The centenary edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans will feature seven Ferrari 488 GTEs in the LMGTE Am, the only class for production-based cars. Four Prancing Horse official drivers will line up on the grid for round four of the FIA WEC: Lilou Wadoux and Alessio Rovera, winners of the previous outing at Spa-Francorchamps with the Richard Mille AF Corse team; Davide Rigon and Daniel Serra, respectively with AF Corse and Kessel Racing. The race, featuring 21 crews in the professional and gentlemen drivers’ category, will kick off on Saturday, 10 June, at 4 p.m.
Battle at the summit. With the 25 points collected in Belgium, the crew of the Ferrari 488 number 83 lie second in the Drivers’ standings, 39 points off the top. Wadoux and Rovera, supported by Luis Perez Companc, will share a first La Sarthe circuit experience with Richard Mille AF Corse. This will be the 22-year-old French driver’s second appearance in the 24 Hours, the first with the Prancing Horse, after the LMP2 prototypes. In contrast, this is Rovera’s third time at Le Mans, where he has celebrated victory with the 488 GTE in the LMGTE Am alongside Nicklas Nielsen and François Perrodo.
The most anticipated round. Kessel Racing will entrust the 488 GTE number 57 to Takeshi Kimura, Scott Huffaker and Daniel Serra. The Brazilian’s roll of honour includes two wins at Le Mans in the LMGTE Pro class. His second came in 2019 in the AF Corse 488 GTE with Alessandro Pier Guidi and James Calado, who won the world championship that season. Serra also picked up class runner-up finishes with the Italo-British pair in 2020 and 2022.
Davide Rigon, Thomas Flohr and Francesco Castellacci continue their journey in the FIA WEC 2023, where they have recorded two Top-6 finishes in AF Corse’s 488 GTE number 54. Rigon has two career podiums in LMGTE Pro at Le Mans: a third place in 2022 with Antonio Fuoco and Miguel Molina and a second in 2015 with James Calado and Olivier Beretta.
In its seventeenth appearance at the 24 Hours, AF Corse will also field the 488 GTE number 21 with Simon Mann, Julien Piguet and Ulysse de Pauw. The latter won the GT World Challenge Europe Sprint Silver Cup in 2022 with a 488 GT3 Evo 2020 of the same team.
Single race. Three other Ferraris will be in the spotlights at Le Mans. Kessel Racing will deploy a second car, the number 74, with the experienced Kei Cozzolino alongside Yorikatsu Tsujiko and Naoki Yokomizo. JMW Motorsport will be on the grid with the 488 GTE number 66 driven by Thomas Neubauer, the 2022 Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli world champion, Louis Prette, winner of the 2019 edition of the European one-make series, and Giacomo Petrobelli.
Walkenhorst Motorsport team will also make its debut. Victory in the Asian Le Mans Series secured a place on the grid for the number 100 Ferrari crewed by Chandler Hull, Andrew Haryanto and Jeffrey Segal.
History. The Prancing Horse has claimed nine overall and 29 class victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Since the FIA WEC’s inception in 2012, there have been eight wins with production-based cars. The most recent were in 2021 when Ferrari claimed the LMGTE Pro title with Pier Guidi, Calado, Serra, and the LMGTE Am, with Nielsen-Rovera-Perrodo.
The programme. On Wednesday, 7 June, Free Practice 1 will run from 2 p.m., qualifying from 7 p.m. and a second free practice session from 10 p.m. On Thursday 8, Free Practice 3 will take place from 3 p.m., followed by the Hyperpole from 8 p.m. for the eight fastest cars in each class, and the fourth free practice session from 10 p.m. The green flag for the 24 Hours of Le Mans will wave on Saturday, 10 June, at 4 p.m. (all times are local).