The Ferrari GT3 has gone down under and broken a lap record at Bathurst.
The titanic battle of the supercar is getting hotter as a Ferrari 458, in a GT3 version, smashed the famous Bathurst's Mount Panorma racetrack lap record by more than four seconds, running a time of 2:04.9 min. So far the lap record for GT3 cars was held by Audi R8. The Ferrari 458 GT3 was equipped with a tuned-up 4.5-liter V8 with an undisclosed output. Numerous aerodynamic improvements helped set the new lap record during its first test on Australian soil.
"This car is damn fast!" said Danish racing driver Allan Simonsen, who set the lap record. "Given this is our first test, it's certainly nice to break the lap record finally and we did it in style. From the first laps at Bathurst the car was very quick, given it has a great setup baseline from running in Europe this year so we knew we'd be able to work from where they'd left off." Simonsen has experienced the 458 in his international racing commitments, however he couldn't hide his thrill with the race package of the Maranello Motorsport entry: "The power and the chassis are so complementary and I'm feeling really comfortable in the car and with the team."
Having delivered the car just one week ago, the Maranello Motorsport team continues to develop and impress. The crew took only days to have the latest 458 locked and loaded, ready for its introduction to Australia and the country's racing mecca, the place they call 'The Mountain.' Impressing straight out of the box, the 458's opening laps of the 6.2km circuit edged close to record times. "The 458 is a great car. It's worth the wait and really is amazing how the time we spent at the factory with Michelotto has paid off with the car so quick and stable so quickly," said Mark Coffey Maranello Managing Director.
"It's terrific to not need months to dial it in. There'd been a lot of people with stopwatches around the track and to now have confirmation of the new record during the team's first test is very exciting so we're looking forward to the GT3 cars will take part in the Bathhurst 12-hour race in February next year. "These new generation cars are all going to have a fast pace, and there's no doubt the (Bathurst) 12 Hour is going to be very fast and incredibly competitive," said Simonsen. "it's an event I'm definitely looking forward to on the calendar."