T2 MOTORSPORTS: STALLIONS OF THE ARCHIPELAGO

Story By
Kyle Gregorio

With their current stallion, the Ferrari 488 GT3, T2 Motorsports brings the team to the Asian-level championships and has high expectations of reaching championships outside of Asia, too.

photo by T2 Motorsports

T2 Motorsports is an independent Asian racing team formed in 2016 by racers and entrepreneurs, David Tjiptobiantoro from Indonesia and Gregory Teo of Singapore. They became the first and only international racing team in Southeast Asia and boasts Indonesian racing star Rio Haryanto as a driver.

Together with Greg, David began venturing into the Motul Sepang 12 Hours (AM Class) race in the same year and his victory in a racing event under the SRO Motorsports Group inspired David's enthusiasm to continue to develop in the world of racing. This brought him to the Blancpain GT Series Asia and Total 24 Hours of Spa.

The Ferrari 488 GT3 used by the T2 Motorsports team represents a major break with the previous models as it is a completely new car built from zero with the aim of providing even greater performance while keeping the same amazing driveability that is a feature of the 458 Italia. The 458 GT3 was derived from the Challenge car, whereas the 488 GT3 started off as a bare shell, developed specifically to set the standard in its class.

Closely related to Ferrari’s World Endurance Championship contender, the 488 GTE, the GT3 is a purebred racer and one that shares fundamental DNA with its road-going sibling but was designed and developed from the tires up to compete in what has become the most successful, competitive and hotly contested era GT racing has ever seen.

The 488 GT3 started life on the same production line as the road car but life on the racetrack required some adaptations. The wheel arches are wider to accommodate big slick tires, the front spoiler is gone and has been replaced by a massive carbon fiber splitter and, at the rear, the diffuser is even bigger. All of the changes have conspired to give the GT3 much more down-force than the road-going version. The comprehensive aero package is matched by suspension and brakes that are optimized to GT3’s regulations which allow considerable deviation from the road car. For instance, the transmission is mounted transversely rather than longitudinally which helps with aero and weight distribution so the car is better balanced. It’s fair to say this is a 488, but not as we know it. The aerodynamics have been fine-tuned down to the smallest detail, making it very similar to the GTE. This is another reason why the 488 GT3 can easily be converted to the GTE configuration and can race in both classes.

On the inside, things are also a little different to the leather-wrapped luxury of the 488 GTB. The passenger seat has been removed and the addition of a roll cage makes getting in and out trickier. The driver's seat is fixed in place with movable pedals to cope with drivers of different heights while the steering wheel, complete with a quick-release mechanism, is still trimmed with buttons and dials.

It is in the 488 GT3’s turbo V8 engine that the most radical changes can be found, calling on Ferrari’s incomparable know how when it comes to producing efficient, high performance engines. The racing version of the V8 engine was bench tested for over a year and that means every area has been perfected to deliver the highest levels of driveability.

With all these details in mind during its development and production, it is easy to see why the Ferrari 488 GT3 is state of the art in the GT3 arena.