- A five-time entrant in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the most of any 12-cylinder Ferrari chassis in history
- GTS class podium-finisher in the 2004 24 Hours of Le Mans
- GTS class pole position in the 2002 24 Hours of Le Mans
- 2nd in the 2003 American Le Mans Series
- 3rd in the 2005 Le Mans Endurance Series
- Five victories, 14 podium finishes, and 10 pole positions
- The third of only 10 Ferrari 550 Maranello Prodrives raced in period on behalf of Care Racing Development
- Raced by World Rally Champion Colin McRae to a class podium in the 2004 24 Hours of Le Mans
- Acquired new from Ferrari by Frédéric Dor, the founder of Care Racing Development and the father of the Ferrari 550 Maranello Prodrive project
- Accompanied by an extensive spares package, including its 2004 Le Mans race V-12 engine
- Highly eligible for the Ferrari Club Competizione GT program, Le Mans Classic, and the burgeoning Masters Endurance Legends and Endurance Racing Legends series
- Certified by Ferrari Classiche in Maranello
Ferrari and Le Mans: Two names intrinsically woven into the very fabric of motorsport. A twisting tale studded with gladiatorial names and hallowed cars. The hybrid 499 P Hypercar may have recently returned the Prancing Horse to the top step of the podium at Le Mans, but the last 12-cylinder Ferrari to win at the Circuit de la Sarthe remains the Ferrari 550 Maranello Prodrive.
When the manufacturer-backed homologation specials of the late-1990s were outlawed from international endurance motorsport, the FIA GT Championship kindled a new top-flight category for production-based privately entered cars. Little did the organizers know that the ensuing “GT1 era,” from 1999 to 2009, would one day be held as a truly golden one—an era in which the Ferrari 550 Maranello Prodrive featured top, front, and center.
Conceived by the Frenchman Frédéric Dor’s Care Racing Development outfit in 2000, the most successful racing version of the Ferrari 550 Maranello was designed, developed, and constructed by the decorated British motorsport enterprise Prodrive to compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the FIA GT Championship, and the American Le Mans Series. No stone was left unturned by Prodrive in its quest to build the ultimate GT1 racer. A staggering 500 kilograms (over 1,100 pounds) was shed from the road car, the V-12 engine was enlarged from 5.5 liters to 6 liters, and the McLaren F1 designer Peter Stevens was drafted in to restyle the bodywork.
Exquisitely engineered, dizzyingly quick, and desperately beautiful, the Ferrari 550 Maranello Prodrive was a monumental success. Between 2001 and 2008, they garnered 69 victories, 151 podiums, and 60 pole positions. The GTS class victory in the 2003 24 Hours of Le Mans and the outright win in the 2004 Spa 24 Hours are the car’s crowning achievements.
CHASSIS NUMBER CRD03
The car presented here, chassis number CRD03, is the third of only 10 Ferrari 550 Maranello Prodrives commissioned by Care Racing Development to race in period. Acquired new from Ferrari by Frédéric Dor and used as his daily road car, it boasts a competition career spanning five years, testament to the raw pace and inherent reliability Prodrive’s designers and engineers were able to unlock from Ferrari’s then-flagship 12-cylinder model.
Of the 34 events CRD03 entered across the world between 2002 and 2006, it won five races, took 14 podium finishes, and scored 10 pole positions. More importantly, with five consecutive editions of the 24 Hours of Le Mans on its competition résumé, this car has the distinction of being the single most-raced 12-cylinder Ferrari in the world’s most famous endurance motor race.
This Ferrari made its competitive debut in the 2002 24 Hours of Le Mans under the Prodrive banner. Alain Menu, Rickard Rydell, and Tomáš Enge were earmarked to drive, the latter putting in an extraordinary lap of 3.54.09 to secure pole position in the GTS category. After Le Mans, CRD03 was sent across the pond to compete in three rounds of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS). America’s top-flight endurance racing championship generated a great deal of media and commercial interest at the time, attracting strong manufacturer support in both the prototype and GT classes.
Racing on American soil for the first time and against the might of the Works Chevrolet Corvettes, Dodge Vipers, and Saleen S7s, this Ferrari 550 Maranello Prodrive converted pole position into a stunning GTS class victory in the Monterey Sports Car Championships round at Laguna Seca. That was followed by a podium on the streets of downtown Miami and a further pole position at the prestigious Petit Le Mans, held at Road Atlanta in October. The short string of very encouraging results gave Prodrive the confidence to mount an all-out assault on the ALMS the following year.
For the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2003, Prodrive engaged the French engineering outfit Solution F to run chassis number CRD03 for the French World Cup alpine skier-turned-racing driver Luc Alphand. Alphand was joined on driving duties by Jérôme Policand and the father of the Ferrari 550 Maranello Prodrive project himself, Frédéric Dor. For the race itself, this Ferrari was given a striking blue livery depicting an alpine mountain range—a nod to Alphand’s sporting past. The trio of pilots drove a mature and, crucially, consistent race, completing 298 laps to finish 5th in the LM GTS category.
The remaining eight rounds of the 2003 American Le Mans Series beckoned next for chassis number CRD03. Refinished in the minimalistic red livery of the Prodrive team, the car was raced by a plethora of racing greats from several different disciplines of motorsport. They included the sportscar veteran and multiple Le Mans-winner David Brabham, the most successful female driver in American open-wheel racing history Danica Patrick, the Danish motorsport jack-of-all-trades Jan Magnussen, and World Endurance Champion Anthony Davidson.
The 2003 ALMS endeavor was a fruitful one for Prodrive, and especially this 550 Maranello. CRD03 scored a trio of GTS class victories at Road America, Laguna Seca, and Miami. It also accrued three further podiums and set two fastest laps. This car’s contribution was instrumental in Prodrive finishing 2nd in the GTS Teams Championship. A class victory in the non-championship 1000 Kilometers of Le Mans was a crowning end to what was a stellar year.
This Ferrari’s third outing at Le Mans (and its only competitive start in 2004) is its most important for a number of reasons, not least its high-profile guest driver. Prodrive regulars and established drivers Darren Turner and Rickard Rydell were joined by a certain Colin McRae—the only time the Scottish World Rally Champion swapped the special stages for Les Hunaudières in his storied career.
McRae’s appearance at Le Mans was a real draw for the British contingent of the 200,000-strong crowd at La Sarthe, which had swelled in size as a result of his being there. Their frenzied anticipation was duly rewarded: The ironman of rallying rose to the immense demands of 24-hour racing with admiral deftness. And despite gearbox gremlins which plagued the #65 Ferrari throughout the race, McRae, Turner, and Rydell finished 3rd in the LM GTS class and 9th overall. They even left with the fastest race lap.
For 2005, the running of CRD03 was entrusted to Rob Schirle’s Cirtek Motorsport outfit. It competed under the banners of Russian Age Racing and Team Convers in 16 races between the FIA GT Championship and the Le Mans Endurance Series (LMES), scoring a further five podiums. The strong results equated to 3rd overall in the LMES standings. At its fourth consecutive 24 Hours of Le Mans, Christophe Bouchut, Alexei Vasilyev, and Nicolai Fomenko brought this Ferrari home in a commendable 5th in class. CRD05’s 33rd and final competitive outing came in the 2006 24 Hours of Le Mans.
As with all but two of the Ferrari 550 Maranello Prodrives built, following its retirement from active competition in 2006, chassis number CRD03 returned to Care Racing Development. It remained there for a decade, until Frédéric Dor was persuaded to part with the car in 2016. In the years since, it has remained with the same enthusiastic owners—owners who have championed the car by exhibiting it at the world-famous Goodwood Festival of Speed and campaigning it in the burgeoning Endurance Racing Legends series, including returning the car to La Sarthe for the Le Mans Classic on two occasions.
In 2022, this car received its all-important Ferrari Classiche certification, with the Ferrari factory recognizing the historical significance of the 550 Maranello Prodrive. Indeed, this car is eligible for Ferrari’s exclusive Club Competizione GT events, held as part of its revered Corse Clienti program. CRD03 has also been prominently featured in Cavallino magazine and the newly released definitive book Ferrari 550 Maranello Prodrive – The Last V12 Ferrari to Win at Le Mans, chronicling the story of these Italo-Anglo Prancing Horses. Returned to its 2004 Le Mans specification and livery, this car is accompanied by its original Ferrari factory books, ACO, and FIA technical documents, Prodrive Legends report and an extensive spares package including the very GT1-specification engine used for the 24 Hours of Le Mans race in 2004.
In the fabled story of Ferrari at Le Mans, certain cars are elevated by their record. As the final 12-cylinder Ferrari to win, the 550 Maranello Prodrive stands proudly among those Prancing Horses which carved such a strong legacy at La Sarthe: the 166 MM, 250 GT SWB Berlinetta, 250 GTO, 250 LM, and 365 GTB/4 Daytona Competizione. With five starts, chassis CRD03 further distinguishes itself as the 12-cylinder Ferrari to have raced at Le Mans more than any other. Its extraordinary competition record, including its successful venture in the American Le Mans Series, its podium finish at Le Mans in 2004 and its Colin McRae connection, is the proverbial cherry on the cake.
In light of the recent sale of the Le Mans-winning chassis CRD06, the final Ferrari 550 Maranello Prodrive to leave the Care Racing Development stable, it is clear that the interest in these special GT racers is continuing to grow as serious Ferrari and competition-car collectors become more educated to their historical importance. Here is an incredibly rare opportunity to acquire what is among the most decorated examples of them all.