Key driver line-up changes in Le Mans entry

Image by Sam Bloxham/LAT

Key driver line-up changes in Le Mans entry

Le Mans/WEC

Key driver line-up changes in Le Mans entry


Today’s Le Mans entry list news, in which the ACO confirmed the first 42 cars as part of a new two-part system (the remainder will be revealed in March), brought with it almost a complete driver list, something not seen in the past where each team would only nominate one driver. But with the WEC full-season entries making up much of the list, and their line-ups confirmed prior to the announcement, most entries on today’s list feature complete three-driver squads.

In LMP1, there are a couple of notable differences, Tom Dillman at present being the only driver confirmed in ByKolles’ CLM, and Jenson Button being placed back in SMP’s No. 11 BR1 after it was revealed that he would be replaced by Brendon Hartley at Sebring and Spa.

In LMP2, the No. 37 Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECA — which was driven by the all-Malaysian trio until Shanghai but will race with a new line-up at Sebring — just has David Heinemeier Hansson named. The third seat is also again open at Larbre Competition alongside Romano Ricci and Erwin Creed; thus far this season it’s been on rotation.

RLR MSport has a seat open too. The British team — making its first run at Le Mans with the ORECA 07 after winning the 2018 ELMS LMP3 title — is set to race with John Farano and Arjun Maini, who will race with the team in the 2019 ELMS season.

G-Drive Racing has just Roman Rusinov named for its ORECA 07 Gibson.

GTE Pro has seen a few notable changes from the Sebring 1000 Miles list too.

At BMW, only two drivers across both M8 GTEs have been named, Nicky Catsburg in one and Augusto Farfus in the other. There are also no third drivers in at either Aston Martin Racing or Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK.

Porsche does have third drivers, Laurens Vanthoor and Fred Makowiecki rejoining the team as they did at Le Mans last year, although neither are on the list for Sebring.

AF Corse has revealed that like at Sebring Daniel Serra will drive the No. 51 and Miguel Molina will race the No. 71, as they will in Florida next month.

GTE Am also features a slew of changes.

In the No. 77, No. 78 and No. 99 Proton Porsches (the No. 78 and No. 98 are auto invites), there’s just one driver confirmed — Matt Campbell in the No. 77, and Morris Chen and Patrick Long in the Nos. 78 and No. 98 respectively. This is the case too with JMW Motorsport, Le Mans debutant Kessel Racing and the WeatherTech Racing entries: Jonathan Cocker is named with JMW, Claudio Schiavoni set to steer Kessel’s example and Cooper MacNeil named in the WeatherTech 488.

The Keating Motorsports Ford GT though, has a complete line-up, with Ben Keating racing alongside his WeatherTech GTD teammates Jeroen Bleekemolen and Felipe Fraga for what will be the GT’s first outing in customer hands.