Headline number two also came during the Ferrari World Finals event at Daytona Beach Speedway: the unveiling of a new Ferrari sports racer for private owners.
It’s the sixth iteration of the Ferrari Challenge car and, after a quarter of a century of Challenge racers, the first to be turbocharged. The 488 Challenge, shown off in fetching Giallo Fly yellow with blue “25” stripes and logos, can unleash a healthy 670hp (661bhp) from its 3.9-litre twin turbo V8.
While that’s the same output as the 488 GTB road car the Challenge is able to make the horses gallop a little harder thanks to shorter gear ratios, track-optimised engine mapping, a race-shift strategy for the F1 DCT transmission, and a reduction in weight. The car also boasts more downforce thanks to a redesigned aero package that centres on a new front end with more pronounced splitter and a bigger rear wing.
The 488 Challenge also gets three manettinos on the steering wheel. One is dedicated to braking adjustment, the other two to traction control, specifically the “when” and the “how much” of wheelspin allowed. Ferrari says separating braking and traction functions allows drivers to more precisely tailor the car’s handling to their particular driving style.
The result of all this? A second off the Fiorano lap time of the 458 Challenge EVO for a new record of 1min 15.5secs.
Since 1992 when the first Ferrari Challenge one-make race series was announced, more than 1,000 drivers have taken part in over 1,000 races in three series spanning three continents.