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Scuderia Bellancauto Ferrari reserve entry for 1984 Le Mans

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#1 buzby

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Posted 06 January 2014 - 19:26

Hi, I'm a long time lurker here and this is my first post, so I apologise if it's in the wrong section.


I was going through the 1980s Le Mans entry lists on the RacingSportsCars site as I was interested to see the effect the changeover from the Group 5 to Group B regs had on the numbers of sports and GT cars that were entered. In the 1984 entry list under 'cars that did not arrive' at number 26 there is a Ferrari 250 GTO entered by Scuderia Bellancauto in the Group B class. The team had also entered their odd-looking 'aero' 512BB LM in the GTX class, which went out after 65 laps with a gearbox problem.


At first I thought it must be a mistake and it was referring to a 288 GTO, but that was only unveiled in 1984 and there were not enough examples produced for it to be homologated into Group B until June the following year.


I did a bit more digging and found the link between the Bellancauto team and gentleman driver Fabrizio Violati - his family's mineral water company 'Ferraelle' were the main sponsor, and I believe he owned the car (chassis 35529) and was one of it's drivers for the 1981 race, and in their previous 'standard' 512BB LM (chassis 28601) in 1980. Mr. Violati was also a collector of Abarth and Ferrari cars (his collection is now housed in the 'Maranello Rosso' museum he created in San Marino) and was also very active in the historic racing scene. His collection includes a Ferrari 250 GTO (chassis 3851GT) which he famously used to use for historic racing alongside a 250 GT SWB.


Is it this historic (and extremely valuable!) car that the team were intending to enter at Le Mans in 1984? Was this mentioned in any of the magazines at the time (I was a little bit too young for Autosport at that time)?


#2 Tim Murray

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Posted 06 January 2014 - 20:07

I've checked the Autosport Le Mans Yearbook for 1984 (the 36-page supplement they published the week before the race). The Bellancauto 512BB is discussed, but there's no mention of any 250GTO, nor does it appear on the entry list they published. Number 26 was actually carried by the second-placed Preston Henn-entered Porsche 956.

#3 Jesper O. Hansen

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 17:12

Just checked "Time & Two Seats" and Wimpffen has a #26 Ferrari 250 GTO group B as a reserve entry, entered by Fabrizio Violati. Considering that Le Mans has a deadline for entries four or five months before the race - don't know what the deadline was in 1984, though - it might be a case of Bellancauto optimistically entered a still to be homologated Ferrari 288 GTO. The only Ferraris homologated in group B for 1984 was three different variations on the 308 GTB-theme.


Has the 288 GTO ever been raced? One of the most beutifull road going Ferraris, if that matters at all.



#4 buzby

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 19:58

Thanks very much for the replies and information. My initial thought was that it was a misprint and the team were hoping to enter a 288 GTO, but the idea of an Italian maverick entering a rare and valuable 250 GTO for one last hurrah at Le Mans seemed quite romantic (and by all accounts Mr Violati was a bit of a character and drove his historic cars as they were meant ot be driven).


Has the 288 GTO ever been raced? One of the most beutifull road going Ferraris, if that matters at all.


When I was looking through some of the later entry lists and in 1987 there was a no-show from N.A.R.T. with a Ferrari in the GTO class. I wonder if they were intending to enter a 288 GTO Evoluzione, or were they hoping to get hold of an F40 early?

#5 Herbert

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 15:45

As at racingsportscars no race number is given to the GTO class Ferrari in 1987 I'm sure the car was never entered for the race. Probably there were rumours that NART might enter a Ferrari but they never turned into reality. I guess the cars was included at the website for reasons of completeness.


BTW in the 1987 race there wasn't even a GTO class. Alls cars were entered in either C1, C2 or IMSA GTP. Therefore I doubt that the ACO would have accepted a GT based car.

Edited by Herbert, 16 January 2014 - 15:46.