Ferrari’s 296 GT3 set to make 24H SERIES debut at Monza

News | June 4, 2023

Ferrari’s new 296 GT3 will contest its first 24H SERIES powered by Hankook event at the 2023 Hankook 12H MONZA with Kessel Racing.


Words – James Gent

Images – Kessel Racing

Kessel Racing has confirmed that it will make its first competitive start of the season with its new 296 GT3 at the Hankook 12H MONZA. 


The Swiss team, a long-time Ferrari customer, has already contested this year’s 24H SERIES European season opener at Mugello with the outgoing 488 GT3, securing 14th overall and 6th in the GT3 class despite a heavy shunt against the Correntaio tyre barriers. The Hankook 12H MONZA though will mark the first series outing for Ferrari’s brand-new GT3 flagship. 

Unveiled last July after three years of development, the new 296 GT3 shares close ties with its road-going counterpart, the 296 GTB, albeit with some key distinctions. The GT3 for example utilizes the same 3-litre twin-turbo V6 at the heart of the GTB roadcar – as indeed does Ferrari’s 499 Hypercar – which features one of the highest-specific outputs of any production roadcar (218bhp per litre). In-keeping with GT3 regulations though, the GTB’s hybrid system has been ditched, and power and torque have both been detuned from 819bhp and 740Nm respectively to “around 600bhp” and “around 710Nm,” in accordance with Balance of Performance. 


The V6 itself has been mounted further forward and lower down on the GT3 than on the roadcar to reduce the car’s centre of gravity and increase torsional rigidity over the outgoing 488 GT3 by 10 per cent. The turbochargers remain mounted inside the engine’s ‘hot vee’ configuration for more compact packaging (an aerodynamic aid), which in turn also keeps the engine mass low without sacrificing performance.


The eight-speed automatic gearbox on the GTB has similarly been ditched in favour of a single-clutch, six-speed sequential Xtrac gearbox, designed specifically for GT3 competition and mounted transversely for improved aerodynamics and weight distribution. 

The aluminium chassis is all-new, and as well as dropping the GT3’s overall kerb weight to 1,250kg – some 220kg down on the GTB roadcar – the longer wheelbase should help stability through the turns. Working in tandem with new double wishbone suspension front and rear, which offers a wider window for adjustment, the new chassis also helps maximize tyre grip while simultaneously limited stress on the compound, increasing tyre life as a result. Wheel sizes have dropped from 20-inch on the roadcar to 18-inch on the GT3.


Above the chassis is new bodywork designed in-house by Centro Stile, inspired partly by the “perfect combination of simplicity and functionality” used for Ferrari’s 250 LM in 1963. The most notable aerodynamic features include the new ‘swan-neck’ mounted rear wing, front splitter, vents in the front wing, and the refurbished diffuser, which reduces drag while increasing downforce by 20 per cent over the 488. Significantly, the new bodywork is now easier to remove – as front, central and rear sections – and thus maintain by customer teams.

Following feedback from customers and factory drivers (a key proponent of the GT3 development was improved drivability for PRO and ‘gentlemen’ drivers alike during sprint and endurance races), the cockpit has been completely redesigned with an eye firmly on driver comfort. Adjustable pedals and steering column allow drivers “of different sizes and statures” to find the best driving position, integrating the top part of the roll cage into the roof means the cockpit is roomier, and a Formula 1-inspired steering wheel makes more setup controls easier to-hand. The controls are also more thoroughly backlit to make night stints easier.


Though the 296 GT3 has yet to make an official start in the 24H SERIES, four examples made their competitive debuts earlier this year at the Daytona 24 Hours, with the highest placed of those – Triarsi Competizione – finishing 10th in the GTD class.  


Interestingly, the Hankook 12H MONZA marks the second consecutive event at which a brand-new GT3 car has made its 24H SERIES debut. In May, Modena Motorsports and Herberth Motorsport both entered new, 992-generation Porsche GT3 Rs at the Hankook 12H SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, with both going the distance to finish inside the top seven.

Technical specifications





Suspension (front and rear):




V6, twin-turbo, 2,992cc

“Around 600hp” @ 7,250rpm

“Around 710Nm” (524lb ft) @ 5,500rpm

Xtrac, six-speed sequential / e-clutch actuator with paddle

Double wishbone, tubular steel suspension arms, five-way adjustable dampers

400mm, six-piston (front); 332mm, four-piston (rear)

12.5 x 18in (front); 13 x 18in (rear)

1,250kg (no fuel, no driver)

You can also check out this article in our magazine for the 2023 Hankook 12H MONZA, available for digital download below.


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