Ferrari has confirmed it will be returning to Le Mans in the top level of the World Endurance Championship in 2023 with its own hypercar.
The Prancing Horse confirmed its commitment and that early stages of development had already begun. It will be the manufacturer’s first shot at overall victory since 1973.
Ferrari had been open in its exploring of options outside of Formula 1, recently turning down the chance to enter IndyCar, but will return to the top class at Le Mans 50 years on from its last appearance.
— Ferrari Races (@FerrariRaces) February 24, 2021
“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,” Ferrari president John Elkann said.
“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.”
Ferrari said that it had already commenced preliminary development of its sports car after a period of study and analysis into the feasibility of an entry. It confirmed that its testing schedule and driver line-up would be announced at a later date.
The car’s first appearance at Le Mans will during the race’s centenary year. Fittingly, it looks set to be one of the toughest in 100 years. The Toyota and Glickenhaus hypercars racing this season will be joined by Peugeot from 2022. Audi and Porsche are also due to on the grid with LMDh cars, which will also have the pace to win.
Ferrari has won the Le Mans 24 Hours nine times, most recently when the North American Racing Team 250LM driven by Jochen Rindt, Masten Gregory and Ed Hugus effort eased to the win in 1965. The team would attempt the repeat the feat until it left in 1973.
Most recently, Ferrari has competed in GTLM and winning the 2012, 2014 and 2019 GTE-Pro class. It also claimed the World Endurance Cup for GT Manufacturers crown five times between 2012 and 2017.
“Today is a great day for endurance racing: Ferrari is coming back to the top level, at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the FIA World Endurance Championship,” ACO President Pierre Fillon said.
“The hypercar field promises some epic battles. Alongside Ferrari, In 2023, many manufacturers who have already joined us are sure to pull out all the stops to win the race in its centenary year. This is excellent news for a discipline whose rule base forms a solid foundation on which to build a bright future.”