Ferrari wins Le Mans on return to top-tier endurance racing

After 58 years, the Italian manufacturer finally celebrated an outright win with Alessandro Pier Guidi, James Calado, and Antonio Giovinazzi leading the pack.

-

Ferrari fought off stiff competition from Toyota Gazoo Racing at the 2023 24 hours of Le Mans to mark the team’s return to the race after a half-century absence with a historic victory.

On Ferrari‘s comeback to the prime competition at the Circuit de la Sarthe, the team, riding the new 499P Le Mans Hypercar, relished an outright victory, a feat unseen since Masten Gregory and Jochen Rindt emerged victorious in 1965.

The team saw Guidi crossing the finish line 81 seconds ahead of the Toyota GR010 HYBRID driven by Sebastien Buemi, Brendon Hartley, and Ryo Hirakawa.

Alex Lynn, Earl Bamber, and Richard Westbrook, sharing the #2 Cadillac V-Series.R, secured the third position, trailing the leading Ferrari by one lap. The battle for supremacy was mainly between Ferrari and Toyota, with the Ferrari team showing strong performance in the latter part of the race.

A series of events saw the lead alternately pass between the Ferrari and the Toyota teams. A power cycle for Ferrari during a pitstop in the 19th hour diminished the gap, pushing Toyota back into contention.

However, Hirakawa‘s off-track incident in the second to last hour tipped the balance in favor of Ferrari. Despite minor hiccups in the final stages, Ferrari managed to hold onto their lead, ultimately achieving a historic win.

Ferrari at the 2023 Le Mans 24 Hours | Ferrari

A Rocky Ride for the Other Contenders

The #2 Cadillac had a relatively clean race apart from a nighttime spin by Westbrook. The sister #3 car experienced a tumultuous journey to the fourth place. The #50 Ferrari took fifth place after a difficult race featuring a serious off-track incident and an energy recovery system fluid leak.

Peugeot and Porsche, the two remaining Hypercar manufacturers, struggled with their performance. Both manufacturers faced numerous challenges including crashes, spins, hydraulic issues, and mechanical failures. Despite these challenges, Glickenhaus managed a surprising sixth-place finish in the Hypercar class with the #708 entry.

LMP2: Inter Europol’s Unexpected Win

The LMP2 class witnessed a surprising victory from the Polish Inter Europol Competition squad, who took the top spot despite racer Fabio Scherer‘s suspected foot injury. Their #34 ORECA, shared by Jakub Smiechowski, Albert Costa, and Scherer, managed to hold onto the lead for the final eight hours of the race.

GTE: Corvette’s Farewell Victory

Corvette Racing secured a splendid final victory for GTE machinery at Le Mans before the transition to GT3 cars in 2024. Despite a shaky start, the trio of Nicky Catsburg, Nico Varrone, and Ben Keating powered their Corvette to the front, managing a two-minute lead over the following team in the final tally.

The race was filled with late drama, including a series of delays for the Garage 56 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 NASCAR Cup car. Out of the 62 starters, only 39 cars were classified, the lowest count since the 2015 race. Despite the attrition, the race proved a historic event for Ferrari.

Matt Neill
Matt Neillhttps://total-motorsport.com
With years of experience in the motorsports field and Matt Neill founded Total-Motorsport.com to give clarity and more depth to the digital F1 landscape.
- Advertisment -

LATEST NEWS

Lance Stroll of Aston Martin and Lando Norris of McLaren during 2023 Spanish GP practice | Aston Martin F1 Team

F1 Spanish GP 2024: Schedule and Session Start Times

0
As the 2024 Formula 1 season progresses, the Spanish Grand Prix stands out as a pivotal event, offering a...
Ryan Blaney, driver of the #12 Advance Auto Parts Ford, celebrates after winning the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series Iowa Corn 350 at Iowa Speedway | NASCAR

How two tyres carried Ryan Blaney to NASCAR win at Iowa

0
Ryan Blaney's June began in heartbreaking fashion when Team Penske opted to gamble on fuel, only for him to...
Max Verstappen leads George Russell of Mercedes during the 2024 Canadian Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Red Bull vs McLaren vs Mercedes: What next in F1’s development war?

0
The Canadian Grand Prix served up the best race of the 2024 Formula 1 season so far with a...
Lewis Hamilton at 2024 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix | Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton explains why F1 doesn’t need a transfer window

0
Lewis Hamilton has weighed in with his thoughts on whether Formula 1 should adopt a football-style transfer window to...
Max Verstappen leads Lando Norris of McLaren during the 2024 Canadian Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Forget Ferrari, McLaren are the biggest threat to Red Bull

0
The very fact that Lando Norris was disappointed and frustrated with finishing second at the Formula 1 2024 Canadian...
Sergio Perez looks on at the 2024 Canadian GP | Mark Thompson / Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Horner calls for Perez to bounce back as he heaps praise on Verstappen

0
Team principal Christian Horner for Sergio Perez to get back to from for the 2024 Spanish Grand Prix whilst...

Should F1 adopt a football-style transfer window for drivers? Max Verstappen is the proof...

0
Formula 1 is unlike any other sport, and that's fine - the F1 purists thrive on its unique qualities....

What went wrong for Will Brown, Cam Waters in NASCAR Cup debuts

0
The NASCAR Cup Series had some Australian flavour Sunday when Supercars Championship stars Will Brown and Cameron Waters made...

What we learned from the 2024 Canadian GP

0
Max Verstappen returned to the top step of the podium after a terrible 2024 Monaco Grand Prix with an...
Norman Nato leads the field at the 2024 Shanghai E-Prix | Formula E

Formula E 2024-25 calendar announced for first Gen3 Evo season

0
Formula E have announced its provisional calendar for the 2024-25 season, which will be the first campaign for the...
- Advertisment -