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Ferrari F40 GT/LM

The Most Winning F40 Extant

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An Overview

Chassis #80742 is one of the most iconic and successful F40s in existence. In July 1989 this F40 left Maranello and was delivered to Vittorio Colombo in Milan as a very early "lightweight" specification Non-Cat road car. In 1991 the car was subsequently sold to Roberto Angiolino. Between 1991 and 1992 the car was converted by Michelotto in Padua, Italy, to CSAI–GT specifications in readiness for the forthcoming 1993 Italian GT Championship.

#80742 was raced with great success sporting four different liveries. During its racing life it was continuously upgraded and ultimately evolved into the "LM" specification it is in today.

Michelotto CSAI-GT Conversion

Not long after the F40's official début at a July, 1987 press conference in Maranello, discussions of a special competition-prepared version emerged, and the necessary tuning and modifications were entrusted to Giuliano Michelotto, whose work on the Lancia Stratos rally cars and the Ferrari 308 IMSA cars had earned him due praise. Michelotto's conversions of several stock F40 examples into so-called F40 CSAI-GT specifi cations were then sold by the factory to privateer racers. The GT modifications, which employed an even lighter body by the renowned restorer Dino Cognolato, proved to be a forerunner to more purpose-built racing versions, such as the F40 LM and the F40 LM Evolution.

There were only 7 F40 CSAI-GTs built by Michelotto in Padua, Italy; #80742 being one of them. Each boasted a 590bhp engine, larger brakes from the F40 LM, a lighter body to bring weight down to 1050kg, Perspex sliding windows, Rose-jointed suspension and adjustable anti-roll bars. The undertray was modified, too, and there were extra cooling ducts, while the ride height was dropped by 5cm, wider Speedline wheels were fitted and there was an uprated gearbox. Completing the specification were a quick-fill fuel system, hydraulic quick-lift jacks and LM wishbones.

Jolly Club

F40 GT s/n 80742 was sponsored by the Jolly Club, who has sponsored Ferraris from the 1950s through the 1990s on behalf of the Jolly Hotel chain in Italy, owned by the Figli fabric empire which was founded by Count Gaetano Marzotto, Patriarch and father of the very successful racing brothers Paolo and Gianni Marzotto. Indeed, Jolly's Ferrari sponsorship dates back to the 166 Inter Spider Corsa 0121.

F40 GT s/n 80742 has a truly impressive race history, and is the only F40 race car to not only win an FIA Championship, but to also truly dominate that Championship. For 1993 no other car came close to this distinctively liveried Ferrari winning eight out of the nine rounds overall.

1993 - Italian GT Championship Series - Shell Oil Sponsorship / Jolly Club

In the opening round of the season, at Monza on 28 March (pictured above), Marco Brand dominated in 80742. He finished 16 seconds clear of Vincenzo Bianchi's Jaguar XJ220, and followed that with another victory in round two at Magione. Brand failed to finish at Vallelunga on 16 May, but that was the last time he was beaten in 1993. He won his last six races to claim the title in thoroughly dominant fashion, finishing with a total of 94 points. His nearest rival, Oscar Larrauri, could amass only 63. The result means that 80742 is the only F40 to win an FIA championship, giving it an unrivalled racing pedigree.

1994 - Italian GT Championship Series - Totip Sponsorship / Jolly Club

Jolly Club again raced this F40 GT again in the 1994 season with Federico D′Amore and Oscar Larrauri sharing the driving in the first three of the two-segment race formats used this season and Larrauri scoring three consecutive wins with it. Later in the season it was taken over by Mauro Trione who drove it to a win, four seconds and a fi fth place. The championship was won by Vittorio Colombo, although #80742 won overall over the shared-drives throughout the season; it was again the most winning car of the season.

#80742 - Upgraded to "LM" Specification

Having already been converted to CSAI-GT form by Michelotto in 1993, 80742 was further developed in late '94 to an LM specification to suit the Japanese Super GT Championship where it was to be campaigned by Team Taisan - a front-running outfit that had been formed in 1984 and which had previously won the Japanese Sports Car Championship three years in a row.

The work meant that #80742 received a special long life de-restricted more powerful engine built by and supplied by Michelotto (#009 as pictured) that was married to an LM "Dog–Ring" gearbox, Brembo 380 brakes, HKS Piro suspension and 18in Oz wheels.

1994/95 - Japan Grand Touring Championship - Taisan Sponsorship / Jolly Club

Team Taisan gave 80742 its Japanese debut at the final round of the 1994 domestic GT Championship, the Mine 300km, where it was driven by Keiichi Suzuki and Hideshi Matsuda to eighth overall. The race was won by Team Taisan's other F40, which had competed in the series all year, while its Porsche 962C finished third. For 1995, Taisan again ran the two F40s alongside a BMW M3 and a brace of Porsche 911s. Masahiko Kondou and Anthony Reid shared 80742 at the season-opening Suzuka 300km, finishing 11th.

For the next race at Fuji, Reid drove solo but was forced to retire when a wheel parted company with the Ferrari. Neither of the Taisan F40s was entered for round three at Sendai, but 80742 reappeared at Fuji for round four. Driven by Tetsuya Ota and Oscar Larrauri, it streaked into an early lead before being penalised for overtaking under a yellow flag; it was eventually forced to retire with clutch problems. After missing the Sugo race, 80742 made its final JGTC appearance at the season-closing Mine 250km, where sadly Ota and Larrauri again failed to finish. Nonetheless, Team Taisan had done enough to secure the championship.