Five Ferrari 512Ms and a 512S are expected to head the sensational scarlet line-up for the special Shell Historic Ferrari-Maserati Challenge race which will run immediately before the 24 Hours sportscar classic at Le Mans on the morning ofJune 17.
The field for the 45-minute tribute to the Prancing Horse will include British veteran David Piper’s 250LM and 330P2, a host of 250GT SWBs and GTOs and a representative pack of their predecessors ranging back to at least one 166MM — Luigi Chinetti and Lord Selsdon scored the first of Ferrari’s nine victories at La Sarthe in a sister 166MM in 1949 — plus a selection of Testa Rossas from the early ’60s, when Olivier Gendebien, Phil Hill and Paul Frere triumphed, are also competing.
Ferrari’s last outright win came as far back as 1965, when Masten Gregory and Jochen Rindt took an unexpected chequered flag in a 250LM, but the marque’s glory days extended into the 1970s, when GT class 365 GTB/4s showed their stamina with some superb overall results. Since then 512BB, F40 and 333SP models have maintained a presence, while a factory-prepared 550 Maranello was sadly withdrawn shortly before this year’s race.
Maserati never won Le Mans, but the Trident will be represented by the 300S models — similar to that which gave the marque its first start in 1954 — of Bill Binnie and Burkhard von Schenk, and the Tipo 63 Birdcage which finished fourth a decade later. MP