Ferrari Returns to the 24 Hours of Le Mans

February 26th, 2021 by

The announcement that Ferrari will return to the top class of the World Endurance Championship with a new Le Mans Hypercar in 2023 ignites memories of the first sparks of the relationship between Ferrari and endurance racing.

 

Just two years after their first production car, two V12 Ferrari 166MMs entered in the 1949 24 Hours of Le Mans. The first Le Mans to take place after World War II. After six hours of racing, one of the Ferraris got caught in an accident, leaving the driver team of the Italian-born Luigi Chinetti and British Peter Mitchell-Thomson in a gruesome battle against the French and British endurance-racing regulars of Delage, Aston Martin, and Bentley.

#22 Ferrari 166MM at Le Mans with Chinetti at the Wheel
Ferrari 166MM

 

To add to the troubles of the newly entered Ferrari 166MM, Peter Mitchell-Thomson had fallen sick and was only able to manage a 72-minute stint in the car. It was all left to the power of Ferrari’s V12 and Chinetti’s endurance. Against all odds, and with nearly 23 hours in the car, Luigi Chinetti took his Ferrari to the finish, winning Ferrari’s first-ever attempt at the grueling 24 Hours of Le Mans.

#21 Ferrari 250 LM at Le Mans
Ferrari 250 LM

 

This victory brought Enzo’s raw passion for speed into the world of endurance racing, creating a bond between the 24 Hours of Le Mans and Ferrari that continues to this day.

#21 Ferrari 330 P3 at Le Mans
Ferrari 330 P3

 

Ferrari has competed in the touring classes of endurance racing through the past two decades, taking home several class-victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans (most recently in 2019). But Ferrari has just set their eyes back to the top step of the podium.

Ferrari 488 GTE taking Le Mans Victory in 2019
Ferrari 488 GTE

 

2023, the 100th anniversary of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, will bring historic regulation changes in the World Endurance Championship. Ferrari will enter into the new top class, Le Mans Hypercar (LMH), and race for the overall victory. Ferrari fans, get ready.

 

Images Are From These Sources

166MM – (https://rossoautomobili.com/blogs/magazine/ferrari-166-mm-barchetta-establishing-an-automotive-icon)

250 LM – (https://www.snaplap.net/ferrari-250-lm/)

330 P3 – (https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/651192427350657323/)

488 GTE – (https://enzari.com/2019/06/ferrari-victory-for-ferrari-at-le-mans-24hrs/)