In fact, for the fifth time in its more than thirty-year history, the Prancing Horse single-make brand will support the iconic 24 Hours of Le Mans, which this year celebrates its centenary, which will see Ferrari return to the track in the premier class, 50 years later, with the 499P hybrid hypercar.
For the exceptional occasion, no less than 71 Ferrari 488 Challenge Evos will compete on the 13.6 kilometers of the Circuit de la Sarthe from 7 to 10 June. A record number, considering that never before had so many Ferraris participated in the same single-make race of the Maranello House. All cars on track at the same time in the only round of the round, which will precede the start of the fourth round of the FIA WEC by a few hours.
Eliseo Donno, Radicci Automobili, Ferrari 488 Challenge Evo
Photo by: Ferrari
The race in France represents the halfway point of the season and attention will be paid, in the main class, to the attempt by Eliseo Donno (Radicci Automobili), the current leader of the general classification and winner of four races out of the six disputed, to definitively beat the resistance of his closest pursuers.
Among the challengers, in addition to the young and promising Thomas Fleming (HR Owen – FF Corse) and Bence Valint (Rossocorsa – Ferrari Budapest) and the more experienced Max Mugelli (CDP – Eureka Competition), the transalpine Thomas will also be competing at Le Mans Neubauer (Charles Pozzi GT Racing), reigning world champion of the Pirelli Trophy, also involved in the 24 Hours with the 488 GTE of the JMW Motorsport team.
Leading the group of 24 Ferrari Challenge 488 Evos in the Trofeo Pirelli Am, in the most crowded class on this occasion, will be Franz Engstler (Charles Pozzi GT Racing), whose clear run of victories was temporarily interrupted in Race 1 at Spielberg by Hanno Laskowski (Emil Frey Sportivo), currently the closest pursuer of the leader, at 27 lengths.
In addition to the return of Nicolò Rosi (Kessel Racing), the French appointment will also see the presence of many drivers from the other series of the Prancing Horse single-make series, starting from the North American one to the English one passing through the new Japanese series, which, in case, they will still get points for the continental classification.
Photo by: Ferrari
Despite the third and fifth place he had to settle for in Spielberg, Axel Sartingen (Lueg Sportivo – Herter Racing) is firmly leading the general standings of the Coppa Shell, seriously candidate to win the season title.
The challenge behind him is tight, which will also be re-proposed on the Circuit de la Sarthe, in which the probable inclusion, also in this case, of drivers from other series is expected: Fons Scheltema (Kessel Racing), Willem van der Vorm (Scuderia Monte-Carlo), Manuela Gostner (CDP – MP Racing) and Alexander Nussbaumer (Gohm – Scuderia GT) are currently enclosed in just 5 points and aim to shorten the gap from the leader.
The 0 scored in Spielberg’s unfortunate Race 2 by Kirk Baerwaldt (Kessel Racing) opened the game in the Coppa Shell Am standings behind the Singaporean driver, with Motohiko Isozaki (Cornes Motors Shiba) trailing by 12 points. The Italian Giuseppe Ramelli (Rossocorsa – Pellin Racing), currently third, will not be in the French contention, thus offering the side to the comeback attempt in particular by Tommy Lindroth (Baron Motorsport), third and second in Austria and Martinus Richter (MERTEL Motorsport ) at his second goal of the season on the Styrian circuit.
Action on the track
Photo by: Ferrari
In the intense week of Le Mans, the Ferrari Challenge Europe drivers will take to the track as early as Wednesday 7 June with a free practice session, repeated on Thursday 8. Qualifying in a single session for the Trofeo Pirelli and Coppa Shell is scheduled for Friday 9 June for 45 minutes , while the 35-minute race will start on Saturday 10 June at 9.30.
Qualifying and the race will be visible live, free of charge and with commentary in English, on the live.ferrari.com website and on the “Ferrari” YouTube channel. In Italy, the Sky platform will broadcast the race live on channel 207 (Sky Sport F1) from 9.15am; repeated on the same channel on Saturday from 2pm, Sunday from 12.30pm and from 4pm. The race will also be broadcast on Sky Sport F1 in the United Kingdom and Germany.