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Ferrari's 430 Challenge debuts

 

Ferrari has taken the wraps of the racing-oriented Challenge version of the F430 at the Frankfurt Motor Show in Germany.

The car is intended to contest the 2006 Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli, joining the 360 Challenge next season and replaces it completely in 2007.

The F430 Challenge retains the same general look and 490bhp engine as the road-going version.

However, it also incorporates many track-oriented modifications and new features not seen in the car currently used in the series, the '360 Challenge'.

The 430's Formula 1-derived braking system uses carbon-ceramic material (CCM); a first for a Ferrari sports racing car.

The electronic gearbox is also F1-derived and works in exactly the same way as the one used in the Grand Prix car.

Through the use of a sinterised two-plate clutch and specific software, it also offers the same gearchanging times as the road-going F430 (150 milliseconds) in the much more extreme track conditions.

Fifth and sixth gear ratios have also been modified, as has the final drive ratio.

New 19-inch racing slick tyres were also developed specifically by Pirelli for the F430 Challenge.

The car weighs 1225kg; a weight achieved by a range of eight-reducing measures, including a Lexan windscreen and an all-carbon fibre intake plenum cover.

The E-Diff has been replaced by a mechanical differential and the EBD has been replaced with a mechanical system.

The stability and traction control is permanently disengaged and race settings have been maintained on the gearbox and engine management system, along with the ABS and ASR. The ASR can be deactivated by the driver.

The F430 Challenge's steering wheel has a quick release mechanism to make it easier for the driver to get into and out of the car.

The wheel is also equipped with buttons for radio contact with the pits, to set the pitlane speed and interface with the new colour digital instrument panel.

The rear of the car is characterised by a new exhaust system which has high central tailpipes, and by the modified grille which increases hot air extraction from the rear of the engine bay.

The anti-roll bars, springs and single-rate shocks have all been modified for racing. The centre-locking wheels make wheel changes faster as do the inbuilt pneumatic jacks.

The F430 racer comes in a year that has seen Ferrari consolidate its strong sales figures.

By the end of the year it will have delivered 5000 new cars to customers, compared to 4975 in 2004.



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