Exactly one month prior to the finish of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the complete entry list including driver names, has been announced by the ACO.
There is one change amongst the LMP1 cars, where Mike Simpson replaces Dean Stoneman in the CEFC TRSM Racing #5. Simpson is works driver for Ginetta, so there are a total of two Ginetta drivers in that car, with Charlie Robertson being the other.
In LMP2 we have got the names off the 6 drivers who will race in the two extra Jackie Chan DC Racing cars. Car #33 will be driven by David Cheng, Nicolas Boulle and Pierre Nicolet, while the other Ligier #34 will be piloted by Ricky Taylor, Come Ledogar and David Heinemeier Hansson.
So there will be two of six Team Penske drivers represented in this years race, with Juan Pablo Montoya racing for United Autosports #32.
SMP Racing #35 has hired Harrison Newey and Norman Nato to join Victor Sheitar, since his two regular ELMS teammates Egor Orudzhev and Matevos Isaakyan are planned to run in the SMP Racing #17 LMP1 car.
Graff #39 will be a mix of their usual ELMS lineup with Tristan Gommendy and Jonathan Hirschi, while Alexandre Cougnaud will be replaced by Vincent Capilliare. That makes the team run under the Graff-SO24 name.
There are no surprises in GTE Pro, with a massive battle looming between 17 cars. Other than the 10 usual FIA WEC cars, there will be 6 cars from IMSA plus an extra AF Corse Ferrari. Porsche, Ford and Corvette brings two extra cars each from IMSA.
In GTE Am we have 9 FIA WEC regulars plus 4 extra.
Christina Nielsen will share the Ebimotors Porsche #80 with lead driver Fabio Babini plus Erik Maris, who has entered the 24 hours race before.
Liam Griffin is the only regular driver in the JMW Motorsport #84. Cooper MacNeil and Jeff Segal will run in the car, which will run in the white WeatherTech colours. Townsend Bell isn’t part of the line-up this time – it is however unclear why the previous winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans GTE Am isn’t part of the team this time, since he usually runs in the #64 in the IMSA series.
Patrick Long will be joined by Tim Pappis and Spencer Pumpelly in the Proton Competition Porsche #99, in what will probably be known as the Black Swan Racing car. Tim Pappis has run under the Black Swan name for a number of years in IMSA.
There are two reserve cars left on the list – Spirit of Race Ferrari #55 and High Class Racing #49. So 7 more teams, that was on the original reserves list back in February, have pulled out. That is quite interesting, since it’s currently unclear if all 60 cars on the entry list will actually race. CEFC TRSM Racing didn’t run at Spa Francorchamps due to a sponsor payment issue, but they will hopefully be ready.
BR1 Engineering is currently under scrutiny by the FIA, after DragonSpeed had an accident in the Qualifying at Spa, where Pietro Fittipaldi broke both lets, after crashing at high speed. On top of that we saw SMP Racing #17 drivers Matevos Isaakyan making a double salto on the top of the Raidillon corner. Fortunately, he landed wheels down – but the car shouldn’t fly at all. Hopefully all three cars will be ready to race, but they surely has to be approved by the FIA prior to that, since they don’t want to have dangerous and flying cars running at one of the fastest circuits in the world.
The test day for this years 24 Hours of Le Mans will starts on 3 June, before the Le Mans week starts with scrutineering on 10th and 11th, before the race is run later that week.