Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Ahead of The Prologue at Monza, Porsche today launched its updated 919 Hybrid which the German marque hopes will defend its FIA World Endurance Championship Drivers’ and Manufacturers’ titles in LMP1.

The new 919 Hybrid car features a radically revised aerodynamic package, in compliance with new regulations from the FIA placing limitations on downforce, and will be powered by a 2-litre V4 combustion engine, the most efficient in Porsche’s history to date.

This will be combined with an 8MJ hybrid system which recovers energy during acceleration and braking, generating 900 BHP.

Porsche displayed the car in low-downforce spec at Monza alongside other hybrid vehicles from the performance range, demonstrating the transfer of technology from the race track to the road.

Andreas Seidl, Team Principal: “For the 2017 season, 60 to 70% of the vehicle is newly developed. The basic concept of the 919 Hybrid still offers scope to optimise the finer details and further boost efficiency. The monocoque has remained unchanged since 2016, but the optimisation potential of all other components was analysed and, in most cases, adjustments made accordingly.”

Toyota Gazoo Racing today unveiled the latest evolution of its TS050 HYBRID, which the Japanese manufacturer hopes will return them to the top of the FIA World Endurance Championship for the first time since 2014.

All nine drivers and Toyota senior team management were present as the car was introduced to the world media at Monza, where the official two-day Prologue will be staged this weekend. 

A joint effort between engineers in Germany and Japan, Toyota’s new LMP1 challenger has undergone extensive development over the winter to comply with the ACO’s new technical regulations and take the challenge to reigning champions Porsche.

It has already completed over 30,000 km of testing across Europe, including four 30-hour endurance tests, as Toyota target a first victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June especially after last year’s heart-breaking finish.

The car boasts a new 2.4 litre V6 turbo-charged petrol engine, combined with a smaller, lighter, 8MJ hybrid system delivering 1,000 horsepower.

A raised nose and sharp undercuts to the sidepods are among the raft of modifications to the bodywork aimed at improving aerodynamic efficiency.

Pascal Vasselon, Technical Director: “Our 2017 TS050 HYBRID represents a significant update; the only item which is not changed is the monocoque. At several races last year we showed the potential of our car with strong performances."

"But to achieve our targets we need more, so as well as big aerodynamic changes, we have optimised each area for performance and weight. What happened at Le Mans last year was painful so we gave extra attention to quality management. Pre-season testing has gone well in terms of performance and reliability so we feel positive but we also know we face a tough competitor.”

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Taking place for the first time at Autodromo Nazionale Monza in Italy on Saturday 01 April and Sunday 02 April, this will be the first opportunity for the fans to see the WEC’s 2017 teams on track all together.

Twenty seven of the full season entries will be present at Italy’s premier circuit, taking part in five sessions of testing over two days, including a night session on Saturday evening.

Apart from a small fee for parking their car, fans will receive free entry to the track for both days of The Prologue, including access to the Paddock.  It will be the first opportunity for Italian fans to see their beloved Ferraris and also the super-sophisticated LMP1 prototypes, the upgraded LMP2 challengers and much more.  They can even get up close and meet the drivers at an autograph session on Sunday 02 April.

In the limelight will be four of the 1000 bhp, hybrid-powered LMP1 race cars from Porsche and Toyota, with both manufacturers launching their 2017 challengers just ahead of The Prologue.  Toyota, like Porsche, has carried out private testing in preparation for the season and the Japanese manufacturer will be keen to see how its revised TS050 HYBRID stacks up against the 2017 Porsche 919 Hybrid.  The Prologue also sees 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans winners Nick Tandy and Earl Bamber donning their Porsche race suits for a full season of racing for the first time and three times Le Mans winner Andre Lotterer will be swapping his red Audi colours for Porsche white.

Nine of the upgraded LMP2 entries will grace the high-speed Monza track, with just CEFC Manor TRS Racing fielding one car instead of two.  The new ORECA 07 is the chassis of choice for Vaillante Rebellion, CEFC Manor TRS Racing, G-Drive Racing and TDS Racing and Jackie Chan DC Racing, with Signatech Alpine Matmut fielding two Alpine A470s. All LMP2 cars will be on Dunlop rubber and powered by Gibson engines.

In LMGTE Pro all eight entries will be present, including the newly launched 2017 Porsche 911 RSR, Aston Martin Racing’s Vantage, the Ford GT and of course Ferrari’s 488 GTE which will be run as always by Piacenza-based AF Corse.  The competition in this category is expected to be closer than ever, with the four marques being represented by top driver line ups all challenging for the newly-sanctioned FIA World Endurance Championship for GTE Drivers and Manufacturers.

Joining the factory-led teams will be another five GTE entries from the equally competitive LMGTE Am class which includes Ferraris from the Swiss Spirit of Race team and full-season WEC debutant Clearwater Racing from Singapore and two Porsche 911 RSRs from Gulf Racing and Dempsey-Proton Racing.  The fifth car will be the Aston Martin Vantage of the only unchanged driver line up in the class compared to 2016.


The Prologue will take place at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza on 01/02 April 2017, and entry to the track and access to the grandstands is free to members of the public following payment of 10€ per car for parking (motorcycles 5€, free entrance to pedestrians or those on bicycles). In addition, the paddock will be open to fans on both days.

Fans who attend will have the opportunity to see the cars on track during five open test sessions, plus they will be invited to take part in Sunday’s autograph session with all the drivers present. 

More details on The Prologue, including ticket information, can be found on Autodromo Nazionale Monza’s website HERE

Provisional Timetable

Saturday 01 April

09:00 – 12:00    Session 1

14:00 - 17:00     Session 2

19:00 – 21:00    Session 3 (night testing)

Sunday 02 April

09:00 – 12:00    Session 4

13:15 – 13:45    Driver Autograph Session

14:00 – 17:00    Session 5

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

The Autodromo Nazionale Monza is a race track located near the city of Monza, north of Milan, in Italy.

Built in 1922, it is the world's third purpose-built motor racing circuit after those of Brooklands and Indianapolis.   Built in the Royal Villa of Monza park the site has three tracks – the 5.793-kilometre (3.600 mi) Grand Prix track, the 2.405-kilometre (1.494 mi) Junior track, and a 4.250-kilometre (2.641 mi) high speed oval track with steep banking which is no longer in use.

This will be the first official visit by the FIA World Endurance Championship since the championship began in 2012. 

The circuit hosted the world famous 1000km of Monza, which was last held in 2008 for the Le Mans Series and won by Pedro Lamy and Stephane Sarrazin in an LMP1 class Team Peugeot Total Peugeot 908 HDI. 


09h00 – 18h00 Scrutineering

17h00 – 18h00 Collective Car Photoshoot

Saturday 1 April

09h00 – 12h00 Practice Session no1

12h00               Car Tracking Shots

14h00 – 17h00 Practice Session no2

19h00 – 21h00 Practice Session no3

Sunday 2 April

09h00-12h00    Practice Session no4

13h15-13h45    Autograph Session

14h00-17h00    Practice Session no5

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Following their dominant victory during last year's 24 Hours of Le Mans in the GTE-Am class, Scuderia Corsa will return to the notorious Circuit de la Sarthe in 2017, defending their title in the GTE-Am Class with two entries this time, driven by an all-star lineup in the all-new Ferrari 488 GTE.

Doubling their efforts from a historical 2016 campaign in which their Le Mans win would highlight a season that also saw victories at The 12 Hours of Sebring, Six Hours of Watkins Glen, as well as three separate championships, the team's high threshold for quality remains unchallenged with their two-car lineup.

In a partnership with WeatherTech Racing, the No. 62 Ferrari 488 GTE will see Bill Sweedler and Townsend Bell return to defend their 2016 victory with the addition the venerable Cooper MacNeil. Meanwhile, the team's No. 65 Ferrari 488 GTE proves an instant contender, featuring the full-season, championship-winning pairing of Christina Nielsen and Alessandro Balzan, joined by sportscar veteran Bret Curtis.

For team owner Giacomo Mattioli, the invitation to return to the world's most renowned event is a welcome one.

"The opportunity to bring two Ferraris in defense of our Le Mans victory is a great honor," stated Mattioli. "To debut in 2015 with a podium, and win last year was an absolute dream-come-true. To return now with the Ferrari 488 GTE is a brand new challenge that we are all excited for. It's of course great to see Bill and Townsend back with us for another year, and now with Cooper MacNeil joining us, we should be very strong. It goes without saying we had an incredible 2016 together with Christina and Alessandro, and Bret Curtis is a long-time member of the community that we're very excited to work with. We're definitely confident for another Ferrari victory!"

For Bill Sweedler, a chance to return to the same team that brought him such an incredible victory just one year before is one that couldn't be ignored.

"I'm so excited to return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans and defend our race win along with Scuderia Corsa and Ferrari," stated Sweedler. "Le Mans is such a unique and special place that has the most passionate residents.  The city literally shuts down for a week to welcome racers, teams, and fans from around the world into their city.  I'm truly honored to be able to participate again after two successful years.  My hope is that Townsend, and our newest teammate, Cooper MacNeil, can take our collective experience and deliver another strong finish for Scudera Corsa and Ferrari in 2017!"

For Christina Nielsen, returning to Le Mans with the same team she scored a historic IMSA championship with creates her best chance to win.

"It will be great to return to Le Mans with Scuderia Corsa," stated Nielsen. "This event is unlike any other, and one that any driver wants to win. Luckily this is the best organization I could be with, and our last year together has been incredible. The professionalism, quality of work, and talent on all levels is unmatched, and now that I've already experienced the event, I want to go to win."

Having raced with Scuderia Corsa prior in the Ferrari Challenge series, WeatherTech Racing's Cooper MacNeil is looking to add a Le Mans victory to his current trophy case.

"I think we are headed to Le Mans with a very strong package," MacNeil said. "Bill and Townsend won there last year in a Ferrari. We will be running a brand new 488 GTE and the Scuderia Corsa team knows the car and knows us as well. I run with them in the Ferrari Challenge Series, so between us three drivers and the team we already have a great racing relationship. This will help us to get right down to getting the car set-up and ready to go for race day."

Finally, for Bret Curtis, hopes are high that his third visit to the famed event could be his best yet.

"I am very excited to join Giacomo Mattioli's Scuderia Corsa in the most famous sports car race in the world, the 24 Hours of Le Mans," stated Curtis. "In 2016 Scuderia Corsa jumped to the top of the sports-car world with a GTD title in IMSA, and a GTE win at Le Mans so I am very excited to be racing with the best, and in a Ferrari.  Additionally, having the opportunity to be driving with last year's winning GTD duo of Christina and Alessandro is a great opportunity to shine at a great race.  I look forward to being a part of a winning effort and having strong result!"

The 24 Hours of Le Mans will take place on Saturday, June 17 and run for 24 hours straight through the following Sunday. Scuderia Corsa will provide additional updates, including available broadcast coverage, as the event gets closer.