Could Gene drive a Ferrari at Le Mans?

SPA FRANCORCHAMPS (BELGIO) 23/08/2013'� FOTO STUDIO COLOMBO X FERRARI

SPA FRANCORCHAMPS (BELGIO) 23/08/2013'� FOTO STUDIO COLOMBO X FERRARI

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As the new for 2014 Formula 1 V6 turbocharged engines comply with the LMP1 class regulations for the Le Mans 24-Hour Race and the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), there has been some indication during the last 10 days that the famous Ferrari team are considering the build of a new prototype car, writes James Beckett.

Scuderia Ferrari has not had a factory team in prototype sports car racing since 1973, but with Porsche returning to Le Mans and the FIA WEC next year with a full factory-supported programme, to do battle with Audi and Toyota, the series is becoming increasingly competitive and attractive to major manufacturers. Speaking at

Ferrari’s Christmas celebrations, at their Maranello headquarters, president of the legendary Italian manufacturer, Luca di Montezemolo, praised his company’s GT programme and left the option open for an LMP1 project.

He said: “We have won with the 458 GTE, but I also quite like the idea of racing at Le Mans in the highest category and who knows, maybe one day we can return and win, say thanks and come home.

“Maybe we should give

it some serious consideration.”

The Italian marque has won the Le Mans 24-Hour Race nine times, the last being in 1965 which was the last of a six year unbeaten record at the Circuit de la Sarthe.

Marc Gene, the former Buckingham University student, who is Ferrari’s official test and reserve driver for the Ferrari F1 programme, won Le Mans in 2009 with Peugeot.

He said this week: “Ferrari returning to Le Mans would be like a dream for many people.

“Ferrari and Le Mans fit together really well and time will tell if this idea actually becomes a reality.

“I believe it would be great to see a red car winning at Le Mans again.”