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Christopher Bruce0000-00-00 00:00:00

Ferrari Considering Adapting 2014 F1 Engine for Le Mans

It would have to add a hybrid drivetrain as well

Ferrari last raced at Le Mans in the top class in 1974

It is possible that the 24 Hours of Le Mans and prototype racing might be entering a new golden age. Next year there will be three factory-supported cars racing in the top category at Le Mans. NissanNissanNissanJapan, 1932 > present159 models
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has openly said that depending on the performance of its Garage 56 entry, it will have a factory-backed LMP1 entry in the coming years as well. Now, rumors are emerging that FerrariFerrariFerrariItaly, 1947 > present233 models
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may adapt its 2014 turbocharged 1.6-liter V6 engine for Formula 1 for a Le Mans LMP1 prototype - possibly as soon as 2015. 

The 2014 LMP1 rules do not put any limit on engine layout or displacement, but factory-backed cars must be partially electric powered. By adding the regenerative braking and generator that gets power from the engine's heat, it could go racing in the World Endurance Championship. 

The team has the option of either doing a full factory effort with a chassis and engine or following HondaHondaHondaJapan, 1948 > present102 models
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and ToyotaToyotaToyotaJapan, 1937 > present155 models
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by supplying engines to customer teams. 

Ferrari sees three reasons to return to Le Mans. First, it is relatively easy to develop the new F1 engines into a WEC engine.

Second, if so many top manufacturers re-enter the sport, its marketing value increase significantly. If Ferrari can go to Le Mans and win against, AudiAudiAudiGermany, 1909 > present83 models
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, PorschePorschePorscheGermany, 1931 > present43 models
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, ToyotaToyotaToyotaJapan, 1937 > present155 models
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and Nissan, then it looks fantastic for them. Right now a win in Formula 1 is still prestigious, but it is winning against RenaultRenaultRenaultFrance, 1898 > present189 models
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and MercedesMercedes-BenzMercedes-BenzGermany, 1924 > present197 models
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. When selling a Ferrari, it is more prestigious to advertise a win against Porsche, than a win against Renault.

Finally, the new rules make the WEC a far more open form of motorsport. Anyone who casually watches Formula 1 knows that the rules keep the teams from truly pushing technology. It is not hard to argue that F1 cars were more advanced 20 years ago with active suspension and adjustments being made from the pitlane. The WEC is not quite that open, but compared to Formula 1, it may as well be lawless.

Ferrari has a significant history at Le Mans, but it has not raced in the top class since 1974 and has not taken an overall win since 1965. In recent history, Ferrari has had success in the GT Class with the F430 GTCF430 GTCFerrari F430 GTCItaly, 2006 > present4 photos
and 458 GTE458 Italia GTCFerrari 458 Italia GTCItaly, 2011 > present5 photos
1 video

Source: Auto, Motor und Sport



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