Racing over the history of the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli Europe through the cars that have played a leading role in the series in the last 30 years meets the 488 Challenge at the Mugello circuit, where the penultimate event of the season is being contested. Together with its evolution, it introduces us to the present of the Prancing Horse single-marque series.
The Ferrari 488 Challenge was unveiled at the 2017 Finali Mondiali. The 3.9-litre V8 engine was the first turbo used in the Prancing Horse one-make series. It was the most powerful car ever seen in the Ferrari Challenge, entering service in 2018 in place of the 458 Challenge. The engine development, combined with the car’s chassis and aerodynamic innovations, allowed the Ferrari 488 Challenge to shave a second off the Varano track lap time compared with the previous 458 Challenge EVO.
In terms of dynamics, the 488 Challenge saw the debut of the SSC (Slide Slip Control) control system, which improved longitudinal acceleration in cornering by 4.2% and ensured accurate management of the entry, travel and exit phases. The car’s aerodynamics were thoroughly overhauled with enhanced efficiency due to the constant interaction between engineers and the Design Centre.
The evolution of the 488 Challenge was unveiled at the 2019 Finali Mondiali and participated in the 2020, 2021 and current season championships. The new mechanical and aerodynamic upgrade kit, also available for existing vehicles, promised even better overall performance and even greater driving pleasure for unrivalled driver experience and racing spectacle in maximum safety. ln particular, the increased downforce and the Pirelli tyre design ensure outstanding performance. In addition, the forward shift of the aerodynamic balance between the axles improves cornering, with quicker entry and reduced understeer on exit.
The 3.9 litre, 670 hp V8 turbo engine delivers the torque and power you expect from this exceptional racing style car. The aerodynamics, especially at the front, were thoroughly overhauled, with a 30% increase in efficiency compared to the 488 Challenge. The Evo kit introduced further aerodynamic solutions on the side and rear.
The Ferrari 488 Challenge Evo launched a brand new feature for the Ferrari one-make series, an option for the driver to modify the car’s front load independently of the rear load, with continuous balance control without changing the car’s height. The driver can select different configurations before each race depending on track layout and weather conditions, from High Downforce to Low Downforce. This evolution made the car’s front load over 20% higher than the 488 Challenge.
Following more than seven months’ development, in the laboratory and at various tracks, the new tyres available in sizes 275/675-19 (front) and 315/705-19 (rear) made their debut on the Ferrari 488 Challenge Evo. On top of the overall improvement in performance, the tyres developed in partnership with Pirelli also deliver a lower variation in lap times during a long run session.
The racing spirit is evident in the interior, starting with the steering wheel based on the experience gained with the FXX-K Evo and the 488 GTE. The way the ‘manettino’ controls the ABS is also new. This allows the driver to select four modes, two dry and two wet, to influence performance or stability. The front brake disc was also redesigned. Along with the increased size of the rear discs, this contributes to a significant reduction in wear and tear. The introduction of a new rear camera, derived from the 488 GTE, significantly improves rear visibility.