Celebrating Ferrari’s seventy years of participating at the world famous 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race, the ‘Ferrari at 24 Heures du Mans’ exhibition opened on Wednesday 15th January 2020 at the Ferrari Museum in Maranello, showcasing the marque’s remarkable 36 wins on the French racetrack.
The exhibition pays tribute to the achievements of the cars, engineers and drivers that claimed 36 titles over the decades, with 27 class wins and nine overall victories. Visitors can also view the famous La Sarthe race trophy.
A number of the cars that competed in the races at 24 Heures du Mans between 1949 and 2019 are on display at the Ferrari Museum, along with some multimedia and interactive contents.
As well as being able to look back at the history of this famous endurance race, visitors will be able to see the 166 MM Barchetta Touring, which is similar to the car Lord Selsdon and Luigi Chinetti triumphed on 26 June 1949, on Ferrari’s debut at Le Mans. The two drivers faced stiff competition from a large number of British and French professionals whose cars had twice the engine capacity of the Ferrari. That did not deter them however, and they went on to win the race with an average speed of 132.946 kilometres per hour. Chinetti made history by driving for over 23 hours, handing the wheel to Lord Selsdon for just 30 minutes!
Also on display is the 275 P in which Jean Guichet and Nino Vaccarella won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1964 with an incredible average speed of 195.63 km/h, ahead of two Ferrari 330 Ps. The 275 P is part of the legendary P series, the number referring to the unit displacement, while the letter P stands for prototype.
In addition there is the 488 GTE in which Alessandro Pier Guidi, James Calado and Daniel Serra won the most recent 24 Hours of Le Mans, giving Ferrari its 27th class victory, seventy years after the first triumph of the 166 MM. Visitors can get a real feel for the race through the ‘Le Mans Experience’, which is an exciting film that combines evocative images of the race with some of the messages recorded by the drivers and the team during the race itself.
Visitors will also be able to get up close and personal by putting themselves through the paces at the virtual wheel of the 488 GTE on the circuit of Le Mans in the special simulator that has been set up at the exhibition.
The ‘Ferrari at 24 Heures du Mans’ exhibition is open daily from 9:30am to 7:00pm will remain open at the Ferrari Museum until 19th April 2020. For more information on the exhibition, please visit https://musei.ferrari.com
You can also visit the two other current exhibitions at the Ferrari Museum in Maranello, ‘Hypercars – The evolution of uniqueness’ and ’90 years – Scuderia Ferrari, the complete story’.
Simon Burrell is Editor of Our Man Behind The Wheel, a professional photographer and former saloon car racing driver.
Illustrations courtesy of Ferrari