EXTREME SPEED READY FOR TODAY'S FERRARI DAYTONA RETURN
DAYTONA, FL, Saturday, January 28: Ferrari makes a welcome return to the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona today with Exteme Speed Motorsports fielding one of four Ferrari 458 Italia Grand Am entries in the 50th anniversary of the Florida round-the-clock enduro. The last Rolex Series victories for the Prancing Horse marque came in 2002 when the Ferrari of Washington-entered Ferrari 360 GT won five races en route to the series championship.
Ferrari however does have a strong winning heritage at Daytona. Pedro Rodríguez won a three-hour sportscar event at Daytona in 1963 and teamed up with Phil Hill to win a 2000-mile enduro the following year.
Ferrari’s first 24 Hour victory came in 1967 with Lorenzo Bandini and Chris Amon while legends Marino Andretti and Jacky Ickx won a six-hour event in 1972.
Ferrari’s last overall win came in 1998 with Mauro Baldi, Arie Luyendyk, Gianpiero Moretti and Didier Theys winning aboard a 333SP.
When you start with a road car to produce a race version, you normally have to speed it up. For the Ferrari 458 Italia Grand Am, they actually had to slow it down.
While the race version is 363.4 pounds lighter (almost like throwing out two passengers), the car has 61 less horsepower and 1000 less revs at its disposal for the Rolex 24 at Daytona.
Much of the weight savings comes from the Hewland gearbox which is operated via paddle shift on the steering wheel.
The race car has slightly more torque, is a little longer and wider and slightly lower overall. Unlike the road car, the 458 Italia Grand Am race car also features a rear wing for Rolex Series competition.
The major differences are highlighted in bold below:
|Configuration||Race Car||Road Car|
|Engine||F142 GT3 90º V8||F142 GT3 90º V8|
|Location||Mid, longitudinally mounted||Mid, longitudinally mounted|
|Construction||aluminium alloy block and head||aluminium alloy block and head|
|Displacement||4.498 liter / 274.5 cu in||4.498 liter / 274.5 cu in|
|Bore / Stroke||93.9 mm (3.7 in) / 81.0 mm (3.2 in)||93.9 mm (3.7 in) / 81.0 mm (3.2 in)|
|Valvetrain||4 valves / cylinder, DOHC||4 valves / cylinder, DOHC|
|Fuel feed||Direct Fuel Injection||Direct Fuel Injection|
|Aspiration||Naturally Aspirated||Naturally Aspirated|
|Power||500 bhp / 373 KW @ 8000 rpm||561 bhp / 419 KW @ 9000 rpm|
|Torque||550 Nm / 406 ft lbs @ 6000 rpm||540 Nm (398 lbs/ft) @ 6000 rpm|
|BHP/Liter||111 bhp / liter||125 bhp / liter|
|Gearbox||6 speed sequential paddle shift Hewland||Dual-clutch, 7-speed F1|
|Drive||Rear wheel drive||Rear Wheel Drive|
|Weight||1215 kilo / 2678.6 lbs||1380 kg (3042 lbs)|
|Length||4599 mm (181.1 in)||4527 mm (178.2 in)|
|Width||2034 mm (80.1 in)||1937 mm (76.3)|
|Height||1157 mm (45.6 in)||1213 mm (47.8 in)|
|Wheelbase||2650 mm (104.3 in)||2650 mm (104.3)|
|Power to weight||0.1866 bhp / lb||0.1844 bhp / lb|
|Rear wing||Grand-Am Spec||No|
"We are very proud to represent the Ferrari brand in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón and we are very much enjoying our time for the 458 Grand Am spec car as well," Extreme Speed Motorsports owner/driver, Scott Sharp said.
"For our sponsor Tequila Patrón, the ability to link with such a prestige brand like Ferrari is an outstanding opportunity.
"Myself, Johannes (van Overbeek), Ed (Brown) and Guy (Cosmo) are all really looking forward to the race today. It is our first assault on this race and we're thrilled it comes in the 50th anniversary event.
"Johanness will take the green flag at 3:30pm today and we'll cycle through all four guys early - it is a long race and it is important for us to settle into a good routine."
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