Report: Ferrari Prepping Announcement for Le Mans

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

After months of speculation, Ferrari’s future sports car racing plans could be made official as early as this weekend in Le Mans. (En Français)

Sportscar365 has learned that an announcement from the Italian manufacturer is imminent, and is believed to be scheduled for this Saturday at Circuit de la Sarthe, prior to the start of the 82nd running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

No details have been confirmed, but the announcement is believed to be linked towards future involvement in prototype racing.

Talk of a Ferrari factory LMP1 program began late last year when company president Luca di Montezemolo revealed that they were evaluating a potential future effort around the new-for-2014 set of prototype regulations.

Since then, the LMP1 class has continued to gain traction, with Porsche joining Audi and Toyota this year and Nissan announcing last month its plans to join the fray beginning in 2015.

A timeframe for any potential Ferrari involvement is unclear, especially with the current regulations set to expire at the end of 2016. However,  a Garage 56 entry prior to a full works effort seems more feasible.

With Fernando Alonso, Ferrari’s star F1 driver who has not raced at Le Mans, serving as the race starter on Saturday, the two-time World Champion’s presence at this year’s race is not believed to be a coincidence.


  1. Nuno Rosario

    June 9, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    ohhh god,could this be what we are waiting for? gosh if soo LMP1 is becoming better and better and better each year!

    • jack

      June 9, 2014 at 1:14 pm

      hopefully they don’t all leave at the same time like everyone did in 1999

      • wirelesscord

        June 9, 2014 at 1:24 pm

        I think situation has changed considerably. Back in 1999 there was no world-wide series, ALMS just was started and it was basically a national series. And not all of the LMGT class could even race there. Now there is WEC, which gives more of a reason to keep programs alive longer.

  2. wirelesscord

    June 9, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    More fuel for the fire: Montezemolo himself seems to have written this column in an Italian newspaper published just today.

    (hopefully the link works)

  3. wirelesscord

    June 9, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    ^ well, it works but screwed up the page layout.

  4. rick

    June 9, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    It makes the case that DP should be scrapped

    • Bakkster

      June 9, 2014 at 2:34 pm

      Don’t know why we’re worrying about this, it already will be in 2017.

    • SGG

      June 9, 2014 at 3:09 pm

      DP doesn’t really have anything to do with LMP1, nor does TUSCC, for that matter. As Bakkster notes, 2017 will change everything; in the interim, the current P2/DP “P” class will be continuing in TUSCC.

    • .....

      June 9, 2014 at 8:04 pm

      Your obsessive hate of DPs is not healthy, go see a shrink.

  5. Robert

    June 9, 2014 at 4:45 pm

    Well, if you’re into round numbers, it should be noted that next year, 2015, will mark the 50th anniversary since Ferrari’s last overall win at Le Mans.


    • Ben

      June 9, 2014 at 5:00 pm

      Good to know I’m not the only one who tries to think of wierd coincidences… but with that sort of idea Ford could (yet I know it’s far fetched) could be the first American LMP1 manufacture from 2016-2019. What I can’t believe is how much this is exploding all the sudden, I guess the race for the best hybrid racecar is just simply awesome to think about

      • Dan

        June 9, 2014 at 8:18 pm

        Ford hasn’t even supplied a GT car in years. An LMP1 is out of the question. They will be an engine supplier at best. Chevrolet is more likely to be a P1 possibility but they seem content with the C7Rs. Americas biggest prototype hope is the Mazda P2s.

        • JAGLeMans

          June 9, 2014 at 8:33 pm

          There’s a strong rumour Ford are close to announcing a Le Mans program. Some speculated P1, but others are saying it’s with a GT. Now, I don’t know what road car they have that would be suitable, I do know the new Mustang has recently been launched internationally.

          • Dan

            June 9, 2014 at 10:06 pm

            They don’t have any suitable road cars. The mustang has never worked well as even a GT3 car let alone a GTE car. The PWC is the only place you mustangs racing. Ford hasn’t put any major effort in sports car racing in years. The rumors of GT or LMP program are just that rumors. Ford doesn’t seem interested in anything without a direct NASCAR connection.

          • Bakkster

            June 10, 2014 at 9:11 am

            I’d think they’re probably closest to P2 with the EcoBoost DP engine developments they’ve made. Their only customer til now has been Project Libra, maybe they found a real customer for their P2 engine?

        • Nate

          June 9, 2014 at 8:44 pm

          No hope from Mazda, unless they go LMP1. No diesels in P2.

          • Dan

            June 9, 2014 at 10:07 pm

            The Mazda’s may be allowed in soon the FIA and ACO were discussing allowing Diesel P2s in as soon as 2015. There is a big push to get them to Le Mans by 2016.

          • wirelesscord

            June 10, 2014 at 1:51 am

            How does that fit the with “no manufacturer teams in P2, please” rule?

            Mazda should probably sort out their Skyactive crap in TUSC before even remotely thinking about LM.

          • Bakkster

            June 10, 2014 at 9:19 am

            Could always be customer engines. The ACO said they would allow diesel P2s, I’m sure if Mazda gets them developed in TUSC the ACO would make sure they could be homologated.

          • PhilR

            June 11, 2014 at 9:56 am

            Diesel IS already allowed in LMP2 – rules were changed for 2014, it’s just that no manufacturer has used it. See tech regs

  6. jack

    June 9, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    rumors are its a garage 56 program, not lmp1

    • JAGLeMans

      June 9, 2014 at 8:35 pm

      Any G56 program would be with a view to P1 a year or two later, much like Nissan. The current regs are for three years, not that they’ll change much in the future, as drivetrains are already completely free. but it would make sense to come in either in ’15, or wait for the new regs in ’17.

      • jack

        June 9, 2014 at 9:59 pm

        i think there g56 will be that modified laferarri with the f1 engine

        • Bakkster

          June 10, 2014 at 9:09 am

          That could be a good G56, particularly with the active aero. Spend the money proving out the engine in that to be ready for a P1.

          • Jc

            June 12, 2014 at 12:02 pm

            This has been a beautiful case study on the power of rumor mongering and exploiting emotions of very desperate fans. Montemezolo (however it is spelled) has been a master of saying very very little, committing to absolutely nothing, but getting the foamers to go practically insane with bizarre, off the wall declarations of full programs, garage 56 programs, and the like on every outlet and forum.

            Masterful. He has taken away all proper oohs and ahhhs of nissans real P1 announcement, he has taken huge amounts of attention away from porsche’s return, and he has made Toyota and Audi a big whatever, although they are the backbone of the whole class. And as every hour ticks off before their “big announcement” the reality is setting in that all the speculation is way off the mark, setting up a big feeling of deflation for the race itself. Meanwhile he has everyone on the hook and can continue flirting with this topic and get all sorts of free pr and media coverage for no investment. Outstanding!

  7. Anthony Thomas (@djfourmoney)

    June 10, 2014 at 4:15 am

    Dan –

    You have no idea what your talking about or the history of Ford’s minor involvement in FIA GT3.

    And I do mean MINOR. Multimatic built the GT3 Mustang; maybe I’ll try to get an interview with Scott Maxwell who did the bulk of the testing before sending the car over to Europe.

    Ford provided some funding and bit of tech support. Of course Roush built the engines but that was about it.

    The program died before any real progress was made and turned over to Marc VDS. Yes THAT Marc VDS! They redesigned the rear suspension making it IRS. Then they updated the aero on the car and Maxine Martin, YES THAT Maxine Martin drove the car to front row start at Jarama, but the car was DQ’ed because it’s FIA homologation papers were not turned in on time.

    The new car first appeared at Brno and had ABS problems.

    It was scheduled to be raced again at the 2010 Spa 24, but that never happen.

    The car’s final appearance was at Spa in 2012, where it was in the Pro Am class and qualified about half way in that field. It turned competitive lap times for a car who’s development had ground to a halt a year earlier.

    Now to further debunk your post –

    Two of the best GTLM cars are the Aston Martin and the BMW Z4. Both are very “dirty” up front. The 2015 Mustang is no different and has a lower CD than the last car.

    It also has an alum sub structure that is favorable to a GTLM car.

    Look at the Bentley GT3 car, that is very dirty but they cleaned up much of the area up front with its very trick front splitter design.

    At worse the car would be a bit draggy, but they could be given a larger restrictor to make more power to make up for it. The reason why they don’t do it with the BMW Z4 because they know if they allowed it more power it’s already one of the best handling cars in high speed corners, it would very hard to pass coming out of such corners.

    As I said the GT3 version with some aero changes and switching to IRS, while the Multimatic original build was using the stock solid axle, really helped the car overall.

    May I remind you Jarama is not a high speed circuit. It’s very technical and slow actually.

    This is all off topic by the way.

    • Shawn

      June 10, 2014 at 3:53 pm

      So Ford had nothing to do with anything it played no role at all in any of those cars apart from a badge. Read before you get butt hurt. Ford hasn’t taken sportscar a seriously in years. Read before you get butt hurt,

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