The wait is almost over! After 50 years of not being involved, Ferrari will soon be competing in high-level endurance races again in March.
Ferrari is bringing back its 499P LMH race car that can be used to compete in the Hypercar class at the FIA World Endurance Championship and the GTP class at the IMSA SportsCar Championship. All Ferrari has announced so far is that it will make a debut at the WEC, which features an exciting 24 Hours of Le Mans race. If Ferrari wants to, it can also race this car in select rounds of the SportsCar Championship too.
The 499P is having its first activity at Sebring International Raceway in Florida on March 11th and 12th. Its main race, the 1000 Miles of Sebring, will be held at the same track two days later, on the 17th.
Ferrari will have two cars driving as part of this event; Antonio Fuoco, Miguel Molina and Nicklas Nielsen are in car number 50 whilst Alessandro Pier Giudi, James Calado, and Antonio Giovinazzi make up the team for car number 51.
Ferrari isn’t going it alone. It has joined up with AF Corse for the LMH campaign and now, together, will be known as Ferrari-AF Corse. AF Corse has been racing in the WEC’s GT classes for a long time using Ferrari’s cars designed for racing.
The 499P is a special race car with lots of power and all-wheel drive. It was built to meet the LMH rules. Under the hood, it has a 3.0-liter V-6 engine that’s similar to the one used in Ferrari’s 296 GTB supercar. Plus, it has an electric motor that drives the front wheels too! The “499” in the name refers to each cylinder size (the measurement is called cubic centimeters) while the “P” stands for its place as part of Ferrari’s sport prototype racers lineup.
Ferrari stopped participating in endurance racing at the highest level in 1973 and started focusing on Formula 1 instead. The last title they won was during 1972, when they ended up ruling the World Sportscar Championship with their 312PB car.