Jean-Michel Bouresche: “Le Mans is such a tough, trying race”
This interview is from Collector AUTOhebdo dedicated to the history of Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, available on newsstands and on our online store.
How could a team loyal to Porsche like JMB, multiple Supercup winners, come to the 1998 24 Hours of Le Mans with a Ferrari?
We were coming out of a very difficult year in 1997 with the 911 GT1. In the course of 1996, we made a commitment with Porsche to compete in a private GT1 driven by our drivers who won the Supercup in BPR. Namely: Emmanuel Collard and Jurgen von Gartzen. Between the signing of the agreement and the delivery of the car, the championship had changed hands. Having become the FIA GT, it opened up to the factories. Not only could we not compete with them, but I guessed that the budgets would quickly explode. Understanding that a private team had no place in this championship, I preferred to switch to the prototype with, probably, the most beautiful brand in the world.
Was the name Ferrari decisive in your choice?
Above all, I wanted to rely on a strong brand, because it is an essential argument in the search for partners. We thus acquire a Ferrari 333SP for Emmanuel Collard and Vincenzo Sospiri (1995 F3000 champ. Editor’s note), and we are committed to ISRS (International Sports Racing Ser