Seven Ferrari 488 GTEs will be competing in the Centenary edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the only class dedicated to production series-derived cars, the LMGTE Am, made up of mixed crews of professional and gentlemen drivers. Four official Prancing Horse drivers will line up at the start of round four of the 2023 FIA World Endurance Championship. Here are their thoughts in the run-up to the race weekend.
Lilou Wadoux, 488 GTE #83 Richard Mille AF Corse: “I’m in my first 24 Hours as an official Ferrari driver. My first goal is to finish the race and earn plenty of precious points towards the championship standings and then if we manage to get on the podium that would be an even better goal. Here in France, there are so many fans at the track, I want to thank them for the great support they have been giving me at this, my ‘home’ race. We had a great win at Spa, but we still have some areas where we need to improve, during pit stops or in traffic management, the latter which will be very important at Le Mans, given the large number of cars in the race. Compared to the Belgian race, Le Mans is a different track, in terms of aerodynamics too: we will have to improve in certain areas, but we are all ready for this race.”See shuttle map below.
Alessio Rovera, 488 GTE #83 Richard Mille AF Corse: “Expectations for the Le Mans 24 Hours are running really high. I think we have all the right ingredients to do well: a strong car, a great crew and we will try to do our best after the fantastic weekend at Spa. To win at Le Mans in 2021 was already a fantastic feeling. I hope to have another good race this year with my teammates. The secret to winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans? I think it’s consistency, because of course you can be fast on any single lap, but in a race like this, with more than 300 laps, it will be important to be consistent as well as working well with our crew and teammates.”
Davide Rigon, 488 GTE #54 AF Corse: “There are very high expectations for this 24 Hours of Le Mans. I can’t wait to start the race. I feel ready. I’ve been preparing the whole year. It’s great to be here again for this centenary edition. One hundred is a special number. It says a lot about the race’s history and of course just being here is fantastic for me. First of all, I’d like to be on the podium. I’ve only finished second on the podium a few times and then I really hope to be there and be in the battle for the win over the final hour. How can I describe this race? The 24 Hours is a tough race, especially for the traffic, and it will be very important to avoid any collisions in the traffic and also to look after our car. You have to be fast and pay attention to so many things.”
Daniel Serra, 488 GTE #57 Kessel Racing: “It is always difficult to know where we are in relation to the other cars until the race gets underway here at Le Mans. We have done our best in terms of preparation. I have to say that I have two really great teams, both in GT World Challenge Europe and in the FIA WEC, which provide me with everything that I need, to be ready to battle for a good result and be well prepared. The 24 Hours is one of my favourite races. I can’t wait to be on the grid on Saturday. This year I will drive the Ferrari 488 GTE for the last time, here at Le Mans: next year we will drive another amazing car, the brand new 296 GT3. This is the ‘last dance’ for the 488 GTE and I would like to experience it in the best way possible.”