Ferrari returns to LeMans

Photo Credit: Goodwood

23 May 2021

Ferrari has confirmed that it’s to enter the new LMH category of sportscar racing in 2023, clearing the way for a top level return to the Le Mans 24 Hours for the first time since the 1970s.

Little is known about the project yet, with Ferrari tweeting a short video to make the announcement on the 24th February, 2021 other than which class they will be joining and when they will return to sportscar racing’s top level.

The new LMH (Le Mans Hypercar) class kicks off in 2021 in the World Endurance Championship, with the first appearance at the 24 Hours of Le mans scheduled for June. The cars are designed to be cheaper than the outgoing LMP1 regulations, and have more design cues linking to road cars.

They will race against cars due to race in the IMSA Sportscar Championship in 2023 in the new LMDh category, with the combined two classes both able to fight for overall victory at Le Mans. Currently Toyota, Glickenhaus and Peugeot are confirmed to be building LMH cars, while Porsche, Audi and Acura have both signed up to build LMDh cars, with Cadillac also expected to announce a Dh car soon.

It will be the first time that Ferrari has properly challenged for race victory at Le Mans since 1973, when the Ferrari 312PB finished second. Ferrari has won Le Mans nine times, with only Audi and Porsche ahead of them on the all-time wins list, its last win came in 1965.

The new and as-yet unnamed Hypercar will be the first sportscar prototype built by the Scuderia since the Ferrari 333SP which raced from 1994 to 2003.

Ferrari President John Elkann commented: “In over 70 years of racing, on tracks all over the world, we led our closed-wheel cars to victory by exploring cutting-edge technological solutions: innovations that arise from the track and make every road car produced in Maranello extraordinary. With the new Le Mans Hypercar programme, Ferrari once again asserts its sporting commitment and determination to be a protagonist in the major global motorsport events”.