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  Ferrari 575 GTC

  Article Image gallery (20) Specifications  
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Country of origin:Italy
Produced from:2003 - 2004
Introduced at:2003 Frankfurt Motor Show
Designed by:Pininfarina
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:Before December 1st, 2004
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Click here to download printer friendly versionAfter Ferrari had withdrawn from all racing but Formula 1 in the early 1970s, customers modified various models for competition use. Some with more success than the others, but with both the 365 GTB/4 Daytona Competizione and 550 GTS Maranello, class victories at Le Mans were scored. The success of the latter in the 2003 Le Mans race inspired Ferrari's client race department, 'Corse Clienti', to build a race ready version of Ferrari's latest Grand Tourer, the 575M Maranello.

Of the 550 Maranello, various independent developers produced competition versions, starting with the XL-Racing 550, but none were as successful as the Prodrive prepared examples. In 2003, 550s won their class at Le Mans and were victorious in the FIA GT Championship. With the 575 GTC, Ferrari aimed to give their customers a chance to race a fully factory prepared race car, but there is no intention to return to GT racing as a works team in the foreseeable future.

The road going 575M Maranello was extensively modified to suit the needs of racing in the GTS class. The Most important changes were made to the chassis and body. Although the basic tubular frame chassis was retained, it was strengthened and a roll-cage was added. A wider track and the extensive use of carbon fibre were also major modifications. The engine was enlarged to displace just under six litres and produce just over 600 bhp with the mandatory air-restrictors fitted.

In its racing debut at the 2003 Estoril FIA GT race, the 575 GTC scored a very promising first victory by beating the Prodive 550s, who finished in second and third. Unfortunately the success could not be matched in the following races, which is not uncommon considering the 575 GTC was a completely new racer. One thing the new car proved to be immdediately, was reliable.

Over the 2003-2004 winter months, a new team was formed to run two 575 GTCs, Barron-Connor. The main man behind the outfit is John Bosch, who won the European Ferrari 360 Challenge in 2002 and the FIA Sportcar Championship in 2003. He has been a long-time collector of Ferrari racing cars and has many modern F1 racers in his collection, but also races a Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Competizione in the Historic Ferrari/Maserati Challenge.

The new team and cars made their debut in the 12 Hours of Sebring race in March of 2004. Although they were not on pace with the class-winning Chevrolet Corvette C5R, the car's reliability granted the team its first class podium with a second place finish. The second car did not manage to finish after a suspension failure. The 24 Hours of Le Mans test day saw the European debut for the Barron-Connor team.

Both of the Barron-Connor 575 GTCs are pictured here on the Le Mans track at the April 2004 test day.

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  Article Image gallery (20) Specifications