Sunday afternoon in a 458...
... Challenge car, that is. HUGE fun. Terribly addicting. Can't wait to do it again in the EVO version :)
Great experience! Looks like u really are having fun!
Nice driving, but was it you or your wife? ;-)
Great driving. How does it compare the Challenge to the standard 458?
For such a fast car, it was remarkably easy to drive. Ferrari has done an excellent job of making a user-friendly race car.
congratulations on the purchase of this car on the track is almost perfect, makes everything easy and in the end come down from the car with a big smile.:2thumbsup:
One more question , how does the Challenge compare to your FXX ? (I apologize for being curious)
Alex - great question. The 458 Challenge is significantly easier to drive on the track than a 458 street car. The suspension is better set up, the stability/traction control is better designed for high speeds and intervenes less, there is more traction, the ABS is less intrusive, and the seats etc. hold you in place so you can feel what the car is doing. If you do make a mistake or get a slide, fixes are quick and easy, and the suspension doesn't load up and require multiple corrections. The car is not designed for a complete novice to the track - for example, if you whack the throttle open while hard in a turn, you will oversteer - but if you can pilot a car with no stability control at 8/10 around a track, you'll find it easy to drive the 458C at 9.5/10.
Compared to our 599XX, the 458C is less powerful, has less grip and significantly less brakes, and is more nimble and more forgiving. The 599XX has a more intrusive stability control at the higher settings - it's designed to keep a novice alive with >>GT-class power and grip! - and more drama when you drive it. Side by side I expect the 599XX would be quicker at a high-speed circuit, and might be a toss-up on a slower circuit.
A couple more fun tidbits from that weekend --
First, one of my friends took some terrific pictures of turns 11 and 6:
The turn 11 hairpin (125 MPH --> 40 MPH)
Turn 6, aka "the Carousel" - a 1.4G ~80MPH descending left-hander onto the back straight:
Second, I went poking through all the footage from the weekend and discovered that my very last lap of the weekend was completely clean, and as a result... :-D
Ben - thank you for describing the differences between the 458 Challenge and the 599XX. I understand , reading between the lines, that the 599XX is very demanding and possibly an unforgiving car !
Great videos, enjoy very much watching them . What is the shift speed of the Challenge vs the Speciale?
I would partially agree. The 599XX is a friendly car to drive, but the speeds and limits are significantly higher than the 458C and that makes it more demanding. For example, watching the telemetry from the video above you can see that the 458C brakes consistently at 1.2G (peak). The 599XX brakes at 1.8G, so the braking markers are later and the times shorter. The XX also has 740HP vs the 458C's 570HP, so the acceleration is markedly quicker.
I have not yet driven the 458VS; the shift speed on the Challenge car seemed similar to a 458 Italia in race mode. Because it's a dual-clutch car the shift speed isn't a major issue - the acceleration is seamless and downshifts do not upset the car under braking.
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