For the first time since 1973, Ferrari is seeking an overall victory.
Ferrari is arguably the world's most iconic supercar manufacturer, but before it was a builder of stellar road cars, it was a racing team. That's where Ferrari built its name, particularly, in endurance. But despite a history in long-format racing, its last challenge for the coveted 24 Hours of Le Mans overall win was in 1971 with the Ferrari 512M. The Italian automaker then pulled out of prototype and GT class development entirely in 1973 to concentrate on Formula 1. It took just two years for Ferrari to bring home driver and constructor titles in Formula 1 and become the world's most recognized brand. However, with changing regulations introducing a new Hypercar Class at the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), Ferrari is now going to be heading back to Le Mans for the overall win. Following years of speculation, Ferrari has announced its intention to develop a new race car to enter in the new class's inaugural 2023 series.
"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," said Ferrari president John Elkann. "With the new Le Mans Hypercar program, Ferrari once again asserts its sporting commitment and determination to be a protagonist in major global motorsport events."
No details are being given away by the Italian supercar company yet, but Ferrari says it is in "the design and simulation phases". Whether it will be based around the SF90 Stradale as imagined in the renderings below is anyone's guess, but it could even be a new successor to the LaFerrari.
By entering Le Mans in 2023, Ferrari will be looking to secure its 10th overall victory and in the race's 100th year. It will also be the 100th anniversary of Enzo Ferrari winning his first Grand Prix as a driver with Alfa Romeo.
Ferrari follows Toyota and Peugeot in confirming it will be entering the new class and race alongside Porsche, Audi, and the American boutique company Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus. Unfortunately, Aston Martin has put its racing programbased on the Valkyrie on hold indefinitely. Still, the new Hypercar Class promises to be a hard-fought halo segment, and having Ferrari in the mix can only be good for the FIA World Endurance Championship.