This year’s Le Mans 24 Hours entry list is set to be released Friday, with the ACO set to reveal a 62-car field for the French endurance classic on June 13-14. Many of the entries were pre-determined via the automatic invitation system and the guaranteed spots for FIA WEC teams.
The conclusion of the 2019/20 Asian Le Mans Series season last weekend in Buriram, Thailand led to the final three auto entries being handed out, with Algarve Pro Racing, Nielsen Racing and HubAuto Corsa all winning their respective class titles in the finale. The fourth auto entry from that series had already been secured by NASCAR-turned LMP team Rick Ware Racing, which had wrapped up the LMP2 Am title prior to last weekend.
In all, there have been 16 automatic invitations awarded for the 2020 Le Mans 24 Hours, but appears that no more than 11 of them will be taken up. One key point to be remembered with these invitations is that the team concerned must commit to a full season in an ACO championship or in IMSA’s WeatherTech Sportscar Championship before Wednesday of this week.
In addition, it appears that none of the Le Mans winners from 2019 will take up their entries. Toyota Gazoo Racing will not take up its available third invitation for winning overall and LMP2 victor Signatech Alpine told RACER it is not entering a second car, although an entry has been filed for the Richard Mille Racing-run, all-female crewed European Le Mans Series team that Signatech will run.
From last year’s GTE winners, AF Corse will also not enter a third car in GTE Pro but is understood to have requested an entry for an “all-gentlemen” team in GTE-Am, which it entered for the full 2020 ELMS. Team Project 1, meanwhile, is also unlikely to enter a third car alongside its two-car WEC program, as it has not entered a third GTE car anywhere else eligible such as the ELMS or Le Mans Cup.
Luzich Racing is also not due to take its entry for winning the ELMS GTE championship last year as the team is believed to have ceased operations and has not entered a car in any championship this year.
The remaining auto invites are held by ELMS class winners IDEC Sport, G-Drive Racing, Eurointernational and Dempsey Proton Racing; Le Mans Cup GT champion Kessel Racing; and IMSA award winners Cameron Cassels and Richard Heistand.
Other expected highlights among the entry include an expanded LMP1 class, with Rebellion set to enter a second R-13 and ByKolles previously stating that it would enter its CLM chassis for the race. Ginetta had intended to pursue a customer for a third G60-LT-P1 for the 24 Hours, but that seems unlikely at this point.
IMSA teams, as usual, will bolster GTE Pro. Corvette Racing will enter a pair of new C8.Rs, while Porsche’s North American crew will again file for a pair of 911 RSR 19s to create a four-pronged attack for the German brand. Risi Competitzione will also likely add privateer punch to the class.
Beyond that, private efforts from the European and Asian Le Mans Series all are vying for the remaining spots alongside the 30 confirmed WEC regulars, as is Garage 56 LMP2 effort from quad-amputee (and former Garage 56 entrant) Frederic Sausset and his SRT 41 team.