1998 Ferrari F355Challenge
Year of manufacture1998
- Built in 1998 at the Ferrari factory as an F355 Challenge
- One of only 18 F355 Challenges supplied new to the UK
- Wears its 2012 race livery over Rosso Corsa paintwork and a Nero interior
- Raced consecutively in the Ferrari series from 1999 to 2007
- Featured in the February 2015 issue of Octane magazine
Making its debut in 1995, the Ferrari F355 Challenge was designed specifically for use in the Ferrari Challenge series. The earliest F355 Challenges were road cars modified by official dealers using a conversion kit from the Ferrari factory, just like the earlier 348 Challenge. Each car was powered by a 380 horsepower, 3.5-litre V-8 engine, coupled to a six-speed manual gearbox. With each passing year, Challenge cars were supplied from the factory with an increasing number of performance components, reducing the amount of conversion work required by dealers. By 1998, Ferrari took the decision to build all Challenge cars in-house, and all subsequent F355 Challenges were built at the Maranello factory.
This F355, built in the penultimate year of production, left the Ferrari factory configured as a Challenge car. Finished in Rosso Corsa, with a Nero interior and Rosso Corsa cloth seats, it was one of just 18 delivered new to the UK. The first owner, racing driver John Seale, made his debut in chassis 111454 on 28 March 1999 at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. In the next race, at Donington Park, Seale finished 3rd overall and 1st in Class C. For the 2000 season, Seale again fielded chassis 111454 in the Ferrari Challenge series, racing at Castle Combe, Donington, Silverstone, Spa-Francorchamps, and Thruxton.
Seale purchased a 360 Challenge for the 2001 season, selling chassis 111454 to Kevin Wilkins. Wilkins participated in the 2001 and 2002 seasons of the Pirelli Maranello Ferrari Challenge. In 2003, this F355 was acquired by Mike Furness, who raced from 2003 to 2007 in various rounds of the same series. Following a five-year hiatus, Furness returned to Silverstone—and the series—for one final time, taking part in rounds 1 and 2 on 17 April 2012. Recorded race entries from 1999 to 2012 are kept in this car’s history file.
Acquired by the fourth owner in 2013, this Ferrari was road-registered the following year. The car was lightly modified so that it could be driven on public roads, including the fitment of "Fiorano" road springs, a handbrake, indicators, Pirelli road tyres, and pop-up headlamps. Presenting today in its 2012 race livery and with just 18,137 miles displayed on the odometer at the time of cataloguing, this remarkable competition-bred Ferrari gives new meaning to the term “race car for the road”.To view this car and others currently consigned to this auction, please visit the RM website at rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/lf22.