Image credit: ACO.

The Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) have today announced the 15 teams that have already been awarded an invitation to take part in qualifying practice for the 2016 Le Mans 24 Hours.

These initial invitations are awarded based upon the results of the Le Mans 24 Hours, the European Le Mans Series and the Tudor United Sportscar Championship in 2015 plus the 2015-2016 Asian Le Mans Series, which finished this weekend. Separately, the ACO have also announced the allocation of the ‘Garage 56’ entry which highlights innovation and new technologies.

One invitation for:

  • Porsche Team: victory in the Le Mans 24 Hours in the LM P1 category. One invitation in LM P1.
  • KCMG: victory in the Le Mans 24 Hours in the LM P2 category. One invitation in LM P2.
  • Corvette Racing – GM: victory in the Le Mans 24 Hours in the LM GTE Pro category. One invitation in LM GTE Pro.
  • SMP Racing: victory in the Le Mans 24 Hours in the LM GTE Am category. One invitation in LM GTE Am.
  • Greaves Motorsport: victory in the European Le Mans Series in the LM P2 category. One invitation in LM P2.
  • Formula Racing: victory in the European Le Mans Series in the LM GTE category. One invitation in LM GTE Pro or Am.
  • BMW Team MarcVDS: 2nd in the European Le Mans Series in the LM GTE category. One invitation in LM GTE Pro or Am.
  • TDS Racing: victory in the European Le Mans Series in the GTC category. One invitation in LM GTE Am.
  • Team LNT: victory in the European Le Mans Series in the LM P3 category. One invitation in LM P2.
  • Michael Shank Racing: selected by the Tudor United SportsCar Championship. One invitation in LM P2.
  • Scuderia Corsa: selected by the Tudor United SportsCar Championship. One invitation in LM GTE Am.
  • Race Performance: victory in the Asian Le Mans Series in the LM P2 category. One invitation in LM P2.
  • Clearwater Racing: victory in the Asian Le Mans Series in the GT category. One invitation in LM GTE Pro or Am.
  • DC racing: victory in the Asian Le Mans Series in the LM P3 category. One invitation in LM P2 or LM GTE Am.

With invitation only being confirmed if the car in question is entered in one of the following three championships in 2016: Asian Le Mans Series, European Le Mans Series and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, it is unlikely that ELMS LMP3 Champions Team LNT will be taking up their invitation. Sadly also, the list reminds us of the loss to sportscar racing of BMW Team MarcVDS, who announced last year the end of their participation in 4-wheel motorsport.

The invitation for the ‘Garage 56’ entry has been awarded to Frédéric Sausset’s project and the Sausset Racing Team 41 (SRT41) who will compete in a Morgan Onroak LMP2. Technologies devoted to helping people with reduced mobility will be highlighted by this extremely innovative sporting project.

This list represents a possible entry of 15 cars out of the 58 places on the grid on Saturday 18th June and the full list of entries will be announced in 12 days during the ACO/WEC pre-season press conference on 5th February in Paris.