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Lot 129

1994 Ferrari 348 GT/C LM

  • Chassis no. ZFFUA35B000097553

Sold for €437.000

Documents: Bill of Sale


  • One of only two 348 GT/C LMs built
  • Prepared by Michelotto for the 1994 season, with F40 LM brakes and suspension
  • Finished 11th overall and 4th in class at the 1994 Le Mans 24 Hours
  • First Ferrari to finish at Le Mans since 1982
  • Presented in original Le Mans livery and 'as last raced' condition
  • Application for Attestation for Vehicle of Historic Interest submitted to Ferrari Classiche


One of two such cars constructed in 1994 for the BPR Global GT Series and the Le Mans 24 Hours, chassis number 97553 was originally run under the banner of Ferrari Club España with sponsorship from Spanish petrochemical giant Repsol. Utilizing the 348 GT Competizione as a basis, both cars built received a handful of upgrades between March and June of 1994 in preparation for the world’s most famous 24-hour race. This included centerlock Speedline wheels that were both lighter and wider than the originals, suspension and brakes taken directly from the F40 LM and Lexan sliding windows. By the Le Mans trials, both cars gained faired-in headlights and adjustable rear spoilers.

Appropriately, chassis number 97553 first saw competitive service in the Jarama 4 Hours – Round 2 of the BPR Series – in April of that year driven by Tomas Saldaña and Alfonso de Orleans, when it unfortunately retired with engine maladies. Three weeks later in the Dijon 4 Hours, the car posted its first finish, albeit classified a lowly 21st overall and 11th in class.

At Le Mans, Saldaña and de Orleans were joined by fellow Spaniard Andres Vilarino, and fortunes improved markedly as the car ran faultlessly – save for a precautionary fuel pump change and minor spin – to finish a remarkable 11th overall and 4th in class. In so doing, the car became the first Ferrari to finish at Le Mans since 1982, when the Prancing Horse Farm Racing and NART 512 BBLMs had finished 6th and 9th overall, respectively.

Having missed the Paris 1000 KM in order to prepare for Le Mans, the team resumed BPR duties at the Vallelunga 4 Hours in mid-July. Once again retaining the Saldaña/de Orleans driver line-up, a steady run netted 12th overall and an 8th place class finish, whilst at the Spa 4 Hours two weeks later, these positions improved to 9th and 6th, respectively. This would prove to be the car’s final appearance in the Series, as the final two rounds were 'fly away' races at Suzuka and Zhuhai, which the team opted not to contest.

Following the conclusion of the 1994 season, 97553 was retained by Repsol Competition Chief Carlos de Miguel who – along with Juan Quintano – drove the car in its final competitive outing at the 1998 Jarama 4 Hours. Retaining its original Repsol livery, but officially entered by de Miguel himself, the car unfortunately succumbed to engine problems after only eight laps. The car was retained by de Miguel for a further nine years, until it was sold directly to the vendor in 2007. Furthermore, it is important to note that the car comes with a fascinating history file, including an album of photographs, a 1:43 scale model and a 1:18 size Burago kit, as well as Saldaña’s racing helmet from the 24 Hours of Le Mans and some other items of memorabilia from its racing days.

Presented in original 'as-raced' condition, 97553 even retains the original Le Mans scrutineering sticker. As well as being a vital early part of the highly successful V8 Ferrari GT programme (which continues to this day), it remains a very usable and highly significant Ferrari, and would doubtless be a welcome addition to the burgeoning Global Endurance Legends fraternity.

Date

Race

Entrant

Drivers

Qualify

Overall

Class

10/04/94

Jarama 4h

Ferrari Club España

De Orleans/ Saldaña

14th

DNF

-

01/05/94

Dijon 4h

Ferrari Club España

De Orleans/ Saldaña

13th

21st

11th

08/05/94

Le Mans Trials

Ferrari Club España

De Orleans/ Saldaña

N/A

28th

10th

19/06/94

Le Mans 24h

Ferrari Club España

De Orleans/ Saldana/ Vilarino

28th

11th

4th

10/07/94

Vallelunga 4h

Ferrari Club España

De Orleans/ Saldaña

?

12th

8th

22/07/94

Spa 4h

Ferrari Club España

De Orleans/ Saldaña

18th

9th

6th

22/03/98

Jarama 4h

C. de Miguel

De Miguel/ Quintano

14th

DNF

-






• Uno dei due esemplari 348 GT/C LM
• Preparata da Michelotto per la stagione 1994 con freni e sospensioni della F40 LM
• Undicesima assoluta e quarta di classe alla 24 Ore di Le Mans (1994)
• Prima Ferrari a tagliare il traguardo a Le Mans dall’ ’82
• Ancora con la livrea originale di Le Mans, si presenta nelle condizioni in cui ha disputato la sua ultima gara
• È già stata richiesta a Ferrari Classiche, l'iscrizione come veicolo di interesse storico

Una delle due auto costruite nel 1994 per partecipare al campionato BPR Global GT e alla 24 ore di Le Mans, il telaio 97553 ha corso con i colori del Ferrari Club España, sponsorizzato dalla Repsol. Costruita sulla base della 348 GT Competizione, tra marzo e giugno dello stesso anno, insieme all’altro esemplare, viene preparata in vista della partecipazione alla 24 ore più famosa del mondo. L'elaborazione comprendeva: nuovi cerchioni Speedline monodado, più leggeri e larghi degli originali, sospensioni e freni della F40 LM e finestrini scorrevoli in Lexan. Inoltre, entrambe le vetture si sono presentate alle prove di Le Mans con fari carenati e spoiler posteriori regolabili.

Il telaio numero 97553 ha debuttato nelle corse alla 4 ore di Jarama, nell'aprile del 1994. La GT/C, guidata da Tomas Saldaña e Alfonso de Orleans, si è però dovuta ritirare per problemi al motore. Tre settimane più tardi, invece, ha portato a termine la sua prima gara, la 4 ore di Digione, piazzandosi a un non lusinghiero ventunesimo posto assoluto (undicesima di classe).

A Le Mans, Saldaña e de Orleans vengono affiancati da un altro pilota spagnolo, Andres Vilarino. Questa è una gara decisamente più fortunata delle precedenti visto che, senza imprevisti di rilievo, salvo la sostituzione preventiva della pompa della benzina e un trascurabile testa-coda, la GT/C arriva undicesima assoluta e quarta di classe. Diventa così la prima Ferrari a finire Le Mans dal lontano 1982 quando la Scuderia del Cavallino Rampante e la NART 512 BBLM si erano piazzate rispettivamente sesta e nona.

Avendo dovuto saltare la 1000 km di Parigi per prepararsi a Le Mans, il team riprende la BPR a metà luglio, con la 4 ore di Vallelunga. Al volante, ancora una volta, il duo Saldaña / de Orleans che termina la gara al dodicesimo posto assoluto e all'ottavo di classe. Alla 4 ore di Spa di due settimane dopo, invece, i piloti spagnoli portano a casa un nono assoluto e un sesto di classe. Queste sono le ultime gare di campionato disputate visto che si decide di non partecipare alle ultime trasferte di Suzuka e Zhuhai.

A seguito della conclusione della stagione 1994, la GT/C con telaio 97553 è stata tenuta dal capo della squadra corse Repsol Competition, Carlos de Miguel che, insieme a Juan Quintano, la porta in gara per l’ultima volta nel 1998, alla 4 ore di Jarama. In questo caso, nonostante partecipi con la livrea Repsol, l'auto è stata iscritta dallo stesso de Miguel. Purtroppo la corsa non è delle migliori e, dopo solo 8 giri, la Ferrari è costretta al ritiro per noie al motore. L'auto è rimasta di proprietà di de Miguel per altri nove anni, finché nel 2007 non viene ceduta all’attuale venditore. È importante ricordare che l'auto è accompagnata da un'invidiabile collezione di memorabilia legata alla sua storia agonistica, tra cui un album di fotografie, un modello in scala 1:43, un kit Burago (scala 1:18), nonché il casco usato da Saldaña nella 24 ore di Le Mans.

La GT/C si presenta nella sua ultima livrea da corsa e conserva ancora l'adesivo delle verifiche di Le Mans. Il V8 Ferrari GT è un esempio tuttora scalpitante di questa soluzione motoristica apprezzata tutt’oggi. Quest’auto, ancora attuale, ma già di un considerevole valore storico, è un pezzo importante per il club in continua espansione delle Global Endurance Legends.

Data

Gara

Scuderia

Piloti

Classifica qualifiche

Classifica assoluta

Classifica
di classe

10/04/94

4 ore di Jarama

Ferrari Club España

de Orleans/ Saldaña

14°

ritirata

-

01/05/94

4 ore di Digione

Ferrari Club España

de Orleans/ Saldaña

13°

21°

11°

08/05/94

Le Mans Trials

Ferrari Club España

de Orleans/ Saldaña

non applicabile

28°

10°

19/06/94

24 ore di Le Mans

Ferrari Club España

de Orleans/ Saldaña/ Vilarino

28°

11°

10/07/94

4 Ore di Vallelunga

Ferrari Club España

de Orleans/ Saldaña

?

12°

22/07/94

4 Ore di Spa

Ferrari Club España

de Orleans/ Saldaña

18°

22/03/98

4 ore di Jarama

C. de Miguel

de Miguel/ Quintano

14°

ritirata

-


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