Ferrari F40 GTE for Adelaide Motorsport Festival

By: Dave Carey, Unique Cars magazine

One of just seven ever made is to join in the massive motorsport party.

Ferrari F40 GTE for Adelaide Motorsport Festival
Rare hotted-up F40 is a good enough excuse to get there.

The Adelaide Motorsport Festival is fast living up to its claim to being the Goodwood of the Southern Hemisphere, with one of just seven Ferrari GTEs ever put together heading to the event.

Come 17 November, the famous Victoria Park complex will again vibrate to the shrill turbo wooshes of those bygone racers. So too it will thunder to the sonorous sounds of the Historic Touring Cars and rattle to the banshee wail of the 'killer' Group B rally beasts.

But perhaps the most intriguing car to be unleashed on Adelaide is an ultra-rare F40 GTE.

Ferrari's F40 is among the most revered of road cars; built to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the marque and the last model completed under the watchful eye of Enzo himself.

Spitting raw fuel from their exhausts while idling and having an interior so basic, door release handles were just ropes, the F40 was amongst the last of the truly recalcitrant supercars. Yet strangely, the F40 was never intended for the race track. Of course, that stopped nobody and racing versions were gradually introduced, first the F40 LM followed by the F40 GTE.

Only seven GTE versions were built by Ferrari tuners Michelotto, who put the far-from-portly F40 on a diet of lightweight body panels and Perspex windows.

Overall, weight dropped over 200kg to a measly 1100kgs, despite extra chassis reinforcement and bracing beyond that fitted to the preceding LM version.

The F40's already purposeful haunches were resized to swallow the enormous 18 inch high and 13 inch wide centre-lock alloy wheels. Downforce is handled by a splitter at the front and an adjustable rear wing.

Large sway bars were installed and the front end redesigned with Koni dampers; the overall stance low and purposeful, the GTE made a standard F40 look a bit Subaru Brumbyish in comparison.

Naturally, Michelotto upped the power delivery, revising intercoolers and camshafts, plugging in an all-new Weber Marelli ECU and installing some boost; around 38psi by all accounts, resulting in a handy increase over the stock F40; from 471hp to around 850hp with the restrictors removed!

The Adelaide-bound F40 GTE is owned by an Australian collector and is understood to have no competition history; a fact both surprising and intriguing given its nature. Part of a private collection for many years, the F40 GTE has been recently recommissioned specifically to shake Adelaide’s streets.

It will hit the track only once over the weekend, driven by V8 Supercars Dunlop Series driver Josh Kean as a part of Sunday’s Ferrari Spettacolo Session.

The display and demonstration of such a rare, desirable and beautiful car as the Ferrari F40 GTE is proof that the 2016 Adelaide Motorsport Festival is not to be missed; the annual event appears well on the way to rivalling similar celebrations north of the equator.



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