If there had been an award for Best Supporting Actress award at Portimão this weekend, the 348 Challenge would have won it. She was undoubtedly the most sought after and admired. On display at the Autodromo do Algarve during the first round of the thirtieth season of the Ferrari Challenge Europe, this historic car preceded the first Trofeo Pirelli race over the ups and downs of the Portuguese circuit, taking a step back in time to the early days of the Prancing Horse one-make series.
From 1993 to 1996, the first editions of the Ferrari Challenge featured the 348 Challenge in TB and TS versions. The car's special feature was the conversion kit, which once disassembled allows the vehicle to return to its road-going configuration. The kit included direct exhaust, carbon seats, roll cage, lowered suspension, 18″ magnesium wheels, onboard fire extinguisher and other details to boost engine performance in addition to technical support on the track. The 348 Challenge’s V8 engine unleashed 320 bhp, 20 or so more than the road version. The brakes, too, were boosted.
Paolo Rossi was the first winner in the Prancing Horse's flagship car at Monza in 1993. At the end of that first Ferrari one-make series season, Roberto Ragazzi took the title at the wheel of the 348 Challenge that lit up the Portimão circuit.