The list of entries for the Le Mans 24 Hours has evolved. Two withdrawals received by the Sports Management department have opened the door to two reserves in the LM P2 category. The dress rehearsal before the race, the Test Day on 3rd June, will see no fewer than 62 cars take to the track and a star will return to Le Mans, Sébastien Loeb.
The Test Day will take place on Sunday 3rd June a couple of weeks before the start of the Le Mans 24 Hours on 16th June at 15h00. It is open to teams entered for the event and also to all those that wish to run LM P1, LM P2, LM GTE Pro, LM GTE Am and Formula Le Mans cars as well as the entrant selected for the 56th pit (a technologically innovative vehicle racing outside the overall classification). This very special test session has excited enormous interest as the ACO has received 62 entries.
Out of the 62 cars, fifty-five are entered for the 2012 Le Mans 24 Hours, two are on the reserve list waiting to take part in case of withdrawals (no. 76 Porsche, no. 32 Lola-Judd) and five are coming specially to gain experience on this unique circuit.
In the latter case there are three FLMs and two LM P2s: the Level 5 Motorsports HPD (Honda Performance Development) and the Sébastien Loeb Racing Oreca 03-Nissan, which will be driven by the 8-time world rally champion.
Although this car is racing in the ELMS Championship, on 3rd June Sébastien Loeb and his team will come to explore the territory for their outing in the 2013 Le Mans 24 Hours. The Alsatian’s last appearance in the Sarthe goes back to June 2006 when he finished second overall.
The Test Day is a general rehearsal and it will be the scene of a few historic grande premiers: the first appearance of the Toyota TS030 hybrids, the first Le Mans outing for the amazing DeltaWing (car in the no. 56 pit), the first timed confrontations in 2012 on a track where nobody can come and test the rest of the year, the first feedback concerning the new surface on Les Hunaudières and of course, Loeb’s first drive at Le Mans in his own team’s car. In addition, although it is only a exhibition, spectators will be able to see the first run by a hydrogen-powered racing car during the break in timed practice when the revolutionary Green GT will do a few laps of the track. It may compete in the 2013 Le Mans 24 Hours.
The Test Day, scheduled two weeks before the race and only one before scrutineering, is open to the general public at a reasonable price, 15 euros (free for the 2012 Le Mans 24-Hours ticket holders) and will provide a lot of interesting information.
The list of cars taking part was published on 2nd February and it has evolved slightly since then. American team Dyson Racing has thrown in the towel and withdrawn both its LM P1 Lola-Judds. Two LM P2 cars have been selected as replacements from the prototype reserve list: the Status Grand Prix team’s Lola-Judd (no. 30 with Alexander Simms as the nominated driver) and the Murphy Prototype Oreca 03-Judd (no. 48 with Gregory Murphy), both Irish teams! This means that the list of reserves has also changed: for prototypes only the no. 32 Lotus Team (LM P2 Lola-Lotus) remains, and in GTE the no. 76 Imsa Matmut Performance Porsche RSR 997 in GTE Pro, and the similar car entered by Proton Competition in LM GTE Am.
The next step for the teams entered for the Le Mans 24 Hours is finalising their driver line-ups. Up till now each entry request had to be accompanied by the name of one driver. The other names must be sent in to the ACO by 9th May at the latest.