The last of the modern-day, V12-engined Ferrari GT cars, the 575M GTC harked back to the heyday of traditional 1950s and ’60s Grand Touring machines that were developed into a dominant race cars.
Enzo Ferrari’s large-capacity, front-engined machines cleaned up in international competition, winning all the sportscar racing classics, including the Le Mans 24 Hours, the Sebring 12 Hours, the Mille Miglia and the Targa Florio.
Soon after Ferrari quit the endurance-racing scene at the end of 1973 with the Competizione Daytona to concentrate on its struggling Formula 1 fortunes, it was privateer teams who picked up the baton and ran with it, continuing to campaign the famous ‘red cars’ in national and international events from that moment on.
By the 1990s GT Endurance racing had reached a peak with the BPR series and then FIA GT. Coincidentally Ferrari had also released their first front engined V12 GT since the fabled Daytona with the 550 Maranello. With widespread acclaim for the 550 and the success of the FIA GT series the connection was too much and so a group of privateers working with English team Prodrive developed a 550 Race Car.
The 550 race cars, dubbed 550 GTS, were produced by British firm Prodrive largely in secret from the factory. The cars’ success in the FIA GT Championship, a global series created with the blessing of motorsport’s governing body, spawned a huge amount of interest. When the car won the super-competitive GT class at Le Mans in 2003, that interest only increased. Ferrari had now taken notice and would launch the 575 GTC program producing the first factory sanctioned V12 GT race car in over 30 years.
Ferrari subcontracted the Fiat Group’s long-time competition partner N-Technology, founded by Mauro Sipsz and Monica Bregoli, to build just a dozen cars.
Featuring increased capacity, to 5,997cc, thanks to a longer stroke, new camshafts and uprated fuel injection in the V12 powerplant, the 575M GTC represented the most up-to-date and powerful incarnation of a legendary breed of Ferrari competition cars.
CHASSIS 2220 – A BRIEF HISTORY OF A FABLED FERRARI
Chassis number 2220 was the 10th in what was a production run of just 12 575 Maranello GTCs built by N-Technology. It also one of just four cars upgraded to 575 GTC EVO specification at eye watering cost. It first appeared on track for the official FIA GT Championship test at the mid-point of the 2004 season at the legendary Spa-Francorchamps circuit.
Run by the GPC Giesse Squadra Corse team the car was quick out of box setting the fastest time during the test at the home of the Belgian Grand Prix and 24-hour endurance classic, with former Grand Prix driver Mika Salo at the wheel, no mean feat against the might of GT1 cars present. The Finn, who would win two FIA GT Championship races later that year in an AF Corse Maserati MC12, shared the car with Italian Ferrari “Works” driver Fabio Babini.
Still yet to take part in full-blown competition, the car appeared at the pre-season FIA GT test at Monza in March 2005, this time run by former F1 racer Loris Kessel’s eponymous team. Spaniard Jaime Melo was on duty that day at the historic Italian venue and set the fifth fastest time.
Back in the hands of GPC, chassis 2220 was duly entered for its first race a few weeks later at Imola, round one of the 2005 Italian GT Championship. The death of Pope John Paul II meant the race was cancelled after qualifying, so the car’s first track appearance was postponed.
The second round took place at Misano, with Italians Stefano Livio and Fabio Santaniello finally able to give chassis 2220 its competition debut. They finished fourth and sixth in the two races, taking fourth overall in the final, aggregate result.
GPC entered the car in six more Italian GT Championship races that year – at Vallelunga, Monza, Hungaroring, Magione, Mugello and, for the final time, Vallelunga once more, with Livio and Santaniello securing their best result of the year in Hungary courtesy of a third-place finish.
Before that breakthrough podium finish at the Hungaroring, the car once again took part in the traditional FIA GT test at Spa. Although still under the GPC banner, three different drivers – Belgian trio Loic Deman, Stéphane Lémeret and Frédéric Bouvy – were on driving duty. They ended the weekend with the seventh fastest time, with the sister 575M GTC taking 14th on the timesheets.
The car’s motorsport pedigree ramped up with its maiden international appearance in November 2005, when GPC entered it into the penultimate round of the FIA GT Championship in Dubai. The car, now driven by Andrea Montermini and Marco Cioci, qualified eighth, one place behind the sister car, driven by Jean-Denis Deletraz and Andrea Piccini. Transmission failure put paid to the #3 machine’s efforts, although it would get another chance on the international stage one week later in the FIA GT season finale in Bahrain.
Montermini and Cioci qualified 11th in the desert and fought their way up to an impressive sixth place at the Sakhir track, home of the Bahrain Grand Prix.
With its racing career at an end, and the car having had no substantial accident or fire damage, it was subsequently sold into private hands by Corsa Clienti in March 2006. Subsequently #2220 made its way to the USA where it formed part of a major Ferrari collection and was seen at various events, including the 2010 Cavallino track event at Palm Beach International Raceway and an SVRA event at Sebring in 2007. Following a brief stint in Europe the car was acquired in 2017 by DK Engineering and was then subsequently sold to the current owner.
During the current ownership Ferrari 575M GTC chassis #2220 was shown at the 2017 Salon Prive Concours D ’Elegance before a comprehensive restoration was embarked upon in Collaboration with DK Engineering. The owner’s brief was to restore the car to its final racing livery and to undertake a mechanical race preparation program to a level not seen before in historic motorsport. As such no stone has been left unturned. The end goal of this project was to make the 575 GTC as competitive and reliable as possible for a Gentleman driver in historic motorsport. The cars 6 Litre V12 has been totally rebuilt by world renowned specialists “Judd Power”. During the rebuild steps have been taken to mitigate against a number of known weaknesses in the engine and the whole system now runs on MOTEC engine management which gives far greater usability and reliability today than the original Magnetti Morelli system, this modification has also enabled us to fit a paddle shift system to the car as well as a superior control systems to those originally fitted. All of which is approved and accepted by Peter Auto and Masters Historic Racing. The gearbox has been totally rebuilt by original manufacturer X-Trac and the car’s suspension has been rebuilt with an optimized set up on a state of the art Chassis dyno. This restoration has been completed in 2019 and the car could not be in better shape for the 2020 race season, which of course includes the first ever race for cars of this type at Le Mans.
The exponential growth of both the “Masters Endurance Legends” and Peter Auto’s “Endurance Racing Legends” Series come as no surprise. This car should sit right at the top of either grid with GT1 Ferraris and Astons claiming the top step of the podium at every race in 2019.
Unlike any other GT1 car a 575 GTC is also eligible for Ferrari’s own highly prestigious series “Club Competizione GT” which in 2020 has 6 rounds across the world at Road Atlanta, Monza, Laguna Seca, Suzuka, Paul Ricard, and the Finali Mondiali in Abu Dhabi. Other events for which the car would be gladly invited include the Ferrari only Challenge and GT days at the Red Bull ring and Classic Daytona24 and Sebring Classic 12hours in Florida.
Ferrari only sanctioned 12 examples of it’s GT1 car the “575 GTC” – each one of those dozen cars is a significant piece of the Ferrari competition history. The Four cars upgraded to EVO specification stand above the others, and this example one of those four special cars, is a very unique proposition indeed. We do not believe there is another 575 GTC which has benefitted from this level of race preparation. This Classiche Certified 575 GTC EVO is a unique proposition and one which could not be better timed for its new custodian.