Once upon a time, Enzo Ferrari said that the prettiest race car is the one that wins the best, or something. It makes for a slick quote, and we can all understand Ferrari’s point, but that doesn’t make it true. The Scuderia couldn’t buy a win during the 1992 Formula 1 season for example, and yet that fact does nothing to abate my appreciation for the F92A’s silhouette.
Whether it wins or loses, I hope to be able to say the same for Ferrari’s upcoming Le Mans Hypercar. We’ll get our first full look at it sans camo wrap on October 30 ahead of its competition debut at Sebring in the spring.
Maranello’s yet-unnamed prototype is a big deal for Ferrari and sports car racing alike. It’s the manufacturer’s first effort in the category since the 333 SP more than two decades ago. And it enters the field at a time when everyone — from Porsche, to BMW, to Lamborghini, to Cadillac and Acura— is also gearing up to campaign their own endurance machines.
Ferrari says it’s already logged more than 6,200 miles in testing since July, which is the sort of work you have to do if you want to give your race car the best chance of making it through 12 or 24 grueling hours on the limit. Antonello Coletta, who runs the brand’s sportscar racing efforts, told Motorsport.com that his engineers never really had a set mileage goal in mind; they’re just looking to run the thing as much as physically possible before its competition record begins. And probably after that, too:
“Every 10 days, or so, we are on the track and we will do it as long as we can before going to Sebring. It’s essential to run every day because you really discover so many new things, so you have to make the changes and then go back to the track to check them.
“The car is very complicated because we have chosen the Hypercar [LMH rules], while the LMDh regulations call for a slightly simpler car. This choice brings with it some non-trivial complications to solve. That’s why I say that the more we drive, the better.”
Indeed, while almost everyone else who’ll be competing for overall victory at Le Mans in the coming years (sans Toyota, Peugeot and even privateers Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus) chose the easier LMDh route, which utilizes spec chassis and hybrid drive systems, Ferrari had to do things its own way. Read: go it alone and spend way more money in the process. “When Ferrari races it needs to make the whole car,” Coletta said to Top Gear back in June. Simple as that, then. We look forward to seeing the results.