Ferrari is sending the 458 Italia out racing, including a foray into the American Grand Am race series. The Italia Grand Am is based on the Challenge version of Ferrari’s latest mid-engine masterpiece, but modified to comply with rules for racing in the American series.
A restrictor plate means that the 458 Italia Grand Am extracts just 500 hp from its 4.5-liter V-8 engine, down from 562 in the standard road car. The engine redlines at just 8000 rpm, compared to 9000 rpm in the normal car. Grand Am regulations also mean the racer is less aerodynamic than the road version.
The Grand Am-spec 458 also features a revised braking system without ABS or traction control, and wears Continental tires. A new roll cage will protect the drivers from collisions which Ferrari claims are “rather more frequent” in Grand Am racing than European series.
Ferrari took the 458 Italia Grand Am for shakedown laps on its Fiorano test track, with company test drivers Maurizio Mediani and Jaime Melo at the helm. The company said the car completed multiple laps with no problems. We look forward to seeing the 458 Italia -- and hearing its high-pitched Ferrari wail -- in next year’s Grand Am championship.