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Thread: Ferrari announces Grand Am program 458.

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  1. #1
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    Ferrari announces Grand Am program 458.

    Ferrari have announced a proper Grand Am program which will begin this year with their new 458.

    It's about time....the privateers who have been recently converting the Ferrari Challenge F430 cars to Grand Am specs have been utter failures.

    "DAYTONA BEACH -- Ferrari, a power in Formula 1 and other international racing series, began a major step toward a resurgence in American-based Grand-Am Road Racing.

    The Italian manufacturer -- which has four overall Rolex 24 At Daytona wins but none since 1972 -- announced Friday it is building a version of its new Ferrari 458 Italia specifically for the Rolex Series, making it easier for teams to race the car in the series.

    These "turnkey" Ferraris will be introduced into the GT class later this season.

    "It's pretty exciting because this is a segment of the motorsports world that Ferrari had not addressed previously," said Grand-Am managing director of competition Mark Raffauf. "There's quite a bit of interest in seeing these cars race sooner than later."

    Ferrari has competed in 46 of 48 Rolex 24s, but the last of its four overall victories came 39 years ago with Mario Andretti and Jacky Ickx. The manufacturer also has a pair of class wins, the last in 1998.

    Only one Ferrari competed in last year's Rolex 24, completing just 112 laps and finishing 41st of 44 entries, and three Ferrari F430s are entered in this year's 50-car field.

    The difference between these current Ferrari 430s and the new 458s that are expected to debut by April are that the current models are built and modified by individual entities, whereas the new models are specifically designed for the Rolex Series.

    The announcement came in conjunction with the European unveiling of the new Ferrari F150, which Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro will compete with in Formula 1 this season.

    "When you have a brand like Ferrari come and compete in Grand-Am, it puts a big 'open for business' sign for your European and other manufacturers to come and race in the States," said Eddie Cheever, the 1998 Indy 500 winner and a driving force behind Ferrari's push to join the Grand-Am ranks. "The feeling we got from Ferrari is they understand that NASCAR and Grand-Am have a very large footprint in North America.

    "It is called Grand-Am Road Racing and Ferrari understood that and they wanted to make sure that they found a way to participate in that."

  2. #2
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    Indication that Grand-Am is being taken more seriously as a competitor to the ALMS?

    So does this mean that there will basically be a GT3 458 built by Ferrari?

  3. #3
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    Well doesn't GT3 Ferrari exists anyway as factory car?
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  4. #4
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    Ferrari did horrible again this year. The race was dominated by Porsche's in GT once the Turner BMW had problems. Congrats to TRG for another win

  5. #5
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    When Ferrari comes out with the F70 or Enzo 2, or whatever they call it, they should make versions that are ready for the Rolex Grand Am series. A few years back a GT1 Corvette actually won the 24 hours of Daytona. Somebody enetered modified 550s and they were faster on the high banks than the cheesy Grand Am prototypes. Had Ferrari made the FXX available for racing they would have won the overall title easily.

  6. #6
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    That was before the Daytona Prototype class was created.

    There will not be any cars allowed in the series faster than the DP....one of the main purposes for it is to keep speeds down.

    Dinan was helping the Level 5 team to develop a Ferrari V8 for their DP for 2011 but they had no luck with endurance. They were hoping Ferrari's 4.5 or 5.0 litre engines would do the job out of the crate but they blew two engines testing at Miller Motorsport Park and decided to call it quits for now.

    They said the Ferrari engine was faster than BMW's first gear through fourth easily. So there will be a Ferrari powered DP someday I'm sure.

  7. #7
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    No....since the rule now no longer allows "GT1" car in Grand AM. Just the DP and the GT(~FIA-GT3 level car, though some are not really GT but actually Silhouette car)...
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  8. #8
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    DPs offer solid racing, just they are ugly to look at....I hope the 2012 redesign addresses that...They got quite a bit faster too, since considering when they were new the DPs were lapping Daytona in high 1:40s low 1:50s. Now they are in low 1:40s. Autosport has a video blog for the Subscriber of their web service from Martin Brundle and Mark Blundell's DP entry. Brundle mentioned the cars were as fast as the GTP cars were(which is actually wrong if he meant the ultimate pace, since I think GTP car in early 90s were low 1:30s in qualifying, though I can see the race pace being a lot slower with the harder tire and cars being less reliable back then)...
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  9. #9
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    1984, first year of chicane at Daytona, Porsche 962 lap times were high 1'50's and they were two seconds faster than anything else that year.

    1985 the track was shortened a bit and pole time was 1'41.4, a new lap record, was set by a Conte Hawk Buick prototype. 962's were running 1'42's.

    Track shortened again 1991(current config), pole time in 1992 1'36 Nissan.
    Last edited by Dino Scuderia; 02-08-2011 at 04:36 PM.

  10. #10
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    1993: AAR Eagle MKIII: 1:33.875
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  11. #11
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    Eagle weighs 200 lbs less than a DP and has 200 more HP.

    Overall the current DP's are not slow by any means.

  12. #12
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    Point taken, but I am just saying that Brundle was not exactly right in saying that DPs are as fast as the GTP car were....

    Maybe it was as fast as his were though...

    Daytona 24 Hours 1990 - Photo Gallery - Racing Sports Cars

    He qualified in 1990 in 9th at 1:40.3

    Pole that year was 1:37.8

    Like I said, DP allows for good racing, the field now is crazy tight vs back then. The fact that they can make a 24 hours race down to the last lap of the last restart is pretty insane. Though obviously with a fair bit of NASCAR competition management of letting the lapped cars get their lap back....And I gotta say, never in my initial view on these cars that they can be as fast as they are now....They essentially jumped 2 classes on their speed from their debut to now(2002, the last year of the "Sports Racer" for Grand Am, the neutered Dallara Judd LMP1 qualified 1:42.0). Although I do wonder what a current LMP car will do....

    (Mid-Ohio I think ran both series in the same year and P1 cars were about 10 sec faster for a 1:08 lap vs 1:18)

    I never really "dislike" DPs, just they are butt-ugly by pretty much any standard....and they obviously know that which is why they are addressing it in the first real redesign of the class...
    Last edited by RacingManiac; 02-09-2011 at 08:06 AM.
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  13. #13
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    Grand Am 458 initial tests at Daytona...carrying the famous number '27'.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7L3...layer_embedded

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