Endurance Through Time: The Historic Journey of Ferrari and Spa

Opened in 1921, Spa-Francorchamps stands as a beacon among motorsport circuits worldwide. The inaugural edition of Belgium’s renowned 24 Hours race took place in 1924, cementing its status as an iconic event. Over the span of a century, Ferrari has etched its name in the annals of endurance racing at Spa, notching up an impressive tally of 13 overall victories with sports cars and prototypes.

Among these triumphs, Luigi Chinetti and Jean Lucas secured Ferrari’s maiden victory in the 24 Hours of Spa in 1949, piloting the 166 MM. Olivier Gendebien added to the legacy with a notable win in the 1000 Kilometres of Spa in 1953, also behind the wheel of the 166 MM. Fast forward to 2023, and the Ferrari 499P, adorned with number 51 and steered by Pier Guidi, Calado, and Giovinazzi, clinched its inaugural podium in the FIA WEC 6 Hours, foreshadowing their subsequent Le Mans victory.

La Source, Eau Rouge, Raidillon, Blanchimont, and Kemmel aren’t just names of bends and straights at Spa; they’re part of the lexicon of motorsport aficionados. Spa-Francorchamps, often dubbed the ‘University’ of European racing, boasts a rich history filled with legendary moments of driver and machine pushing the limits.

Over a century of competition, Ferrari has left an indelible mark on the Spa circuit, a 7.004-kilometer track boasting 20 turns in its current configuration. Olivier Gendebien’s 1953 victory in the 166 MM marked the beginning of a fruitful partnership, culminating in four 24 Hours of Le Mans triumphs from 1959 to 1962.

The 1960s witnessed the Prancing Horse’s continued dominance at Spa, highlighted by victories of the 250 GTO in the 500 Kilometres of Spa in 1963 and 1964. However, it was 1972 that shone brightest, with Brian Redman and Arturo Merzario piloting their 312 PB to victory in the World Championship for Makes’ 1000-kilometer race.

In the new millennium, Ferrari and AF Corse have amassed 14 class victories at the 6 Hours of Spa, spanning from 2012 to 2023. The most recent triumph, in the LMGTE Am category, came last year with the 488 GTE, driven by Lilou Wadoux, Alessio Rovera, and Louis-Perez Companc.

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