The Automobile Club de l’Ouest today released the entry list for this June’s premier endurance race, the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The 85th running of the race will feature a grid packed with 60 cars across the prototype and GTE categories, the LMP2 field consists of a record 25 entries!
In the premier category, LMP1, reigning world champions Porsche will field two 919 Hybrids with Neel Jani and Timo Bernhard as the listed drivers, however, the full squad was announced back in December. The other manufacturer entry, Japanese Toyota Gazoo Racing will enter three TS050 cars this year, clearly with the aim of righting the wrongs from last year’s event. The final entry in the LMP1 class is the privateer team of ByKOLLES who will enter their re-engined CLM Nisssan for Robert Kubica and Oliver Webb with the third driver remaining the subject of a further announcement.
The huge LMP2 field sees many of this year’s European Le Mans teams getting the nod from the ACO and a few wild cards too. French team Graff will enter a brace of Oreca 07 Gibsons as will newly re-named CEFC Manor TRS Racing and Signatech Alpine Matmut (although the Signatech cars will run under the banner of an Alpine A470).
British Olympian Chris Hoy will make a welcome return in a one-off drive for Eurasia Motorsport in their Ligier JSP217 Gibson. Keating Motorsport will bring the only Riley to compete over from the USA and there will be three Dallara P217 Gibsons from SMP Racing, Racing Team Nederland and Cetilar Villorba Corse. As with the ELMS, the Oreca is proving the chassis of choice for the 2017 LMP2 field – as all of the chassis are new this year only time will tell which one offers the ‘must have’ combination.
In the GTE field, we see 13 entries in GTE Pro; four of which go to Ford who show every intention of throwing ‘whatever it takes’ at the race to retain their 2016 crown. Ford are joined by American factory team Corvette Racing and privateers Risi Competizione who will field a pair of Corvette C7R and a Ferrari 488 GTR respectively. |The Americans are joined on the grid by a pair of Vantage V8 GTE from Aston Martin Racing, two of the new mid-engined Porsche 911 RSR fielded by the factory Porsche GTE squad and a pair of Ferrari 488 GTE entered by Italian squad AF Corse for regulars James Calado and Davide Rigon.
In the Am class the GTE field is even bigger with a 16 car grid. Aston Martin Racing will again field a single car for Canadian businessman Paul Dalla Lana who will line up alongside the factory supported car from Beechdean AMR. This year we see a third Aston Martin Vantage join the grid courtesy of TF Sport who will run the car for Turkish driver Salih Yoluc. The Astons will be joined by seven Ferrari 488 GTEs from Spirit of the Race, Clearwater Racing and Scuderia Corse who will field a pair each and a single car from Hong Kong based DH Racing. The remaining four slots on the Am grid go to the Porsche 911 RSR (991) of Dempsey Proton Racing, Gulf Racing and Proton Competition (2 cars).
There are two teams on the reserve list, British team RLR M Sport with a Ligier JS217 LMP2 and Mentos Proton Racing from Germany with a Porsche 911 RSR (991).
The full entry list is available for download via this link.