Ferrari is aiming to have a significant presence with its new 296 GT3 in the pro classes of GT3 racing next year in order to “showcase” the new V6-powered sports car according to its director of GT sporting activities.
Unveiled during last month’s TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa, the car will make its competition debut in January’s Rolex 24 at Daytona, with at least one expected GTD Pro entry.
“It’s difficult to be sure but I hope five or six cars [at Daytona],” Coletta said. “If we have more, I would be very happy.
“I believe that we will see the Risi car in Pro. I don’t know if AF Corse will be in Pro, but for sure in [GTD]. Now it’s early. I think we need to see in the next months.”
Coletta, who confirmed that Risi has placed an order for a car, is hoping the Houston-based team could mount a full-season IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship program.
The longtime Ferrari entrant is contesting only the four Michelin Endurance Cup races this year with its Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020.
“It’s very important,” Coletta said on having a full-season GTD Pro entry in IMSA.
“My target is to have a Pro car in each most important championship in the world. But it’s not easy and we are involved in many, many projects next year.
“The [biggest] focus will be LMH and probably [IGTC] with the 296 GT3 but in any case the target of Ferrari will be to have the Pro car in the U.S. because it’s the most important market for Ferrari.
“Next year I hope to have 4-5 [full season] cars in IMSA. Probably one of Risi and three in [GTD]. I hope Risi will be full season but we need to ask to Risi.”
When asked about pro entries in other eligible series such as Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli and Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS, Coletta stressed the importance to showcase the car with all-pro lineups.
“I hope that with our car we will cover all of the continents,” he said. “The race that will be very difficult to cover will be Bathurst.
“It’s the first of the season and I don’t know if we will have a new car for this race. Honestly I think that will be difficult.
“After that, I’m sure we will cover all the most important championships.
“We’ve received many, many interests about this car. I think it will be not difficult to see in the future [at least] one 296.
“I think that Ferrari needs to have the cars in the Pro category. Next year will be very important as our needs is to demonstrate that this car can win races.”
Ferrari Drivers to be Spread Between LMH, GT3 Activities
Coletta said he envisions that the Italian manufacturer’s lineup of Hypercar class drivers that will compete in FIA World Endurance Championship next year will also be racing the 296 GT3 in various GT championships.
It means that Ferrari is unlikely to add any significant number of factory drivers to its roster.
“We have an important number of drivers,” he said. “Our drivers are a part of our family and for me it’s very important to maintain [the lineup].
“A part of them will be in the LMH but not just LMH. I hope that a part of them will be in LMH and in GT3. We need to understand where and when but this is our idea.
“It’s like the same now with GTE. The same lineup is [at Spa] with the GT3 or in other championships around the world.
“The LMH is an important program, more important than GT3 but honestly it’s only seven races, it’s not 20 [races].”