After Portimāo and the Paul Ricard, the Budapest track, host of round three of the Ferrari Challenge Europe, also welcomes a car that has helped write the history of the Maranello marque’s one-make series. The Ferrari 360 Challenge, which competed in the series from 2000 to 2005, is back at the circuit just outside the Hungarian capital. Its presence is a tribute to the one-make championship, which will celebrate its thirtieth anniversary in 2022.
Derived from the 360 Modena, with an eight-cylinder engine and a maximum power output of 400 hp, the car was modified for the track, retaining the standard mechanics but weighing 1,170 kg, 120 less than the road version. Its final appearance in the Ferrari Challenge was in 2005, replaced in the 2006 edition by the F430 Challenge. In Budapest, performing some demonstration laps, it is also on display in the paddock, appearing in the classic red livery.
Ange Barde is a current Ferrari Challenge driver who will compete in the Hungary round. However, he also drove the 360 Challenge in several editions of the series, winning, among others, the European Trofeo Pirelli titles in 2001, 2003 and 2004.
“The best race I ever competed in with the 360 Challenge? Definitely the first,” recalled the Frenchman with feeling. “We were at Spa-Francorchamps in 2000, and I won straight off on my debut. There were a lot of entrants, and it was wonderful to win in the face of so many opponents. Then, fortunately, came many other victories with other Ferrari cars. Each of them has its own special features. I am lucky to race with Ferrari.”