Although the company supported the customer 333 SP in the 90s, the new Ferrari 499 P is the first factory-run Ferrari prototype racer since 1973. That made its debut in this weekend's FIA World Endurance Championship round at Sebring historically significant, and AF Corse driver Antonio Fuoco made that significant moment a success when he put the No. 50 car on pole for the race.
Fuoco's lap came in at 1:45.057, beating out Toyota's best by 2/10ths of a second for pole ahead of yesterday's race. Unfortunately for Ferrari and their factory team partners at AF Corse, he would surrender the lead to stop on a lap five safety car and the 499 P would be unable to match the Toyota GR010 on race pace throughout the event. The No. 50 Ferrari went on to finish third overall, two laps behind the Toyotas that would finish first and second. The sister car, the No. 51 499 P, would finish 15th overall and 11 laps down after making contact with a GTE-Am Ferrari mid-race.
From 1949 to 1965, Ferrari won the 24 Hours of Le Mans nine times. The brand then went winless in factory efforts against Ford, Porsche, and Matra from 1966 to 1973, eventually shuttering the program entirely. 2023 marks the first resumption of Ferrari's push to again win the race that once defined it in half a century. If the company can turn the one-lap pace Fuoco showed in Sebring into competitive pace at the Circuit de la Sarthe, it could be in excellent shape.Looking to purchase a car? Find your match on the MSN Autos Marketplace 2023-03-18T17:44:30Z dg43tfdfdgfd