Today in Paris the Automobile Club de l’Ouest announced the list of 56 cars invited to take part in the 2015 Le Mans 24 Hours on 13-14 June. The field entered for the 83rd event promises a hotly-contested race, and choosing a winner in each of the four categories is like looking for a needle in a haystack!
Fifty-six cars will take part in the 83rd running of the blue riband event on the FIA World Endurance calendar, the Le Mans 24 Hours.
The iconic race is the third round of the globe-trotting championship and entries are divided up into four categories: 14 LMP1 cars, 20 LMP2, 9 LM GTE Pros and 13 LM GTE Ams.
In LMP1 the big news is the return of Japanese manufacturer Nissan to the prototype class with three of its spectacular GTR-LM NISMOs set to take on Audi, Porsche and Toyota in the battle for outright victory. With each of the four manufacturer LMP1 teams using a different technology, proof of the validity of the regulations introduced by the ACO in 2014, the competition is sure to be intense. Completing the LMP1 field are three privately-entered cars from Rebellion Racing (2) and TeamByKolles making a total of six manufacturers going head to head in LMP1.
In LMP2 eight different makes of chassis will go at it hammer and tongs in a field of 20 cars. Jota Sport, which will be back with an up-dated version of their 2014 winning car now called the Gibson 015S-Nissan, will have a tough job on its hands to repeat last year’s feat as it will be up against newcomers like the HPD ARX-O4bs and the Oreca 05s. Ligier, which made its Le Mans comeback in 2014, will be the best-represented make in the category with five cars.
In LM GTE Pro and GTE Am the action is set to be some of the fiercest and closest seen at the Sarthe circuit. In GTE Pro Corvette, victorious in last month’s Daytona Rolex 24 Hours, is hoping steal the march on Ferrari at Le Mans, as the Italian make won the GTE Pro category in last year’s 24 Hours. British bruisers Aston Martin and German Porsche harbour the same ambitions to knock Ferrari from the top step.
In GTE Am Aston Martin will be looking to achieve a repeat of its 2014 victory, but to do so the iconic English make will have to fend off top teams like AF Corse, JMW Motorsport and SMP Racing. Back for the fourth time is American actor come racer, Patrick Dempsey, at the wheel of a Porsche RSR entered by the Dempsey Proton Racing team.
Thus, the field for the 2015 Le Mans 24 Hours breaks down into 34 prototypes and 22 GTs made by 17 different makes from the biggest car groups in the world, ranging from the competition versions of the most beautiful GT cars on the market to the best builders of racing chassis.
The list of reserves comprises seven teams combining LMPs and LM GTEs, which will be allowed to race in the order on the list should there be any withdrawals.
Pierre Fillon, President of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest said “Once again the field for the Le Mans 24 Hours consists of fifty-six top-quality cars. We’re delighted to welcome a new manufacturer with the arrival of Nissan, which is proof of the immense appeal of our event for the major motor car manufacturers.
“Viewing things from a wider perspective, the fact that we have teams from thirteen different nationalities again shows the international appeal of our race. We’re very proud that the major countries in the motor industry and car culture in general provide the highest number of representatives, and it confirms yet again the link between our race, the car industry and the everyday motorist’s car of tomorrow.”