The Ferrari Driver Academy’s Callum Ilott, who is also the test driver for Scuderia Ferrari, will take part in the Le Mans 24 Hours on 21 and 22 August, at the wheel of the Iron Lynx team’s Ferrari 488 GTE. The young Englishman has taken a liking to GT racing, having raced in the category this year, after showing his worth in Formula 2 last year.
Two 24 Hours in the space of a few weeks. Ilott’s GT career began with the SRO GT World Challenge Endurance Cup, driving an Iron Lynx team’s Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020, teamed up with two other Ferrari drivers, the expert Davide Rigon and former FDA student Antonio Fuoco. On 1st August, the trio will tackle the Spa 24 Hours in Belgium, which will be Callum’s debut appearance in this type of event. The Englishman quickly got to grips with endurance racing and prior to the Ardennes marathon, he took part in the Monza 3 Hours and the Paul Ricard 1000 Km. Now Callum will team up with Italians Rino Mastronardi and Matteo Cressoni in the LMGTE-Am class in the Le Mans 24 Hours.
Unmissable opportunity. Ilott explained why he decided to take on this new challenge: “I am very honoured to have been chosen by Iron Lynx to drive one of its Ferraris in the forthcoming Le Mans 24 Hours. It's an unmissable opportunity, as the French classic is a unique event and I hope I can do justice to the record of all the English drivers who have tackled this event before me.”
Tradition. Indeed, British drivers have an impressive record at Le Mans: in the 88 times it has been held at La Sarthe so far, there has been at least one Brit at the start. In the first two editions there was just Frank Clement in a Bentley 3 Litre Sport, who came fourth in 1923 and won the following year, teamed up with the Canadian John Francis Duff. That was the first of 31 outright wins for British drivers at Le Mans, to which can be added 102 class wins, including that of works Ferrari Competizioni GT driver James Calado. He came first in the prestigious LMGTE-Pro class in 2019, teamed up with Italy’s Alessandro Pier Guidi and Brazil’s Daniel Serra. On average, 23 of Ilott’s compatriots start the French classic every year and last year there were 31. A record number of 61 British drivers took part in 1935, taking the overall win courtesy of Johnny Hindmarsh and Luis Fontes, in a Lagonda M45 Rapide and three class successes. The 2 litre class went to Guy Don, teamed with France’s Jean Desvignes in an Alfa Romeo 6C, while in the up to 1.5 litre category, victory went to Charles E.C. Martin and Charles Brackenbury driving an Aston Martin Ulster; while the 750 class went to John Carr and John Barbour at the wheel of an Austin 7 Speedy.