Monza, 8 April – Three weeks after a test day at the Monza national circuit, the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli is back in action to kick off its 2011 race season for the both the European and Italian series, as they tackle free practice today. It was an opportunity for the drivers to get to grips with the new 458 Challenge, which makes its official debut, alongside the F430 Challenge in this weekend’s races.
The 458 Challenge is a sports car with a central-rear mounted V8 engine, derived from the 458 Italia and is the fifth model to enliven the Ferrari one-make series, which aims to give both professional and amateur gentleman drivers the chance to experience extreme performance, combined with maximum driving pleasure and great excitement.
Modifications include changes to the ratios and calibration of the F1 gearbox and a double clutch which deliver increased torque at low revs. The use of the road car’s electronic E-Diff differential, is another unique element not found on previous cars aimed at track use. The other significant addition is the use of the F1-Trac, the most sophisticated traction control system in the world. Developed by Ferrari, it ensures a consistent level of grip, allowing it to be used at all times. Two special settings have been developed, with control systems derived from the F1 and GT race programmes, completely integrated with the E-Diff to maximise performance in the entry and exit of corners.
The 458 Challenge is also fitted with the latest evolution of the PZero tyre, developed by Pirelli specifically for this purpose, in both a slick version for the dry and a rain tyre for damp and wet conditions. This new evolution gives more grip, improved performance, excellent braking and increased road holding in corners.
A great deal of attention has gone into weight reduction, which has made a significant and innovative contribution towards ensuring an excellent level of performance.
Tomorrow’s programme at Monza features two qualifying sessions per series, followed in the afternoon by the first races at 15.45 for the European series and at 18.20 for the Italian.
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