Executives from the FIA and ACO have hailed Ferrari’s commitment to the Le Mans Hypercar class as “simply amazing” and “excellent news” that will set the stage for an “unforgettable period” of endurance racing.
The Italian manufacturer announced Wednesday it will make its return to the top class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2023, joining Toyota and Peugeot with LMH machinery as well as previously announced LMDh efforts from Porsche, Audi and Acura.
Frederic Lequien, who has replaced Gerard Neveu as WEC’s new CEO, said they are “honored” to welcome Ferrari back to top-level prototype competition for the first time since 1999.
“The news that Ferrari is set to join the new Hypercar category is simply amazing,” he said.
“What’s even more incredible is that Ferrari will join at least five other manufacturers to compete in the WEC’s top-tier category from 2023 – the scene is set for an unforgettable period in endurance racing history.
“We are delighted that our new regulations have attracted so many prestigious automotive brands.
“Ferrari is a prestigious marque which is synonymous with Hypercar, so I have no doubt that they will be extremely competitive out on track – we are honored to welcome Ferrari back to the top class of endurance racing.”
ACO President Pierre Fillon echoed Lequien’s belief that a new golden era of sports car racing is likely dawning given the string of recent announcements.
“The Hypercar field promises some epic battles,” said Fillon.
“Alongside Ferrari, In 2023, many manufacturers who have already joined us are sure to pull out all the stops to win the race in its centenary year.
“This is excellent news for a discipline whose rule base forms a solid foundation on which to build a bright future.”
While FIA President Jean Todt added that Ferrari’s LMH program is “great news” for the “wider world of motorsport” FIA Endurance Commission President Richard Mille added that the manufacturer’s announcement validates the LMH platform as a whole.
Ferrari becomes the third large-scale OEM to commit to the formula, along with boutique manufacturers Glickenhaus and ByKolles.
“We took a lot of risks developing the Le Mans Hypercar concept and a lot of effort and perseverance went into defining the regulations so that they capture the spirit of what we wanted LMH to be, and that is to allow for various philosophies in terms of technical approaches and aesthetics of the cars,” said Mille.
“Today we can be satisfied with the achieved results, with Ferrari joining other renowned brands.
“Ferrari has a long and prestigious record in sports car racing, most recently winning the FIA World Endurance GT Manufacturers’ Championship but also taking multiple overall victories in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
“Although there’s still a lot of work to be done, we’re already witnessing history being made and in few years’ time the FIA WEC grid should be the strongest ever.”