There have been several late changes to the entry list for the 24 Hours Of Le Mans, just two days prior to the official test day.
The innovative car Team SRT41 #84 has seen Francois Heriau swapped out for Matthieu Lahaye. Heriau and Lahaye are usually teammates at Ultimate in the European Le Mans Series, but the plan was for Heriau to be lent out to Team SRT41 #84 for the 24-hour race. Unfortunately, he has injured himself, so it will be Lahaye who joins Takuma Aoki and Nigel Bailly throughout the 24-hour race.
In the GTE Pro category, we sadly don’t have any Davide Rigon at AF Corse Ferrari #52. He is still recovering from his huge accident at the Spa 24 Hours, where he sustained some injuries to his vertebra, having to wear a brace since the race. He will be replaced by Sam Bird, who knows both the team and the car very well, since he first was a full season driver, and later on endurance-only driver in the 488 model.
There has been a total of three changes in GTE Am. Team Project 1 Porsche #46 has changed Maxwell Root for Robby Foley. Root did race for the team at Monza, and all the press releases back then, stated that he would do Le Mans as well, but that is not going to happen. Foley is usually racing BMW’s in the IMSA series, but this will be the first time for him to race a GTE car. Foley will share the car with the two Norwegian racers, Anders Burchardt and Dennis Olsen.
Foley was previously slated to race for JMW Motorsport Ferrari #66, who has replaced him with Jody Fannin. Fannin is their full season ELMS driver, and has actually missed out a previous edition of Le Mans, when another driver snatched the seat away from him. But he will race this year, alongside Thomas Neubauer and Rodrigo Sales – Sales being his ELMS 2021 teammate too.
Proton Competition Porsche #99 has changed all three drivers, so the line-up consists of Harry Tincknell, Vutthikorn Inthraphuvasak, and Florian Latorre. The Thai driver Inthraphuvasak has previously raced for the team, including Le Mans 2020. Latorre is a bit of a Porsche expert, having raced Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup for many years, while Tinknell – well, he is just fast in anything, no matter if it’s DPi, LMP1, LMP2 or GTE. Tincknell is the defending GTE Pro winner of the race for Aston Martin Racing. It’s the Multimatic connection, which brings the Brit into the car. He races for Multimatic in the Mazda DPi programme, while the Canadian manufacturer supplies dampers to Porsche. So that is how Tinck’s ends up in the orange of the four Proton GTE Am cars.
It appears that the ACO has turned down all the teams on the reserve list, since they no longer figures on the official entry list. The tight COVID-19 restrictions would make it pretty much impossible to get a team out of the paddock, and replace them by another, in case some positive test results should show up mid-week.
So now we can only cross our fingers, and hope that all cars remain intact during the Sunday test, the free practice sessions, qualifying and Warm Up, so there will be a total of 62 cars starting the 24 hours race next Saturday 21 August 2021.
The updated entry list can be found here.