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Ferrari 499P wins on debut at 24 Hours of Le Mans

Ferrari won the Centenary edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans with the 499P driven by Alessandro Pier Guidi, who shared the number 51 car with James Calado and Antonio Giovinazzi, covering 342 laps of the French track. Ferrari claimed an historic result on its return to the top class after half a century, with the Ferrari – AF Corse team triumphing in the world’s most famous endurance race.


Antonio Fuoco, Miguel Molina and Nicklas Nielsen finished fifth in the 499P number 50, delayed during the night by repairs that knocked the crew out of contention for the podium, despite an excellent performance that saw them climb several places back up the standings.

The Ferrari 499Ps started from the top two positions on the grid with Hypercar numbers 50 and 51, respectively, thanks to the times posted during the Hyperpole when Fuoco took pole.

This was Ferrari’s tenth overall victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, to go with those collected in 1949, 1954, 1958, and 1960-1965. Ferrari’s history at Le Mans now comprises 39 victories, including 29 class wins.

With this result in round four of the 2023 FIA World Endurance Championship, Ferrari remains second in the Manufacturers’ standings, narrowing the gap to Toyota to 19 points.

The Internal Combustion Engine on the rear axle and the Energy Recovery System (ERS) enable the 499P to deliver a total maximum power output of around 700 horsepower (515 kW), within the regulatory limits.

The internal combustion engine (ICE) has a maximum regulation-limited output to the wheels of 500 kW (680 cv) and is derived from the road-going twin-turbo V6 family.

The ICE, which shares the architecture of the engine fitted to the 296 GT3, has undergone a thorough overhaul by Ferrari’s engineers, aimed both at developing ad hoc solutions for the prototype and lightening the overall weight. Among the specific characteristics of the 499P’s V6 is the fact that the engine is load-bearing and therefore performs a valuable structural function, compared to the versions fitted to competition GT cars, where the engine is mounted onto the car’s rear sub-chassis.

The ERS—the combination of the high-voltage battery and the MGU (Motor Generator Unit)—has maximum power output of 200 kW. The electric motor is equipped with a differential and is driven by a battery that is recharged during deceleration and braking, requiring no external power source.

The battery pack, with a nominal voltage of 900 V, benefits from experience honed in Formula 1, although it was purpose-built for the project.

4WD. In the Le Mans Hypercar, the electric unit, when braking, works as an alternative to or with the front brake discs to slow down the 499P, while when accelerating, ERS’s major benefit is the ability to activate 4WD.

The cars can only use the positive torque unleashed by the electric unit at more than 190 km/h, in specific conditions and on certain sectors of FIA WEC tracks.

At Le Mans, these conditions occur near the final part of the Porsche curves and in the initial part of the track when exiting the Bugatti circuit and entering the 24 Hours circuit. At Monza, the venue for the fifth round of the 2023 season, drivers take the second turn of the Ascari chicane and the Parabolica corner, which leads onto the main straight at speeds of more than 190 km/h.


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