Ferrari’s 458 Italia Challenge racer has taken to the track for the first time at Vallelunga.
Ferrari test drivers Maurizio Mediani and Jaime Melo each drove the car at the Rome circuit and both were pleased with the V8 racer.
Mediani said the Challenge was “very quick and extremely good fun”, while Melo said he was “sure that Prancing Horse competition owners will be very pleased with this car”.
The 458 Challenge has the same direct-injection, 4.5-litre V8 powerplant as the regular car, producing 562bhp at 9000rpm. The gains for track use come through revised gear ratios and recalibration of the 458's dual-clutch F1 gearbox, plus a major push to save weight.
Ferrari has reduced the thickness of the 458's body panels and made greater use of lightweight materials such as carbonfibre and Lexan. The firm has declined to quote a weight figure for the new car, however.