A close-up look at the Competizioni GT team, a group of perfectionists inside the Ferrari family
It's called 'the butterfly effect'. As Sci-Fi author, Douglas Adams, put it: “The flapping of the wings of a butterfly in China can influence the path of a hurricane in the Atlantic”. Even the slightest variation in original conditions can produce enormous changes in the long term. It's something of a defining concept for the Competizioni GT team, where attention to detail is everything. Some 20 staff cover various roles in a sporting activity that puts two competition cars - the 488 GTE and the 488 GT3 - in thirty championships all over the world. To the 24 World Constructor's titles (1953-1993, 2012 to the present day) won by Ferrari can be added numerous triumphs in international events such as the IMSA, the Le Mans Series, and the Blancpain Championships.
And there’s only one way to stay at the top: never being satisfied. There is just time to toast victories - such as this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours with James Calado, Alessandro Pier Guidi and Daniel Serra, seventy years after Luigi Chinetti and Lord Selsdon's historic first Le Mans triumph. Then you start all over again. Antonello Coletta, head of GT Sporting Activities, says: “For all of us it’s an honour to be ‘condemned’ to win and to keep the Ferrari flag flying high. When I was a kid, returning from holidays, I used to always ask my dad to stop outside this race track, and I’d be there with my nose pressed up against the gates hoping to see a car doing laps”.
His sunny office overlooking the Fiorano race track houses five world title trophies won in the last seven years. “We are a very compact team, and our passion is one of our strong points. Each victory is a victory for all of us, from the drivers to the mechanics, from the technicians to the logistics managers”. The 488 GTE and the 488 GT3 have the same architecture as the roadgoing 488 GTB, requiring a constant relationship with the industrial side of the company. "Our ties with the Commercial Department, upon which we depend, and the Technical Department, first of all with Enrico Galliera and Michael Leiters, are extremely close”, confirms Coletta.
Competizioni GT itself has a dual aspect, the sporting and commercial side managed by Alessandra Todeschini, and the purely technical managed by Ferdinando Cannizzo. “For us it is fundamental to have the support also of the GT area of the company”, adds Coletta. Innovations tested here often become part of new models, such as the 488 Pista. "I believe that for our clients, finding themselves at the wheel of a car that is in some way similar to those that they’ve seen out on the circuit, this represents an added value”, he enthuses. The delicate and complex job begins with “the naked chassis”, explains Ferdinando Cannizzo, head of GT Racing Car Design and Development. “Which is then matched to the requirements of a competition car and with the relevant adjustments demanded by the regulations. There is constant contact with those racing in the 488 GTE and the 488 GT3 in other championships”.
Alessandra Todeschini has been head of Competizioni GT since 2012, handling commercial relations with Ferrari racers. “Clients who participate in the various championships are our ambassadors around the world”, she says. “We are very well aware of how much passion each one of them puts into this activity: we can see it in their eyes when they come to Fiorano and test their new car for the first time. The victory of each one of them is also our victory”.