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  Ferrari 512 BB Competizione      

  Article Image gallery (49) Chassis (2) Specifications  
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Country of origin:Italy
Produced in:1978
Numbers built:4
Designed by:Pininfarina
Successor:Ferrari 512 BB LM
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:November 27, 2014
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Click here to download printer friendly versionFrom the second half of the 1960s, Ferrari had limited its GT racing effort to offering back-door support to privateers. Between 1971 and 1973, the Italian manufacturer even sanctioned the construction of three batches of five 365 GTB/4 Daytona competition cars, which were raced with great success. The Daytona's mid-engined replacement, the 365 GT4 BB was not as prolifically raced with just one example, prepared in the United States by NART's Francois Sicard, regularly campaigned.

Ahead of the 1978 season, four examples of the uprated five-litre 512 BB were prepared with the specific aim to compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The driving forces behind this project were the same prominent privateers that had represented Ferrari for many years; Belgian importer Jacques Swaters (Ecurie Francorchamps), Charles Pozzi of Ferrari France and of course Luigi Chinett's North American Racing Team, who had also fielded the 365 GT4 BB on both sides of the Atlantic.

Built to the IMSA GT regulations, the new 512 BB Competizione was still clearly derived from the production car. The development work focused on stripping the car to the bare minimum to reduce the weight. At the front a deep air-dam was fitted while at the rear a straightforward wing was installed. The five-litre flat-12 engine, equipped with four triple-choke Webers, was tuned to produce just over 450 bhp. It was mounted on top of a five-speed gearbox. The 512 BB racer tipped the scales at 1,225 kg.

Faced with a choice of Porsche 935s, the privately developed 512 BB struggled for pace at Le Mans. Reliability also proved an issues as none of the four cars entered managed to reach the finish with the gearbox proving the 512's weak spot. The 512 BBs were not raced again as they had garnered sufficient interest to warrant the production of the more thoroughly developed and re-bodied 512 BBLM of which a total of 25 examples were produced.

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  Article Image gallery (49) Chassis (2) Specifications