Vicious Rumour Racing has taken delivery of the first Ferrari 488 GT3 to arrive in Australia.
It comes ahead of the car’s global competition debut in the second round of the CAMS Australian GT Championship at the 2016 Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix, the same weekend Scuderia Corsa will debut its 488 GT3 in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.
The car received by Vicious Rumour Racing was the second off the Maranello production line and completed a trouble-free shakedown at Ferrari’s private test track at Fiorano prior to being shipped to Australia.
According to team owner Tony Defelice, the 488 GT3 marks a step forward in every area over the 458 GT3.
“The Ferrari 488 GT3 is a purpose built race car,” said Defelice. “It takes the lessons of the 458 GT3 and improves in every aspect.
“It’s a purpose built GT3 car where the 458 was a road car that had a couple of upgrades to make it a GT3 car. It had some limitations because of that, which the 488 doesn’t have.”
Earlier this month members from the team travelled to Italy while Ferrari will send technicians to assist the team over the course of the Grand Prix weekend.
Defelice in particular is excited to see how the car performs, though won’t be getting behind the wheel himself until later in the season.
“The Australian GT Championship hasn’t raced at Albert Park for a number of years,” Defelice said of his decision to debut the car at the second round of the championship.
“With the development in GT racing everyone heads there with an almost clean slate, putting us on equal footing with the other teams.
“From there we’re working out our program. We need to make it work with not only what we want to do but also what Andrea (Montermini) is doing too, since his experience is a vital part of our team.”
Former Formula One driver Andrea Montermini will race the Vicious Rumour Racing entry alongside Benny Simonsen at Albert Park, the pair having teamed up alongside Defelice and Ronarto Loberto at the 2016 Liqui Moly Bathurst 12 Hour where they finished fourth in class.
Defelice plans a limited program in the 2016 CAMS Australian GT Championship before building on the experience for the 2017 season.