The World Endurance Championship (WEC) series, jointly sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) and the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO), created the Hypercar category to replace the top prototype LMP1 class of racer in 2021. This new racing class—designed to be the most elite prototype style on the planet, with a 4-stroke engine and a unique set of build specifications—already includes cars from makers like Toyota, Peugeot, Porsche and Audi.
“The Hypercar field promises some epic battles,” said Pierre Fillon, president of the ACO. “Alongside Ferrari, many manufacturers who have already joined us are sure to pull out all the stops to win the race in its centenary year.”
While the Maranello-based Ferrari team has enjoyed recent success in the Grand Touring class of WEC racing, the manufacturer is pledging to a whole new level of financial commitment and competition with this announcement. Ferrari-backed teams have won the LeMans 24-hour race a total of nine times—including a stretch from 1960-1965 while pitted in a heated rivalry with Ford, famously depicted in the 2019 Academy Award Best Picture nominee, Ford v Ferrari.
“With the new Le Mans Hypercar program, Ferrari once again asserts its sporting commitment and determination to be a protagonist in the major global motorsport events,” said John Elkann, Ferrari president.
Enzo Ferrari, the namesake and founder for the famous car manufacturer, pulled factory support of prototype racing at the end of 1973 due to mounting cost and to focus all efforts into the Formula One program. Endurance racing is based around automotive manufacturers’ testing the limits and finding new innovations to implement into their other forms of motorsports and street vehicles. The Ferrari Hypercar will be available for consumer purchase in small quantities, with high price tags.
More details of Ferrari’s Hypercar program, including drivers, partnerships and design specs will be released at a later date.