Finished second in class in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2010
Won its class and finished second overall in the 24 Hours of Nürburgring in 2010
Campaigned in the complete 2010 Le Mans Series by Hankook Team Farnbacher
The first of only 10 wide-body F430 GTCs, developed by Michelotto in conjunction with Ferrari specifically for 24-hour races
One of only 24 Ferrari F430 GTCs hand-built by Michelotto, boasting single private ownership from new
Highly eligible for Ferrari’s exclusive Club Competizione GT series, the Global Endurance Legends and Masters Endurance Legends championships, and the popular Challenge & GT Days
Accompanied by its original Nürburgring specially-developed body panels, period race suit, its VLN logbook, ACO certificate and a set of spare wheels
Chassis no. F131EVOGTC 2630
Engine no. F136 GT 075
The 308 GTB Group IV, GTO Evoluzione, F40 LM and F333SP. The common denominator in these hallowed competition Ferraris? They were all built by Michelotto Automobili in Padova.
Given the calibre of the aforementioned Prancing Horses, it’s surprising that Michelotto is, in the grand scheme of things, a largely lesser-known entity. But for those who do understand the extent to which the outfit is woven into the fabric of Ferrari’s motorsport success, said mystery is all part of the magic.
In recent years, Michelotto has – in collaboration with the factory’s Corse Clienti department – exclusively built Ferrari’s eight-cylinder contenders in motorsport’s GT categories. And among the most successful was this: the F430 GTC.
Sharper and sportier than the 360 Modena it replaced, the road-going F430 was the first V8 Ferrari to genuinely encompass the marque’s Formula 1-derived electronic technology. Suffice to say, it didn’t just look fast – thanks to the complex electronic differential, mannetino-controlled driving modes and aerodynamics honed in the Formula 1 team’s wind tunnel, the F430 really did move the performance game on in the supercar segment.
Amusingly, to satisfy the regulations for international GT racing, the F430 GTC’s V8 engine was actually slightly smaller than that found in the road car. But the competition version was subject to a crash diet, fitted with a six-speed sequential transmission and shod with sticky slick tyres. It was an entirely different beast, and a monstrously fast one at that.
Between the American Le Mans Series, the European Le Mans Series and the global FIA GT Championship, the F430 won a great number of accolades, most notably two FIA GT Manufacturers’ Cups, three FIA GT Drivers’ titles, a American Le Mans Series GT2 constructors’ championship and, perhaps most importantly, GT2 class victories in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2008 and 2009.
“The competition version of the F430 was an entirely different beast to the road car, and a monstrously fast one at that.”
Michelotto built just 24 F430 GTCs, which differed subtly to their GT predecessors in that they featured eight-butterfly fuel injection rather than twin- and a slightly tweaked aero package. Assigned with a traditional factory Ferrari four-digit competition car number, chassis 2630 – the F430 GTC offered here – is one of those cars.
As the 2010 season of international GT racing dawned, there were few peaks in the world of endurance motorsport left to conquer for Michelotto and the F430 GTC. For all intents and purposes, Ferrari was at the peak of its endurance racing powers. There was one glaring omission from the car’s competition résumé, however, and that was the Nürburgring 24 Hours.
The fact wasn’t lost on the Prancing Horse, which gave Michelotto its blessing to extensively develop a special variant of the F430 GTC specifically for this race, in conjunction with a German racing outfit – a variant which would subsequently become known as the ‘wide-body’.
Only 10 F430 GTCs of the 24 produced were built or, more commonly, upgraded to this ‘wide-body’ specification, of which the example we’re thrilled to be offering – chassis number 2630 – was the very first, developed with the aforementioned German team. It is the prototype, if you will.
Held annually on the infamous ‘Green Hell’ since 1970, the Nürburgring 24 Hours is a true war of attrition. It is an endurance marathon that, owing to rulebook of the VLN racing series under which its run and the punishment inflicted by the agonisingly long and constantly undulating circuit, renders other long-distance races a walk in the park by comparison.
As such, the F430 GTC needed a few certain things added. Wider tyres, for starters, but also wider and more downforce-generating body panels constructed entirely from much stronger and durable carbon-fibre. To the untrained eye, the most easy-to-spot identifying features of the ‘wide-body’ F430s are the considerable extra width of tyre visible at the rear and the small carbon-fibre wheel-arch extenders on each corner.
Suffice to say, the success of chassis number 2630 gave Ferrari and Michelotto the confidence to apply the ‘wide-body’ upgrades to a select few cars entered in endurance races held across the globe.
In 2010, the car was acquired by the German Farnbacher Racing outfit, which had been a staple of the one-make Porsche Carrera Cup since the 1990s. The Farnbacher team secured a lucrative title sponsorship deal with the major tyre manufacturer Hankook in 2009, which would help fund assaults on the Automobile Club l’Ouest’s European and inaugural Asian Le Mans Series’. Remarkably, drivers Dominik Farnbacher (the co-owner of the team and a Daytona 24 Hours class winner) and the late Dane Allan Simonsen won the latter after a stunning drive in the 1,000KM of Okayama.
This Ferrari was campaigned in the 2010 Le Mans Series (including the 24 Hours of Le Mans) and the Nürburgring 24 Hours. Farnbacher and Simonsen would contest the shorter 1,000km races, while Leh Keen and Marco Seefried would join them for the two 24-hour affairs.
Finished in a striking white, orange, grey and back livery which utilised the corporate colours of Hankook Tyres, chassis 2630’s maiden competitive outing came in the 8 Hours of Castellet at the Circuit Paul Ricard in April, followed up by the 1,000KM of Spa in May. It was in June, however, that this ‘wide-body’ F430 GTC would face the ultimate challenge: the 38th Nürburgring 24 Hours. It was to be the first time a Ferrari had entered the history-steeped German event.
An astonishing 220,000 spectators turned out to witness the 199 entries – ranging from Works-backed Porsches, BMWs and Audis to privateer BMW 1 Series and Renault Clios – vie for glory on the infamous 16-mile circuit.
Right off the bat, the exquisitely turned out Ferrari of Hankook Farnbacher Racing showed tremendous pace. In Thursday evening’s qualifying session held in treacherously wet and foggy conditions, Farnbacher, Simonsen, Keen and Siefreed set the fastest lap time, some six seconds quicker than the Works-backed Manthey Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid. Six!
“The Hankook Farnbacher Racing entry finished second overall – a result that pleased Michelotto and the Prancing Horse itself immeasurably.”
Less than a month after its success at the ‘Green Hell’, chassis 2630 was subjected to another brutal endurance challenge: the 24 Hours of Le Mans – or, in other words, the most famous sports-car race of them all. Farnbacher, Simonsen and Keen picked up at the Circuit de la Sarthe right where they left off at the Nürburgring, driving deftly, maturely and consistently to remain in the mix throughout. After 24 hours of hard-fought racing, the German outfit scored an incredible second in class.
Strategy played a major role in the achievement, especially that concerning the tyres. Farnbacher’s title sponsor Hankook supplied over 400 tyres to the team throughout the weekend, advising on which tread compounds would work best with each set-up or for the wildly differing track conditions encountered throughout a 24-hour race. In order to maximise the balance of the F430, the front tyres were actually of a softer compound than the rears.
Chassis 2630 contested the three remaining 1,000km races in the 2010 Le Mans Series at Portimao, the Hungaroring and Silverstone. While Farnbacher and Simonsen did drive this Ferrari in the Le Mans Series Official Test Day the following year in 2011, even setting the quickest time in the newly-formed GTE Pro category, the German team subsequently campaigned the new 458 Italia GT2 in the championship proper.
Unlike most of its Michelotto-built contemporaries, which continued racing for multiple seasons, often under differing banners and in different series around the world, this Ferrari F430 GTC was honourably retired at the end of 2010 after a single year of competition. A year which garnered two incredible results in two of the most famous and challenging endurance motor races on the planet.
“In the 12 years since chassis 2630 was retired, it has, remarkably, remained in the Farnbacher family and, crucially, never been rebuilt or restored.”
In the 12 years since, chassis 2630 has, remarkably, remained in the Farnbacher family and, crucially, has never been rebuilt or restored. For all accounts and purposes, this GTC is exactly as it left the racetrack in period. And this astonishing originality is one of the myriad reasons this car stands out above the rest.
Following a comprehensive inspection by Cristiano Michelotto, this Ferrari will be sold accompanied by its original specially-developed Nürburgring body panels, Automobile Club l’Ouest certificate, VLN logbook, homologation papers pertaining to the VLN-specific parts, a set of spare wheels and even one of Dominik Farnbacher’s race-worn Hankook-sponsored suits.
The explosion of interest in modern-era endurance racing cars has been perhaps the most marked shift in the collector-car market in the last five years. And this F430 GTC is a fantastic car with which to capitalise on and join this burgeoning movement. Chassis 2630’s prominence in the international Le Mans Series, not to mention its podium finishes in both the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Nürburgring 24 Hours, make it highly eligible for a raft of new and emerging events around the world.
In addition to the prospering Endurance Legends series’ from both Masters and Peter Auto (the latter of which, of course, includes the Le Mans Classic), taking place at circuits across the globe, Ferrari’s own Club Competizione GT, part of its highly exclusive Corse Clienti programme, is another arena in which the joys of this F430 GTC could be enjoyed.
Furthermore, in recent years the Challenge & GT Days at the Red Bull Ring, which are held specifically for modern-era endurance-racing Ferraris and Maseratis, has proven to be a hit among owners, who enjoy the event’s private, relaxed and non-competitive nature.
A purebred and highly-original Michelotto-built Ferrari GT racer with successful competition pedigree at two of the world’s greatest 24-hour endurance races and single-family ownership since 2010, this late-production ‘wide-body’ F430 GTC is a choice for the discerning collector and keen historic racer looking to join one of the most exciting and fast-growing movements in the historic motorsport world.
Price Upon Application
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