Earlier this month, Ferrari rolled out a new GT3 car onto the Fiorano Circuit for the first time. The legendary Italian automaker teased the new racer back in March. After having a behind-closed-doors shakedown at Circuit Paul Ricard in France, the Ferrari 296 GT3 was revealed to the public during a test at the manufacturer’s test track, as is tradition.
Its road-going equivalent, the 296 GTB, was unveiled last year and is set to enter production at some point this year. I especially enjoy the differences between the GT3 and the production model. In particular, the GT3’s hood is much shorter than the GTB’s. The new Ferrari 296 is expected to enter competition with customer teams for the 2023 season. The Fiorano test marks the start of an important stage of development for the GT3 challenger.
Two-time Le Mans winner and 2017 GT World Endurance Champion Alessandro Pier Guidi was the first driver to take the car out on track. In a statement, Pier Guidi said, “We have finally been able to drive the Ferrari 296 GT3 here at Fiorano, after many hours spent on the simulator and working on the project alongside the Competizioni GT team. The first few meters are always special and leave lasting memories. They were really thrilling. The sensations of these two days of work have been very good, the car is promising and we have obtained important indications for its development that will continue over the coming months.”
The new 296 GT3 will replace the 488 GT3 in international GT racing. Over five years of competition, the 488 GT3 has amassed over 300 race wins, including an overall victory at the 2021 24 Hours of Spa. The 296 GT3 will also likely be Ferrari’s representative model at Le Mans after class convergence raises GT3 to be the top category of GT endurance racing.