Four-of-a-kind for Ferrari at Le Mans
Source: Ferrari

Le Mans, 14th June 2009 – An extraordinary result for the F430 GT at the 24 Hours of Le Mans: four Berlinette from Maranello on the first four places in the GT2 class at the end of the oldest and most prestigious endurance race in the world. Car number 82 from the Risi Competizione Team, driven by Jaime Melo, Mika Salo and Pierre Kaffer, was the first of the cars from Ferrari crossing the line – this was the 18th overall position with 328 laps driven. This is the second success in a row for Giuseppe Risi’s team at Le Mans with an “encore” in 2009 after the victory at the 12 Hours of Sebring. Place three was also gained by Risi with the team’s second F430 GT, driven by Tracy Krohn, Nic Jonsson and Eric van de Poele. Between these two cars the BMS Scuderia Italia’s Ferrari with Fabio Babini, Matteo Malucelli and Paolo Ruberti came home. The “four-of-a-kind” was completed by the British team JMW Motorsport, with Robert Bell, Andrew Kirkaldy and Tim Sugden behind the wheel.

“I’m proud of this wonderful result. Four cars from Ferrari on the first four places in such a prestigious race is a great satisfaction and I want to congratulate the teams on the result; the teams have worked so hard to prepare the best way possible for this race. I especially want to thank Giuseppe Risi, who with his team has gained the second success in a row,” Ferrari CEO Amedeo Felisa said. “It was a tough race, especially at the beginning when the cars from Ferrari had to fight against very strong competitors like the Porsches. When night fell Risi’s car took over the lead and didn’t cede. I’m especially pleased by the fact that nine out of ten F430 GT which started into the race crossed the line; this is not only a sign of competitiveness, but also of the car’s great reliability.”

Another five cars from Ferrari can be found on the first ten places in their class (with only a Spyker under the top ten); there are cars from the AF Corse team (sixth with Gimmi Bruni, Luis Perez-Companc and Matias Russo), Team Modena (seventh with Leo Mansell, Pierre Ehret and Roman Rusinov), JMB Racing (eighth with Christophe Bouchut, Yvan Lebon and Manuel Rodrigues), Advanced Engineering (ninth with Patrick Dempsey, Joe Foster and Don Jr Kitch) and Virgo Motorsport (tenth with Michael and Sean McInerney and Michael Vergers). The only Ferrari not crossing the line was the one from the Hankook-Farnbacher team (Alan Simonsen-Dominik Farnbacher-Christian Montanari); the car had to retire in the morning due to a mechanical problem.

In the end one should remember that a tiny bit of Ferrari can also be found in the overall win: Marc Gené, the official Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro test driver, sat behind the wheel of the Peugeot.


Montezemolo flagman at 24 Hours of Le Mans
Source: Ferrari

Le Mans, 13th June – An exceptional flagman today at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The 77th edition of the oldest and most prestigious endurance race was started by Ferrari Chairman Luca di Montezemolo, invited by the ACO to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the first overall victory by a car from Maranello, the one gained with the 166 MM with Luigi Chinetti and Lord Selsdon in 1949. Together with Montezemolo the French Prime Minister François Fillon and ACO President Jean Claude Plassart started the race.

Before he started the race Luca di Montezemolo walked down the grid to greet all the participants, especially the drivers racing the ten 430 GT, making Ferrari the most represented brand in this edition of Le Mans. Montezemolo, greeted by the spectators, threw several hats into the crowd.

“I’m extremeley honoured by the possibility to start this fantastic race,representing the essence of the spirit of competition we love so much at Ferrari,” Montezemolo said before leaving Le Mans. “It was a great feeling here and I will always remember it with pleasure, with this flag I received on this wonderful day.” Montezemolo received the French flag with today’s date, a tradition for all the flagmen at Le Mans.


Montezemolo at the track in Le Mans
Source: Ferrari

Le Mans, 13th June 2009 – “It’s great to see so many people here for a car race, it’s a fantastic atmosphere.” Meeting the press after a lap on the track in a Ferrari California with Jean Alesi behind the wheel, Luca di Montezemolo didn’t hide his satisfaction about the packed grandstands at Le Mans:

“Thinking about all these enthusiastic people and about the empty grandstands at Istanbul last week I think that there’s something wrong. But today I don’t want to sadden myself by talking about Formula 1,” the Ferrari Chairman said. “You all know our position, we’ve told you more than once: we want stability, certain rules, a clear and transparent governance system and the possibility to let the teams work the way they already showed they can work on a reduction of the costs. I really hope that we can find a solution: I’m convinced that there are responsible people at the FIA,who know about the situation.”

Montezemolo as a flagman at the 24 Hours raised many questions as far as a probable return of the manufacturer from Maranello in the future to such a competition is concerned. “A Ferrari at Le Mans? Why not?,” Montezemolo said. “If we should not race in Formula 1 anymore this would be an option: obviously not with a car with a Diesel engine, but maybe with a hybrid, who knows. In this race you can really see the values of competition in the areas of sports and technology, but I have to say again that the life, the heart and the soul of Ferrari are with Formula 1. This year, also because of the rules we can call “grey”, it doesn’t go too well, but we will never give up. Where we will be in 2011? For sure this situation will be resolved somehow: we will race in a Formula 1 with characteristics we want to keep or there will be some sort of alternative.”


Montezemolo at Le Mans
Source: Ferrari

Le Mans, 13th June – This morning Ferrari Chairman Luca di Montezemolo arrived at Le Mans where at 3pm the world’s most prestigous 24 Hour race will be started. Montezemolo is accompanied by Vice President Piero Ferrari, CEO Amedeo Felisa and the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro Team Principal Stefano Domenicali.

The Ferrari delegation met the President of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest Jean Claude Plassart, who remembered the numerous participations of cars from Ferrari in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. This year ten 430 GT will start in the GT2 category.

“There is a historical connection between Ferrari and the 24 Hours and I am glad to be here to start one of the races of which I admire the spirit of competition you can feel here,” Montezemolo said. “We have many things in common; for example the connection to the terroir: I can see the people living here and they are happy and proud to host this great event and collaborate to set it up, just like it happens at Maranello. It’s true that many years have passed since the last overall win of a Ferrari in this race and I have a dream, which is also a wish, to see sooner or later an official car starting in the race.”

Later on Montezemolo met the team principals of the teams starting at Le Mans with cars from Maranello, talking also to some of the drivers who wrote the history of Ferrari: Jacky Ickx and Jean Alesi.

The arrival of Montezemolo followed a success of a Ferrari on the track. A 250 LM, driven by the Brazilian Carlos Monteverde, won the Le Mans Legend, the race for historical car which once competed in this 24 Hour race. Place three went to another Ferrarista, Tony Dron, with his 246S, while the Lister Jaguar with Justin Law came in second.


Date 13.-14.06.2009
Laps 382
Distance 5.206,278 km / 3.235,723 miles
No Driver Ferrari S/N Team Result
78 Gianmaria Bruni
Luis Perez Companc
Matias Russo
F 430 GTC
F131 EVOGTC 2626
AF Corse
26. overall/ 6. in class
81 Patrick Dempsey
Joe Foster
Don Kitch, Jr.
F 430 GTC
F131 EVOGT 2446
Advanced Engineering 30. overall/ 9 . in class
82 Mika Salo
Jaime Melo
Pierre Kaffer
F 430 GTC F 131 EVOGTC 2606 Risi Competizione 18. overall/ 1. in class
83 Tracy W. Krohn
Nic Jönsson
Eric van de Poele
F 430 GTC F 131 EVOGTC 2656 Risi Competizione 22. overall/ 3. in class
84 Pierre Ehret
Leo Mansell
Roman Rusinov
F 430 GTC
F 131 EVOGTC 2636
Team Modena 27. overall/ 7. in class
89 Allan Simonsen
Dominik Farnbacher
Christian Montanari
F 430 GTC
F 131 EVOGTC 2608
Hankook – Team Farnbacher retired
92 Robert Bell
Andrew Kirkaldy
Tim Sudgen
F 430 GTC
F 131 EVOGT 2408
JMW Motorsport 23. overall/ 4. in class
96 Michael McInerney
Sean McInerney
Michael Vergers
F 430 GTC
F 131 EVOGTC 2638
Virgo Motorsport 32. overall/ 10 . in class
97 Fabio Babini
Matteo Malucelli
Paolo Ruberti
F 430 GTC
F131 EVOGTC 2616
BMS Scuderia Italia
19. overall/ 2. in class
99 Christophe Bouchut
Yvan Lebon
Manuel Rodrigues
F 430 GTC
F131 EVOGT 2466
JMB Racing 29. overall/8. in class


Montezemolo to give start signal at Le Mans 24 Hour Race
Source: Ferrari

Maranello, April 29th 2009 – The 77th edition of the Le Mans 24 Hour Race is to have a high profile guest starter. At 15.00 on June 13th next, in fact, Ferrari Chairman Luca di Montezemolo will give the official start signal for the most prestigious endurance race in the motor racing world.

Mr Montezemolo was invited to Le Mans by Automobile Club de l’Ouest President Jean-Claude Plassart to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the first of Maranello’s nine overall 24 Hour Race victories, which came courtesy of the 166 MM of Luigi Chinetti and Lord Selsdon in 1949.

“I am delighted to be given the opportunity to start a race that has made motor racing history and has such strong links with Ferrari. Our Scuderia has delivered some unforgettable achievements on this circuit,” declared Montezemolo. “The Le Mans 24 Hour Race is synonymous with technologically-advanced sporting competition and has always been a focus of great attention on our part.

In addition to the nine overall wins clocked up between 1949 and 1965 (the latter thanks to Jochen Rindt and Masten Gregory in the 250 LM), Ferrari has also taken numerous class victories in the French race, the most recent of which was delivered in 2008 by the F430 GT of the Risi Competizione team. A total of 10 Maranello berlinettas will be lined out at the start by eight private teams on June 13th this year.

Also on hand at the circuit will be the GES Director Stefano Domenicali, a further demonstration of Maranello’s continuing interest in this classic race. In his role as Chairman of the FIAT Group, Montezemolo will also be marking another special anniversary at Le Mans as it was 40 years ago, in September 1968, that the late Gianni Agnelli also started the Le Mans 24 Hour Race.