Luca di Montezemolo, President of both Ferrari and Fiat, will be acting as official starter for the 77th 24-hour Le Mans race to be staged on 13th June. Ferrari recorded their first win in this motorsport classic sixty years ago. That was in 1949 when Luigi Chinetti and Lord Selsdon each took turns behind the wheel of a Ferrari 166 MM. Now, with nine victories under their belt, the Italian constructor occupies second spot in the all-time rankings, just behind Porsche who have 15 race wins to their name.
The best Montezemolo can hope for is a class victory for his own marque. The last Ferrari outright win on the River Sarthe was back in 1965 when Jochen Rindt and Masten Gregory contested the race in a Ferrari 250 LM. A total of 55 teams are under starter's orders for 2009. Patrick Dempsey, who stars in the American TV series 'Grey's Anatomy', will also be one of the competitors. The bookies' favourites are last year's winners Audi and Peugeot.