Rumors are swirling that Ferrari may be contemplating a return to Le Mans racing as soon as 2015. Germany's Auto Motor und Sport reports the Italian automaker may apply the development of a new 1.6-liter turbocharged V6 engine for Formula One to an LMP1 car for Le Mans, and have it ready for the 24 Hours of Le Mans in two years. This follows hints made by Scuderia Ferrari CEO Stefano Domenicali last month that the newly developed F1 engine could be used for "some interesting projects."
Ferrari has a history of success in Le Mans racing, though it hasn't won the big endurance outright since 1965. The image above captures the exact moment when the No. 21 car of Masten Gregory and Jochen Rindt crossed the finish line that year to win the race. That win was the last of six consecutive outright victories before the infamous arrival of the Ford GT40 in 1966. Despite never reaching the top of the podium again, Ferrari's nine wins still stand as the third most overall by a manufacturer behind Porsche (16) and Audi (11).
If Ferrari does return to Le Mans in 2015, the LMP1 class will suddenly be teaming with worthy competitors for Audi, which has dominated the race since 2000. After Peugeot's exit from the sport in early 2012, Toyota entered the race in 2012 and has continued to develop its TS030 Hybrid LMP1 car. Porsche, meanwhile, is well into developing a new LMP1 car that will first compete in next year's race.