This is your preview of the car Ferrari will campaign for overall victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans next year. The team in Modena hasn’t fought for the overall in France in 50 years, with the 312 PB that finished second. The Italians haven’t won since 1965 with the 250 LM, a run of six consecutive victories brought to an end by the Ford GT40 the following year. We don’t have a name for this new prancing horse yet, but the racer has been in development for 18 months, predating Ferrari’s announcement that it would join the Hypercar class of the FIA World Endurance Championship. The head of the company’s competition GT department, Antonella Coletta, told Autocar, “our dream is to win.” Of course.
All we can see of the tease for now is a couple of blade-thin DRLs connected by an illuminated red highlight, and a deep lip spoiler angled down at the edges. This glimpse of a face looks much like the Daytona SP3, itself a limited-edition nod to the mid-engined sports cars like the 330 P3 and 412 P that once raced on the track the car is named after.
Ferrari says it chose the LMH class because of more freedom in the regulations. Instead of the spec components mandated in IMSA’s LMDh class that will compete with hypercars, LMH allows manufacturers to develop brand showcases like the chassis and hybrid system based on a road car or as part of a wholesale prototype. Ferrari went the prototype route and did hardly any raiding of the parts bin. This class also requires entrants to produce at least 20 roadgoing versions of the race car, Coletta saying “LMH is a good place to start parts for the future” road car range. Whatever we finally see design-wise on the hypercar will be headed for road car design as well.
Race car testing exits the sim and hits the track “in the coming weeks.” A competitive debut is planned for next March, which sounds like Sebring to us.
In 2023, the same year Ferrari celebrates 50 years away from challenging for the overall, Le Mans celebrates its 100th edition. To recap what we’re looking at for now, the Le Mans Hypercar class will include Ferrari, Peugeot, Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus and Toyota, while the LMDh class will include Acura, Alpine, BMW, Cadillac, Lamborghini and Porsche. Ferrari said it has an “appointment with history” next year. We say anyone who likes endurance racing needs to book a hotel in the French countryside for June 10-11, 2023. It’s going to be insane.