WEC: Ferrari secure historic win in the wet and wild race of the 24 Hours of Le Mans

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Ferrari's Hypercar outfit took a historic victory in today's 24 Hours of Le Mans to become the first manufacturer since 1934 to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Formula One Monaco Grand Prix in the same year.

The No. 50 Ferrari AF Corse 499P Hypercar driven by Antonio Fuoco, Nicklas Nielsen and Miguel Molina took a brilliantly well-judged victory in changeable conditions to win the 2024 Le Mans 24 Hours, round four of FIA WEC.

A year after winning the Centenary edition, Ferrari repeated the feat at the 24 Hours of Le Mans 2024, the world’s most famous and prestigious endurance race.

The Ferrari – AF Corse team’s 499P number 50 was piloted by Nicklas Nielsen, Miguel Molina and Antonio Fuoco with the 27-year-old Danish driver having driven the car over the finish line. The sister Le Mans Hypercar, the number 51 of Alessandro Pier Guidi, James Calado and Antonio Giovinazzi came third.

The third Ferrari Hypercar entry, the AF Corse team’s number 83 499P retired after 248 laps after having been among the front runners at length.

This marks the Prancing Horse’s 11th overall victory in the classic French endurance marathon and its second consecutive win following the triumph on 11 June 2023 with the 499P number 51. Previous victories were in 1949, 1954, 1958, and 1960 to 1965.

The Maranello manufacturer’s roll of honour at Le Mans also includes 29 class wins, for a total of 40 victories.

This year's 24 Hours of Le Mans was not different to previous years with many changes at the front. Luckily, the interruptions were mainly down to the weather conditions, and not serious crashes.

At the sharp end of the field, Ferrari, Toyota, Porsche were engaged in a fierce battle for the overall victory since the start of the race, but Cadillac were also sniffling around.

Following a lengthy rain-induced safety car period, it seemed that Toyota and Ferrari had the best cards to win the race. The Italian marque looked to have the control of the happenings as the race neared its closing stages. However, the dream seemed over for the line-up of Nicklas Nielsen, Miguel Molina and Antonio Fuoco when they were forced into an unscheduled pit stop with a flapping door in the late stages of proceedings.

However, out of sequence, they took a gamble to not stop again in the final hour and brought P1 home with just two per cent of energy remaining.

Speaking of the victory, Nielsen said: "It was, to be honest, a very long one,” said Nielsen. “Especially after the issue we had with the door…I actually thought everything was lost.

“I knew the pace was really good in the wet by the end. I mean, it was a very long last lap as well. I don’t even know what to say. It’s just amazing to be here. To finally win the race that I’ve always wanted to win.

"Seeing the sister car win it last year, was obviously a proud moment for everyone. And then, I think for us to take it this year – it’s an even greater achievement to do it back to back.”

Expanding on the long race, Molina added: “Actually, a couple of times, a couple of moments in the race, we risked to stay on slicks,” said Molina about the strategy. “And also, the last call to change to the wets was the right moment.

“I mean, it’s unbelievable. We’ve been looking for this result for so long, and we are really proud.

“Today was our day, actually! We experienced some tense moments, but we could go through them. And at the end, the result was here. I’m really proud of everyone that is involved in this project.”