What with everything else that's been going on, it's easy to forget the excitement generated by the new Le Mans Hypercar class of sportscar racing. The premise is simple: elite-level racing cars derived from the world's great hypercars, racing on the best tracks the planet has to offer. It's coming very soon, too, with the 2021 season kicking off next month, and it's going to get better still - because Ferrari is going to enter.
It was widely believed that, if Ferrari did return to the top table of sportscar racing, it would opt for Le Mans Hypercar rather than LMDh because of the greater freedom in the LMH rules, and that's exactly what's happened. "Ferrari announces the start of the Le Mans Hypercar (LMH) programme that from 2023 will see the manufacturer enter the new top class of the FIA World Endurance Championship... Following a period of study and analysis, Ferrari has kicked off the development of the new LMH car to include in recent weeks the design and simulation phases. The track testing programme, the name of the car and the drivers who will make up the official crews, will be part of future announcements", said a statement.
Ferrari President John Elkann commented: "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. 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".
Nowadays any manufacturer commissioning a motorsport effort is to be commended, but it's especially noteworthy coming from Ferrari. Because while privateer entries have achieved considerable success over the decades, it's been a long time since a factory-entered Ferrari sportscar has raced. In fact, the 2023 entry will be 50 years since Maranello's last official participation in the World Sportscar Championship. And what days they were: cars like the 512 S, 312 P and 330 P4 remain utterly spectacular sports cars half a century later. You can rest assured Ferrari will be rustling up something similarly iconic this time around - we can't wait.
1 / 6