Ferrari have introduced a race version of the Challenge Stradale to counter the threat posed by Porsche's new 996GT3 RSR in GT racing. The new model, to be called the 360GTC, receives a similar acronym to its recently introduced big sister, the 575GTC.
Porsche haved moved the goalposts with their highly-rated new racer and Ferrari have been quick to respond to the threat. The new 360GTC will also form the basis of the 2004 Ferrari Challenge race series which will incorporate a GT-style rear wing for the first time.
The original 360 Modena drew heavily on Ferrari's competition experience, with engineering standards and levels of aerodynamic development rare for a series production car. This meant that the 360 Challenge (launched in 2000) was a quantum leap ahead of its predecessor, the 355, proving lighter, faster and better-handling.
Ferrari received numerous requests for factory-prepared cars for other championships. With the help of factory backing, the JMB Competition team 360 fought off strong competition from Porsche to take the 2001 FIA N-GT World Championship team and drivers' titles.
On the strength of that showing, Ferrari produced a specific model - the 360 GT - derived from the Challenge car for privateers in the FIA N-GT and A.C.O. (Automobile Club de l'Ouest) championships in 2002. JMB took this year's FIA N-GT title.
The latest evolution, the 360 GTC was unveiled to the press at the Bologna Motor Show on the 4th of December 2003.
The new GTC version incorporates a number of modifications introduced during the 2003 season and includes refinements to the aerodynamics, a new sequential 6-speed gearbox because the road car paddle shift was too slow for professional racing, a new electronics package developed by Magneti Marelli and a number of minor revisions to the engine to improve output to 445 bhp at 8,750 rpm.
The 360 GTC will be available for the 2004 season and is sold directly by Ferrari's Corse Clienti division. Source - Ferrari S.p.A
This model, with a dry weight of 1100 kilos, was developed by the Corse Clienti Department in Maranello, in collaboration with Michelotto Automobili to compete in the N-GT class. It makes use of recent evolutions successfully race tested on the 360 GT, with a sequential six speed gearchange and a further improved Magneti Marelli electronics package. The aerodynamics are substantially different to the 360 GT, given that the 360 GTC has been newly homologated by FIA/ACO from the Challenge Stradale, taking up from its basic elements: front bumper, side skirts, engine cover and double rear end. Wind tunnel research has led to a new system for the rear wing, with a notable improvement in vertical downforce. The performance of the 90 degree V8 3586.2cc engine has been improved in terms of consumption and power, putting out 445 horsepower at 8750 rpm.Source - Ferrari