Ferrari Unveils 458 Italia Grand Am Racer

By Brandon Turkus

July 20, 2011

Ferrari already has several racing versions of its sublime 458 Italia. That hasn’t stopped the Maranello, Italy based manufacturer from launching one more for the American Grand Am racing series.
Called the 458 Italia Grand Am, Ferrari’s newest racing model isn’t quite the performance monster that is found in the FIA GT series. Thanks to a 48-millimeter restrictor plate, power is down to 500 horsepower, while a rev limiter cuts the maximum engine speed to 8000 rpm. A less aggressive aero kit and some Grand Am-spec safety equipment round out the differences.
Ferrari completed 45 laps at the Fiorano circuit without incident. Look for the 458 Italia Grand Am to be battling it out with arch-nemesis Porsche in the near future.
Please scroll down for the official press release from Ferrari.
The 458 Italian Grand Am launched at Fiorano circuit
Maranello, 18 July – the 458 Italia Grand Am was given its track baptism today at the Fiorano circuit. The car has been developed in conjunction with Michelotto Automobili, based on the GT3 version of the V8 Ferrari berlinetta, with the aim of racing in the famous North American series.
The 458 Grand Am is built to match the American regulations and is therefore different to the European car, especially in that it develops 500 horsepower and has less efficient aerodynamics than the GT version. It is also fitted with a 48 mm restrictor and maximum revs are 8000. Significant modifications have been made to the braking system, as the car has neither ABS nor traction control. Other differences to the GT3 include the roll-over bar which gives greater lateral protection to increase safety in a series in which collisions are rather more frequent. The car is fitted with tyres from Continental, the sole supplier to the series, featuring a very hard compound, again to conform with the series regulations. On its shakedown today, it completed a good number of trouble-free laps, 45 to be precise in the hands of Maurizio Mediani and Jaime Melo, as they took turns at the wheel.