ACO confirms Le Mans 24 Hours entry

ACO confirms Le Mans 24 Hours entry

Le Mans/WEC

ACO confirms Le Mans 24 Hours entry


The full entry list for the 2020 running of the Le Mans 24 Hours was revealed by the ACO on Friday. Along with 62 cars set to take the start once again, 10 reserve entries were also named for the oversubscribed grid, with 75 teams having applied for places. Among those left out was Jan Magnussen, whose planned LMP2 entry was rejected.

The FIA World Endurance Championship teams will race alongside guest entries from the European Le Mans Series, IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and Asian Le Mans Series in what will be the final round of the 2019/20 WEC season.

The smallest class in the field is at the top: LMP1 features just six cars, the lowest count since 2017.

In what will be LMP1’s final appearance in the endurance classic, the two hybrid-powered Toyota TS050s will be looking to score a third straight Le Mans win for Toyota Gazoo Racing. The Japanese auto maker will face competition from privateer teams Rebellion Racing — in what will be its last race — and British outfit Team LNT. Former WEC team ByKolles did enter its CLM P1/01 but has been pushed to the reserve list.

Factory and privateer entries contrast the GT portion of the entry with the dwindling ranks of top-ranked prototypes. Image by Rainier Ehrhardt/LAT

Much of the attention therefore will shift to the GTE Pro class which features 11 cars, 10 of which are factory-run. While there are no entries from Ford or BMW this year, Corvette is going to give C8.R its European race debut, Porsche has entered four cars (two from IMSA) and Risi Competitzione once again will run as a privateer. The full-season WEC entries from Aston Martin and AF Corse make up the numbers.

Unsurprisingly, the LMP2 contingent is huge. ORECA chassis make up the bulk of the entries, 18 of its cars being set to race with an additional ORECA entered as a Garage 56 Innovative entry.

All four chassis are represented in the class, though. There are two Dallara P217s from Cetilar Racing and IndyCar outfit/Le Mans debutant Carlin; three Ligier JS P217s from Inter Europol Competition, Eurointernational and Eurasia Motorsport; and a single Riley MK.30 from NASCAR-turned-LMP team Rick Ware Racing.

The Garage 56 entry is from SRT41, which entered a specially adapted Morgan LMP2 car for quad-amputee Fred Suasset back in 2016 and finished the race (the only Garage 56 entrant to this day to do so).

This time the team has entered a specially adapted ORECA 07 Gibson for former MotoGP star Takuma Aoki, Belgian driver Nigel Bailly and Frenchman Snoussi Ben Moussa. The latter lost one hand as a teenager, and the other two drivers are paraplegic.

Sausset’s ORECA 07 offers different features to a typical 07, including a hand brake. “We have developed this technology in close collaboration with ORECA, the ACO and the FIA technical teams. Security standards we need to observe are no different to those expected from other teams. It’s an important step which (ELMS regular) Graff Racing will help us take,” Sausset told RACER.

GTE Am is also a huge entry, featuring 20 cars — the 11 full-season FIA WEC runners joined by nine cars from the other ACO championships.

There are a handful of surprises on the entry.

WeatherTech Racing’s Ferrari will again be among the IMSA cross-over entries. Image by LAT

There are eight cars from IMSA, five mentioned above in GTE Pro. In addition, IMSA LMP2 outfit Performance Tech and GTD teams WeatherTech Racing and GEAR Racing will compete in LMP2 and GTE Am respectively. Like in IMSA, GEAR Racing will run an all-female driver line-up. There are three all-female crews, with GEAR joined by ELMS teams Iron Lynx and Richard Mille Racing.

Beyond that. there are a further three U.S.-flagged cars from Rick Ware Racing (which got its entry via the Asian Le Mans Series), Eurointernational (2019 ELMS LMP3 champion) and DragonSpeed (its ELMS ORECA made the cut, the IMSA ORECA is among the reserves)

In terms of drivers, there were a handful of notable unexpected names now listed.

In LMP2, Australian Supercars star Shane van Gisbergen will drive for Eurasia Motorsport, in GTE Pro, Mazda IMSA driver Olivier Pla and IndyCar star Sebastien Bourdais will race for Risi Competizione and in Am, Matt Campbell is listed against the No. 77 Dempsey Proton Porsche and the No. 93 factory GTE Pro Porsche, and Tim Slade, another Supercars driver, will race with Asian team HubAuto Racing.

As has been the case in recent years, the grid is over-subscribed grid meant that multiple teams have missed out. The reserve list for the race features 10 cars this year, with Spirit of Race, ByKolles and IDEC Sport’s second ORECA making up the top three.

Fourth on the list was High Class Racing’s second ORECA, which would have featured an all-Danish driver line-up, including IMSA veteran Jan Magnussen.

“Of course, it is a pity that the plan did not succeed,” Magnussen said. “The team had it all in place and it would have been great to line up in a Danish-liveried LMP2 racer to represent a strong and competitive Danish team in the world’s largest racing race.

“But we do will not drop the project. We will postpone it and hope that there will be an opportunity in 2021.”

RLR Sport and ARC Bratislava, both of which were understood by RACER to have entered, do not feature on the main list or reserves.

The 88th running of the Le Mans 24 Hours is set to run from June 13-14.