Le Mans 2014 – Ferrari, five teams and eleven cars
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Le Mans 2014 – Ferrari, five teams and eleven cars

For the 2014 24 Hours of Le Mans, Ferrari will represent the three levels of the LM GTE Pro and LM GTE Am classes. Each of the five invited teams is a candidate for victory and has a unique story. Three of them will compete at their first 24 Hours.

Double World Champion in the LM GTE Pro class in 2012 and 2013, the Ferrari 458 Italia will return to La Sarthe with a twofold objective: to reconquer the class in which Porsche beat it last year, and to win its first LM GTE Am class victory at Le Mans.

AF Corse on all fronts – It is likely that the Italian team, Ferrari's strong arm in endurance, will be seen in the lead pack, if not on the podium of one of the two classes. Of the eleven 458 Italia cars present in the LM GTE Pro class and the LM GTE Am class, AF Corse is directly involved in six and provides technical support to those of SMP Racing and 8Star Motorsports...for a total of nine cars!

8Star Motorsports, toward another victory? – Victorious in the LM GTE Am class in the 2013 World Championship, the Venezuelan Vicente - aka Enzo - Potolicchio is not looking to stop while he's on a roll, and two years after his surprise success in the LM P2 class with Starworks Motorsports, he intends to add to his accolades a second class victory at the 24 Hours at the head of his own team...adding more uniqueness to 8Star Motorsports in the wake of an LM GTE Am class title in its first year of existence.

RAM Racing, the big leap – Having dominated in the LM GTE class in the 2013 European Le Mans Series, with three wins and two second place finishes in five races, the British team RAM Racing will naturally participate in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), with two cars - one in the LM GTE Pro class and the other in the LM GTE Am class. "From the beginning, the World Championship was the competition where we wanted to be, it was our target, says team captain Dan Shufflebottom. We know we will have excellent teams in both classes, but also that it will be a big challenge. A lot of us have already worked at the tracks we will be going to, but in terms of logistics it will be a step into the unknown."

SMP Racing, the Russian offensive – SMP Racing team's story looks a lot like that of the RAM Racing team. Both participated in the European Le Mans Series last year, where both won in their respective classes. In the GTC class, SMP Racing did not miss a beat in winning four consecutives victories in five races, going so far as to "move up" to the LM P2 class during the season! The Russian team will be present at Le Mans in the latter class as well as in the LM GTE Am class.

Sofrev ASP, the new kid on the block – For his first time at Le Mans as owner of his own team Sofrev ASP, Jérôme Policand feels very known thanks to the presence behind the wheel of Fabien Barthez, former goalkeeper of the French soccer team that won the 1998 World Cup. For Barthez, his boss' experience in La Sarthe (thirteen participations as a driver, with as best result a fourth place finish in 1997) will be a significant asset. Here's a detail that should delight the French media: one of Fabien Barthez's adversaries in the LM GTE Am class will be none other than...Patrick Dempsey!

Jean-Philippe Doret / ACO
(Quotes from Ram Racing team press release)

The 82nd edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans will take place June 14-15, 2014.

Photo : LE MANS (SARTHE, FRANCE), CIRCUIT DES 24 HEURES, 24 HOURS OF LE MANS, SUNDAY JUNE 23 2013, RACE. Fifth place in the LM GTE Pro class, Olivier Beretta, Kamui Kobayashi and Toni Vilander (AF Corse) achieved the best result in the Ferrari 458 Italia at the 24 Hours of Le Mans 2013.