Italian marque Ferrari have announced they will race the new Hypercar class in FIA World Endurnance Championship and 24 Hours of Le Mans from 2023.
Their return will come 50 years after they last partook in the top category of endurance racing, in 1973. The announcement follows the news that Audi and Porsche will also be returning to the top discipline of endurance racing, putting together a strong grid for WEC come 2023. Unlike Porsche and Audi however, Ferrari will put forward an LMH car (rather than an LMDh). Both car types can race in WEC and IMSA, but the LMHs are the WEC-focused competitors.
The prestige of the Ferrari brand is not lost in endurance racing, with nine overall Le Mans victories to their name as a dominant force in the 50/60s. Not much has been announced about the program, only Ferrari’s intent to compete, but already factory drivers such as Charles Leclerc have expressed interest to be involved in the project.
The new Hypercar program will run in tandem with the manufacturer’s GT team AF Corse who will continue to race in both WEC and Le Mans. The GT team have been highly successful since the induction of the WEC in 2012, claiming three GT Le Mans victories, four LM GTE Pro Championships and a GT Manufacturers’ title. This success and their past Le Mans glory will be something Ferrari will look to replicate as they join the grid in two years’ time.
“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 John Elkann, Ferrari President. “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.”
Jean Todt, President of the FIA, added: “The announcement of Ferrari’s commitment to the FIA World Endurance Championship with Le Mans Hypercar entry from 2023 is great news for the FIA, the ACO and the wider world of motor sport. I believe in the concept of road relevant Hypercars competing in the FIA WEC and at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. I’m looking forward to seeing this legendary brand taking on this ambitious project.”