Ferrari marked 70 years since its maiden victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans by sealing a hard-fought victory in the GTE-Pro class on Sunday with its AF Corse squad.

Following a close opening half of the race that saw Porsche, Corvette and Ford all take turns leading the close-knit GTE-Pro field, the #51 Ferrari 488 GTE Evo managed to break clear overnight thanks to a couple of well-timed Safety Cars, putting it in a head-to-head fight with the #63 Corvette squad.

But after another Safety Car period split the two cars late in the morning and, attempting to make up the time, Corvette's Jan Magnussen spun out and damaged the car, the trio of James Calado, Alessandro Pier Guidi and Daniel Serra were able to see out the final few hours and grab class victory.

"I think it was one of the closest races ever. Everyone had misfortune, everyone had luck, but I think at the end of the day, we were quickest," said Calado after the race.

"We got the strategy better than the others and I think that showed. Especially towards the end, we were quite dominant, leading the majority of the race. However, Porsche put on a strong fight, they showed that they were really quick towards the end of the race and obviously Corvette had a bit of misfortune so that would have been a bit more difficult.

"At the end of the day, I came into this race with the approach that we needed to look after the car more than anything and that's what we did, and it paid off.

"Obviously it's the 70th anniversary since the first, so it's an amazing achievement. We've got everyone here from Ferrari to see it happen, so I'm over the moon. It hasn't really sunk in yet but what an amazing achievement."

The result marked a first class win for all three drivers in the #51 Ferrari, as well as lifting Calado and Pier Guidi up to second place in the final GTE world championship standings.