The entry list for the 24 Hours of Le Mans has only been shrinking lately, but the list has started to grow now.
G-Drive Racing by Algarve will enter another Aurus 01 car in the LMP2 category.
The collaboration has a connection to the Asian Le Mans Series, where they were the championship-winning combination from the 2019/20 season. Algarve Pro Racing will run the car, with the black and orange G-Drive Racing colours on the car. This will be an addition to the G-Drive Racing #26, which is already entered, and will be run by TDS Racing.
It’s very untraditional, that more entries will be let in so late – especially since the car has neither been on the original entry list, nor the list of reserves. Algarve Pro Racing has only had a single car entered, with the car that they are running in the European Le Mans Series.
The physical car won’t be one of their own. Instead, it’s Ryan Cullen bringing the family-owned ORECA 07 LMP2 car to the team. Cullen racing for DragonSpeed earlier this season, where that outfit ran Cullen’s car. They ended their agreement after the ELMS race at Spa, early August, with DragonSpeed having to call up Racing Engineering, who had a car in their workshop, that they last ran in the 2018 season.
Cullen has collected a bit of a dream team, with the overall Le Mans winner from 2015, Nick Tandy, and former Audi Sport works driver, Oliver Jarvis.
Nick Tandy won with the Porsche 919 Hybrid in 2015, where he competed with Earl Bamber and Nico Hülkenberg, but has run the regular GT cars since. Tandy was slated to run in the GTE Pro category again this year, until Porsche pulled the two North American entered cars, so he ended up having a weekend off.
Oliver Jarvis has more than just Audi Sport LMP1 experience. He has also competed in both GTE and LMP2, in the classic race. He still hasn’t won the race, but he hopes to do that in 2020.
Ryan Cullen has a single start in the 24 hours race. He raced for United Autosports in their #32 in 2019, before he switched to DragonSpeed, and was actually entered for them before they broke up, and he got replaced by Timothe Buret.
If anybody is confused about Aurus 01 and ORECA 07 being mentioned in the same article, it is because it’s exactly the same car – but G-Drive Racing has a sponsorship deal with the Russian limousine manufacturer, so they call it an Aurus – even though the physical car is 100% identical with the ORECA. Just as the Alpine car at Signatach Alpine Elf is.
Their car number hasn’t been announced yet, since the traditional APR number 24 already will be used by Le Mans rookies Nielsen Racing, and G-Drive Racing (TDS Racing) uses #26 themselves.
For now, we can be happy about 60 cars on the entry list, but there is still a risk that some might drop out – but only time will tell.
The 2020 edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans will run on 19-20 September.