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Le Mans in 2023: 10 breaking facts about Ferrari’s trumphant return
Table of Contents
Here are the major facts about Ferrari’s triumphant return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2023:
Ferrari’s Return: After a 50-year absence, Ferrari made a triumphant return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans, one of the most prestigious endurance races in motorsport.
Centenary Edition: The 2023 race marked the centenary edition of the Le Mans 24 Hours, which was first run in 1923. It drew a sell-out crowd of 300,000 spectators at the Bugatti circuit in Le Mans, France.
Ferrari’s Victory: Ferrari’s No. 51 car, driven by Alessandro Pier Guidi, Antonio Giovinazzi, and James Calado, took the chequered flag and secured victory in the premier Hypercar class. This was Ferrari’s tenth win in the class and their first overall victory in 58 years.
Battle with Toyota: Ferrari’s victory foiled Toyota’s quest for a sixth successive win in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Toyota’s No. 8 car, last year’s winner, finished in second place.
Costly Mistake by Toyota: With less than two hours remaining in the race, Toyota’s Ryo Hirakawa, who was within striking distance of the leading Ferrari, made a braking error at a bend, hitting a barrier. This mistake resulted in a lengthy pit stop, ensuring Ferrari’s victory.
Disappointment and Pride for Toyota: Despite not securing the win, Toyota expressed disappointment mixed with pride at their performance in the memorable battle. They gave their best effort and pushed Ferrari to the limit.
Other Podium Finishers: Cadillac cars secured the third and fourth positions in the race, with Toyota’s No. 7 car, victorious in 2021, pulling out after a collision. The No. 33 Corvette Racing team won the LM GTE Class, and the No. 34 Inter Europol Competition won the LM P2 Class.
Notable Performances: Former Formula One driver Antonio Giovinazzi impressed in his debut year in the World Endurance Championship (WEC) and played a crucial role in Ferrari’s victory. Jenson Button, the 2009 F1 champion, participated in the race for the NASCAR Garage 56 entry and helped the team finish.
Epic Battle and Unpredictable Race: The race was highly charged, featuring multiple overtakes, rain showers, and slippery track conditions. The lead changed hands between the frontrunning teams, including Ferrari, Toyota, Porsche, and Peugeot. Reliability problems, driver errors, and slower cars affected the challenges of the teams.
Historic Victory: Ferrari’s win at the 2023 Le Mans 24 Hours on the hundredth anniversary of the race was historic and unexpected. It showcased the skill and determination of the drivers and marked a significant milestone for Ferrari in endurance racing.
Overall, Ferrari’s return to Le Mans after a long absence resulted in a memorable victory, ending Toyota’s dominance and adding another chapter to the rich history of the legendary endurance race.