production model. The design of the latter already refers to vehicles such as the 250 LM from 1963, a perfect combination of simplicity and functionality.
Ferrari engineers were able to define an aerodynamic setup within the homologation performance window by reducing ride height sensitivity with the aim of improving handling and handling. This precise and detailed work on the molds resulted in 20% more downforce for the car compared to the previous generation. From this perspective, the 296 GT3 lives in symbiosis with the air around it, exploiting it to maximize grip and handling, benefitting gentlemen drivers and professionals alike.
The challenge for the designers was to limit the car’s sensitivity to aerodynamic forces in order to achieve an exceptional balance in favor of handling and driver confidence. The geometry of all components, from the bodywork to the fender extensions, has been designed in detail under different operating conditions and in mutual aerodynamic interaction in order to optimize performance and make it robust in different racing contexts, also in the wake of other cars. From the front splitter to the rear extractor, which features a diffuser with a refined three-dimensional design, the 296 GT3 features a refined design aimed at achieving the lowest possible drag.
Intuition, visibility and accessibility are essential in the development of the cabin design, without neglecting essential aspects such as safety and comfort. In endurance racing, performance depends on these qualities, especially for gentleman drivers.
In fact, this interior allows its occupant to find the best driving position quickly and efficiently, with key functions always within easy reach. Many controls and features are borrowed from Formula 1, such as the single-seater inspired steering wheel, while the Sabelt seating position ensures optimal visibility both day and night. It also adds a new level of comfort for drivers of different heights and builds, who can use the adjustable pedals and steering to find their best position in the car.
In addition, the airflow and system in the cabin have been designed to ensure adequate ventilation in all conditions, helping the driver focus at every stage of a race.