Ferrari names 6 drivers for the 499P campaign including ex-F1 drivers

Ferrari will return to endurance racing at the highest level after half a century with the new 499P LMH race car, and on Tuesday the automaker named the six-man team that will take over the driving duties.

Ferrari will field two 499Ps in the first hypercar class of the FIA ​​World Endurance Championship from the upcoming 2023 season. The move also means a return to elite racing at the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the Cavallino Rampante, as the French classic is the highlight of the World Endurance Championship calendar.

Drivers Alessandro Pier Guidi, Antonio Giovinazzi and James Calado will pilot the #51 499P, while drivers Antonio Fuoco, Nicklas Nielsen and Miguel Molina will pilot the #51. 50 car.

2023 Ferrari 499P LMH race car

2023 Ferrari 499P LMH race car

Guidi and Calado are both multiple long-distance world champions in the GTE Pro class, the premier class for production-based cars, while Giovinazzi was a driver in the Alfa Romeo Formula 1 team from 2019 to 2021. In his new role at Ferrari, he will also serve as reserve driver for the automaker’s F1 team.

The 499P that you will drive celebrated its world premiere last October. The car features a twin-turbo 3.0-litre V6 derived from that in the 296 GTB road car, coupled in this application to an electric motor driving the front axle. The V6 engine powers the rear axle and gives the 499P all-wheel drive. The ‘499’ in the name refers to the size of each cylinder, measured in cubic centimetres, while the ‘P’ indicates that the car is the latest in Ferrari’s line of sports prototypes.

According to LMH regulations, the 499P’s two engines can produce a maximum of 670 hp at the same time. The regulations also mandate a minimum weight of 2,270 pounds for the car.

2023 Ferrari 499P LMH race car

2023 Ferrari 499P LMH race car

The 499P is also eligible for the new GTP class starting this year as the new premier class of the IMSA SportsCar Championship, although Ferrari has not said if it plans to enter the series. However, there’s still a chance the 499P will make an appearance at select rounds of the SportsCar Championship.

Ferrari is not running its World Endurance Championship campaign alone. The automaker’s sports car racing division, Competizioni GT, has teamed up with AF Corse for the campaign, forming the new team Ferrari – AF Corse. AF Corse is an Italian independent racing team founded in 1995 by former racing driver Amato Ferrari (no relation to Enzo Ferrari or his son Piero). It has worked closely with Ferrari since 2006 and has represented Ferrari the most in GT competition in recent years, particularly in the GTE class of the World Endurance Championship.

After a prologue event at Sebring International Raceway in Florida on March 11-12, the first round of the 2023 World Endurance Championship begins on March 17 with the Sebring 1000.