We first heard rumors about a possible return to Le Mans racing by Ferrari back in July. Now, just a few months later, Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo decided to finally comment these rumors.
In his recent Christmas address to the factory, Montezemolo said that Ferrari is proud of all the results obtained by the 458 GTE , but also liked "the idea of racing at the Le Mans 24 Hours in the highest category."
According to Montezemolo , this idea needs "some serious consideration," but no final decision has been made as of yet. Though we do not know yet when or if the return will happen, we can say that it would add a little more excitement to the legendary race.
Ferrari needs to be very careful with this decision and take the time to prepare cars that can actually be competitive. The last thing the famed supercar builder wants is to end its long absence — since 1973 — with a string of undesirable results. Simply put, Ferrari wants to "return and win, say thanks and come home."
Click past the jump to read more about Ferrari’s participation at Le Mans.
Ferrari at Le Mans
Ferrari raced the Le Mans for the first time in 1949 when it also scored its first victory. The company entered the race with a 12-cylinder, Maranello-built 166 MM Spider/Barchetta Touring, driven by Luigi Chinetti. During the race, the car recorded an average speed of 132.946 km/h (82.608 mph).
In 1958 Ferrari scored another victory when a Ferrari 250TR driven by Gendebien-Phil Hill dominated the race.
Ferrari took a break for a year, and was back with a series of six victories in a row: 1960 with the 250 TR; 1961 with a TR 61 version; 1962 with a 330 TRI driven by Gendebien and Hill; 1963 with the 250 P; 1964 Jean Guichet and Nino Vaccarella won behind the wheel of the 275 P; and 1965 with a Ferrari 250 LM.
Ferrari victories at LeMans:
- 1949. Luigi Chinetti - Lord Selsdon / Ferrari 166 MM
- 1954. Froilan Gonzalez - Maurice Trintignant / Ferrari 375 Plus
- 1958. Olivier Gendebien - Phil Hill / Ferrari 250 TR
- 1960. Olivier Gendebien - Paul Frere / Ferrari 250 TR
- 1961. Olivier Gendebien - Phil Hill / Ferrari 250 TR
- 1962. Olivier Gendebien - Phil Hill / Ferrari 330 TR
- 1963. Ludovico Scarfiotti - Lorenzo Bandini / Ferrari 250P
- 1964. Jean Guichet - Nino Vaccarella / Ferrari 275
- 1965. Jochen Rindt - Masten Gregory / Ferrari 250 LM