AF Corse will only be running two factory works GTE Pro cars at the 2019 24 Hours of Le Mans, Ferrari has confirmed.
Unlike last year, the Italian manufacturer will be represented by only its two full-season FIA World Endurance Championship AF Corse works cars: the #51 piloted by Alessandro Pier Guidi and James Calado, and the #71 with drivers Sam Bird and Davide Rigon.
In the 2018 blue riband event, Ferrari entered three GTE Pro cars into the fray in an attempt to take class victory. The best placed work-Ferrari was fifth in class, 20th overall, and was the third car that wasn’t competing in WEC.
Antonello Coletta, Ferrari GT Racing boss, explained to Autosport: “The reason is simple: last year we had a good opportunity with a sponsor and this year we don’t.”
With the other GTE Pro manufacturers likely to filed additional cars, in the 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans Ford and Porsche entered their IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship entries which gave them four cars apiece, Coletta expects it to be “more difficult” for Ferrari to secure class win in the 2019 version of the race.
Ferrari have not had a Le Mans class victory since 2014.
As confirmed in the recently updated 1,000 Miles of Sebring entry list, Daniel Serra and Miguel Molina will return to AF Corse as the third drivers of the #51 and #71 respectively for Le Mans.
The duo will have their first WEC AF Corse outings of 2019 for the American round in March and are expected to participate in May’s 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps as this event is usually used as a test race for Le Mans.