2003 Ferrari 360 Challenge
- Road registered in Italy and benefitting from a plethora of thoughtful modifications increasing its road-worthiness.
- A purpose-built Ferrari competition car built in Maranello
- Raced by Nina Jerančič in the 2004, ’05 and ’06 Italian Ferrari Challenge championships
- Eligible for the Challenge & GT Days, Ferrari Club Racing Days and the AMOC GT Challenge
- Chassis no. ZFFYR51B000135782
- Registration: Italian – Libretto
- Vehicle Location: Italy
What is it?
It’s a Ferrari 360 Challenge, a car that unlike its F355 predecessor, was a thoroughbred racer born at the factory in Maranello. Conceived to contest the immensely popular Ferrari Challenge, a one-make racing series held on the world’s greatest circuits for the brand’s loyal clients, the 360 Challenge was a pared-back, tuned-up, track-focused version of the road-going Modena.
Gone were the supple leather and creature comforts of the road car’s cabin, replaced instead with a single bucket seat, blank carbon-fibre door cards, a full roll cage and a simple digital instrument panel behind the suede-trimmed steering wheel. Couple this with an engine cover and side windows made from featherlight Lexan, and you had a car which tipped the scales a considerable 115kg less than the ‘standard’ Modena.
The 3.6-litre V8 engine was fitted with titanium conrods and allowed to breathe through a straight-through competition exhaust, raising the power to 410bhp at 8,500rpm and the volume from loud to borderline antisocial. The six-speed paddle-actuated gearbox’s oil cooler was upgraded, as was the clutch – 3.9sec was Ferrari’s claimed 0–62mph time, which was 0.6sec quicker than the road car, an age in motorsport speak. Naturally, the chassis was stiffened and Brembo supplied more powerful brakes to cope with the increased racetrack loads.
In comparison to its serious modifications beneath the surface, the 360’s sleek and sensuous Pininfarina-designed body remained largely unchanged.
Could you tell us about this 360 Challenge’s competition history?
After this Rosso Corsa 360 Challenge left the factory in December of 2003 and was delivered via the Ferrari dealer Ineco Auto S.p.A. in Bolzano, Italy, it was entered in the 2004 Ferrari Challenge Inter Coppa Shell Championship. It was driven by Nina Jerančič, the 26-year-old multiple karting champion and Porsche Supercup veteran from Russia. Graduating to the Ferrari Challenge, Jerančič entered the Monza, Mugello, Misano and Vallelunga rounds in 2004, in addition to the Ferrari Finali Mondiali at Monza.
Her results continued to improve throughout the following season, during which she often finished just off the podium and an impressive sixth overall in the Trofeo Pirelli Endurance Coppa Shell Championship at the end of the year. For her final campaign with this Ferrari 360 Challenge in 2006, Jerančic scored podium finishes at both the Misano and Mugello rounds. These trophy-winning outings were enough to earn her fourth place in the championship. Jerančic’s competition history with this car is comprehensively documents and we have a wealth of imagery on file which accompanies the car.
What’s so special about this particular 360 Challenge today?
This car’s previous owner adored the Ferrari 360 Challenge Stradale (the road-going version of the racing variant of the road car) but yearned for something a little sharper and more hardcore while retaining that car’s on-the-road useability. He acquired this 360 Challenge and set about road-registering it in Italy and making a plethora of thoughtful changes to enhance the racing car’s road-worthiness.
The chassis was slightly softened without compromising its strength or poise, a fire-extinguisher system was installed, and the rapid refuelling system has been replaced with more conventional motorsport-derived fuel filler caps.
After the entire interior was repainted, including the roll bar and footrests, the large racing bucket seats were reupholstered in 3D technical fabric and striking blue Alcantara with beautiful red stitching, a nod to the blue fabric seats in competition versions of the Ferrari 250 back in the 1960s. In what we think is a really nice touch, the car’s owner’s handbook has been trimmed in the same blue Alcantara and stitching. Oh, and did we mention the ignition key has been set in a 3D-printed silhouette of the 360.
Creature comforts which we take for granted in regular cars but would be noticeably absent while on the road were tastefully integrated, where possible with original OEM parts. An easily legible analogue fuel gauge was installed in the carbon-fibre central tunnel between the seats, along with a hazard light button and a USB charging port. There’s a proper hydraulic handbrake now, as well as air-conditioning and netted storage pockets. And a button has been added to the removeable steering wheel to scroll through the various pages on the digital dashboard ahead of the driver.
Finally, a full mechanical service was carried out, which included the replacement of the timing belts and all fluids, and the fitment new Bridgestone tyres.
What is this car like to drive?
Theatrical. And isn’t that exactly what a Ferrari should be? The simple process of swinging open that featherlight door, clambering into those big shoulder-hugging bucket seats and gripping the suede-trimmed steering wheel is sensory overload. And that’s before you’ve thumbed the ignition button, waking the V8 from its slumber with a purposeful growl.
On the move this Ferrari is raw and so alive, communicating an awful lot through the steering wheel and bottom of the seat. It’s not going to fool anyone as a road car, but the modifications made, especially with regards to the cabin, do make this 360 feel approachable and genuinely useable. Panic-inducing rattles and squeaks are mercifully absent. And it’s obedient and docile at low speeds.
The performance is breath taking. Okay, so it’s not as fast in a straight line as an F8 Tributo. But the cacophony of engulfing, soul-stirring noise and extraordinary amount of feel through the steering wheel convinces you it is. And that pleasure is only enhanced when you reach the corners. Balance simply isn’t the word – and that’s on a twisting Italian country road. We can’t imagine how fun this car is on a racetrack…
Sell it to me in a sentence…
It’s a purebred Ferrari competition car which you can genuinely use and enjoy on the road – what more is there to say?
Price: €150,000 (EUR)
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