A RARE Ferrari sports car, formerly owned by ex-F1 driver Eddie Irvine, has been stolen in Germany.
The 288 GTO is one of just 272 ever made, but was nicked after the thief sped during a test drive after posing as a potential buyer.
According to German newspaper Bild, police are still hunting for the thief.
He is reported to have jumped into the driver’s seat once the dealership employee got out and sped off in full throttle in Neuss near Dusseldorf on Monday.
While it was currently being sold by a German millionaire, the car’s record listed Irvine as a previous owner.
The 53-year-old Brit had raced for Jordan, Jaguar and Ferrari during a nine-year career in Formula.
While he failed to win any titles, he came close in 1999, winning four races and missing out on the world championship to Mika Hakkinen by two points.
Yet, as expected, Irvine – who has become a multi-millionaire through his property investment portfolio – was also a lover of cars away from the track.
At its introduction at the Geneva Motor Show in 1984, the Ferrari 288 GTO labelled the most powerful and fastest sports car the Italian manufacturers had ever built with a 400 horsepower.
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It is currently estimated to be worth 2.35million euros (£2m), something the thief was not prepared to pay.
The dealership claim the would-be buyer have arrived for a test drive at around midday.
He was driven by the seller’s representative to get a feel for the car, but the thief – who is said to have had a French accent – took advantage after asking to take the wheel.