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  Ferrari 250 TRI61
 

  Article Image gallery (55) Chassis (2) Specifications  
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Country of origin:Italy
Produced in:1961
Numbers built:2
Designed by:Fantuzzi
Predecessor:Ferrari 250 TR59/60
Successor:Ferrari 330 TRI/LM
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:November 14, 2014
Download: All images
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Click here to download printer friendly versionFerrari continued the development of the tried and trusted 250 TR for yet another year going into the 1961 season despite the gradual switch to mid engined machinery by the the Italian manufacturer's rivals. For once, it was not Enzo Ferrari's conservative nature that kept him from developing a brand new competition car but a looming regulation change that would leave prototype racers ineligible for the world championship from 1962 onwards. The new-for-1961 250 TRI61 did represent the most significant step forward since the introduction of the three-litre Testa Rossa back in 1957.

A driving force behind the rapid development was Ferrari's chief engineer Carlo Chiti, who had insisted a wind tunnel should be installed in the factory. After a temporary, small scale tunnel was tried early in 1960, a more permanent and larger wind tunnel was completed before the end of the year. Among the first lessons learned by this more scientific approach was applied to one of the two Testa Rossas built. Although more developed under the skin, the 1960 TR still featured an evolution of the body used for all the works cars since 1958. Initially, the work focused on the rear half of the car where a much taller tail was fitted complete with a cut-off 'Kamm' tail.

The experimental tail was carried straight over to the 250 TRI61 as it was found to reduce drag, while also increasing the downforce generated thanks to a small spoiler mounted on the very edge of the tail. The latest Testa Rossa was fitted with a steeply raked, wrap-around windscreen, which was barely taller than the rear deck. Like all works cars raced in 1961, the new sports racer featured a 'shark-nose' style split front air-intake. Compared to its predecessors, the very slippery TRI61 was considerably longer and more angular. Despite the increase in size, it was actually also quite a bit lighter.

Like the 1960 Testa Rossa, the latest Testa Rossa featured a sophisticated space frame constructed from relatively large diameter steel tubes. The I in the TRI type-name referred to the all around independent suspension first introduced in 1960. This consisted of double wishbones on all four corners. Dunlop-sourced disc brakes were fitted front and rear. The only real remnant of the original Testa Rossa was the three-litre V12 engine, equipped with single overhead camshafts and six Weber carburettors. It was officially rated at 315 bhp but was most likely a little more powerful still. The red-headed V12 was mated to a five-speed gearbox.

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  Article Image gallery (55) Chassis (2) Specifications