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  Ferrari 348 GT/C LM
 

  Article Image gallery (15) 97553 Specifications  
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Country of origin:Italy
Produced in:1994
Numbers built:3 (One never raced)
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:August 23, 2019
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Click here to download printer friendly versionFollowing the demise of Group C in the early 1990s, GT racing once again came to the fore. During the 1950s and 1960s, Ferrari had absolutely dominated this production-based sports car racing but since the first half of the 1970s focused all competition efforts on Formula 1. In 1993, the door to GT racing was opened slightly with the introduction of the 348 GT Competizione road car.

Built in a limited run of 50 examples, the Competizione was intended as a 348 TB homologation special for the new GT2 class. It was considerably lighter thanks to the use of carbon-composites and Kevlar for parts like the front and rear bumpers, the door sills and the seats. Large, eight-spoke Speedline wheels were fitted to accommodate for Ferrari F40 derived brakes. The the Tipo F119 V8 engine was tuned further to produce 316 bhp.

While Ferrari provided the base model, developing the actual competition cars was left to others. Among them was Michelotto, who readied three cars for the 1994 season. The Padua-based specialists fitted larger still wheels to allow for Ferrari F40 LM brakes to be used. All non-structural body components were made of lightweight composite materials, and during the season fixed headlights and an adjustable rear wing were added. The engine was also further improved to produce around 380 bhp.

Dubbed the 348 GT/C LM, the new Michelotto built racer debuted in the hands of the Ferrari Club Italia and Ferrari Club Espana, who ran one car each. The third example built was never raced. The Spanish car debuted during inaugural BPR round at Jarama but suffered an engine failure. At the next round, at Dijon, both cars were entered but neither finished. As none of the GT2 cars made it to the finish, the Italian 348 was actually the class winner despite suffering a suspension failure.

Next up was the 24 Hours of Le Mans where both cars lined up. Shared by Tomas Saldana, Alfonso de Orleans and Andres Vilarino and running with Repsol backing, the Spanish 348 finished 11th overall. This was the first time a Ferrari had finished at Le Mans since 1982. The cars were raced at select events during the remainder of the season, with a second overall in the Vallelunga Six Hours as the best result.

Ferrari replaced the 348 TB with the F355 in 1995, and accordingly the racing efforts followed suit. As a result, the 348 GT/C LMs were raced only one year and ultimately proved no match for the ubiquitous Porsche 911s. The model does have a special place in Ferrari competition history as it is the first in a long line of Michelotto developed Ferrari V8-powered GTs that continues to this day.

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  Article Image gallery (15) 97553 Specifications