The Ferrari epic is reborn at Le Mans
The Prancing Horse won the 24-hour race 58 years after the last time. It’s the return of the legend.
Finally, when the #51 499P driven by Alessandro Pier Guidi, Antonio Giovinazzi and James Calado crossed the finish line at 4:00 p.m. and a few seconds, the Reds were able to burst into a whoop of joy, only to be melting from the cold on their backs and a few tears of emotion on his face. It’s better to be a Ferrari driver Not (only) for the victory that sealed a wonderful race, but for what we saw at the Circuit de la Sarthe: pure motorsport or, to quote the English, real racing. And when motorsport becomes pure, the protagonist is the Maranello team, led in the World Endurance Championship by Antonello Coletta and the Amato Ferrari team.
Also for Antonio Giovinazzi it is better to be a Ferrari driver and Italian, the boy from Martina Franca, born in 1993, who, after an apprenticeship at Alfa Romeo, made his dream of becoming a Ferrari driver in Formula 1 a reality. Without ever giving up, he continued to work to stay in Maranello and time paid him back with interest. “After years of disappointment, finally an unforgettable victory.” I cried! There are few races in the world that I have dreamed of winning. Le Mans is the first and the other two are Indianapolis and the F1 GP at Monza. I’ve made a dream come true.” Not to mention Alessandro Pier Guidi, the driver who, less than twelve months ago, covered the first meters of the prototype track in Fiorano and had the honor of bringing the #51 499P over the checkered flag. For the hundreds of thousands of people who live and work for racing cars, it’s nicer to be Italian, for an excellence like Dallara, which is not only a world leader in the sector but has also helped to build this success, and for all those who dream of motorsport. It’s a victory that combines high and low.
The 100th anniversary of Le Mans was a date with history for Ferrarii, For fifty years the Scuderia del Cavallino Rampante had not officially participated in the 24 Hours and had not won for fifty-eight years. An unexpected victory against a colossal opponent and favored by predictions like Toyota, against historical rivals Porsche, against Peugeot, against Cadillac. With their debut half a century later, the men from Maranello prove once again that they know how to build cars, how to race, that they are the best and that they deserve the wind in favor of fate. Suddenly, one day, just as the Neapolitan side of the peninsula was singing, fate decreed that the Ferraris would be reborn. And it had to happen here, where epic has not yet given way to show, where racing is still about men and unpredictable variables. Here Ferrari has shown that it is not dead but on the contrary has returned to its origins with what – despite what we see in Formula 1 – it can do: win in style.
In classic French we experienced «history before our eyes»as Roberto Chinchero writes further motorsport.com. The generations that have separated us since 1965, the last Cavallino victory by Jochen Rindt and Masten Gregory with the Ferrari 275 LM, have given us over time the passion for motorsport, the beauty of being Italian and Ferrari enthusiasts, and the pride passed on to be the best in the world, the identity of a brand that is tradition and inspiration. A Cavallino that inspires us with passion. We had never experienced such an intense sporting joy, such a beautiful and meaningful triumph as that achieved by the Maranello team at Le Mans yesterday. Sure, Schumacher’s epic in Formula 1, but to win Le Mans like that with two Italian drivers was something extraordinary. And we will be able to say that we lived it by telling our grandchildren. A win at Le Mans is tantamount to a Formula 1 championship, if not more, that’s what the drivers say, the insiders say, history says it. Especially when the race is as intense as this edition.
The 499P of Pier Guidi, Antonio Giovinazzi and James Calado crossed the checkered flag one minute and 21 seconds ahead of the #8 Toyota GR010 by Sebastien Buemi, Brendon Hartley and Ryo Hirakawa. The duel between Japan and Italy characterized the entire course of the race, with intermediate phases in which all protagonists in the overall standings were able to win: The yellow Cadillac V-Series.R was the fastest on the track with Bourdais in the first sections of the race. When driving, Porsche started early in the evening the fight while the marvelous Peugeot 9X8 was in the lead when an exit at the first Mulsanne chicane forced it into a debacle. The second part of the race saw the final duel in which the #51 and the #8 fought for victory. A few minutes before the end, a braking error by the Japanese Hirakawa in the Arnage curve – in the previous stint Hartley indicated a tendency to lock the rear wheels in exactly this section of the track – finally paved the way for the finale by Pier Guidi surplus. Desperation among the Japanese, enthusiasm among the Italians.
We can say without fear of contradiction that this Le Mans, this endurance championship, is worth much more than Formula 1.
We have seen a show produced by sport and not the other way around, where you don’t need a screaming commentary to regain attention, this original motorsport that even today manages to make you fall in love. We’ve seen hundreds of thousands of people on the track, in all weathers, or at home staying up day and night. This is thanks to a technical regulation, namely that of hypercars, which brings back the interest and enthusiasm of manufacturers, focusing on sustainable technological development but also on competition and not on show. A sports policy that entails the essential preservation of motorsport as such, where preservation does not mean the cult of ashes but the preservation of fire, a sacred fire that finds its temple in Le Mans.