The Automobile Club de l’Ouest has received 71 entry requests for the 2013 Le Mans 24 Hours on 22-23 June for the 55 grid spots remaining as the 56th place has already been attributed to the GreenGT H2 project. The list of entrants will be announced on 1st February in the Eurosites-George V.
Once again the Le Mans 24-Hours field will combine quality and quantity. The Automobile Club de l’Ouest Sports Management has received 71 entries, the same number as in 2011, an increase compared to 2012. This is evidence of the continuing high level of interest in a race that will celebrate its 90th anniversary this year.
This remarkable figure sweeps aside the fears that hover over motor sport because of the current economic situation. The Le Mans passion is the strongest yet again, and the raft of entrants who wish to associate their names with the myth reflects this. The most extraordinary fact is that these 71 entries are of top-class quality: all the cars without exception could be on the starting grid of the 2013 Le Mans 24 hours if the sporting regs didn’t limit the number of starters to 56.
It should be underlined that the top category for prototypes, LM P1 and LM P2, and the 56th pit represent 62.5% of the field with 41 cars compared to 30 in LM GTE, which is undergoing a marked renewal.
Just a reminder that the choice of entrants selected for the 2013 Le Mans 24 Hours was spread over several major rendez-vous.
At the end of the 2012 season on 27th October with the Shanghai 6 Hours (CHN), the final round of the 2012 FIA World Endurance Championship, the thirteen entrants invited were known taking into account their results in the Le Mans 24 Hours, and also after the end of the FIA WEC, the American Le Mans Series and the European Le Mans Series. This represented 16 cars maximum as the Audi Sport and AF Corse teams had clinched two and three invitations respectively.
12th December 2012 was the opening date for entries, and all the teams interested could send in their entry forms to the Automobile Club de l’Ouest.
16th January 2013 at midnight was the closing date for entries and by then 71 requests had reached the ACO.
On the evening of 23rd January the Selection Committee met under the presidency of Pierre Fillon, the ACO President, and its job was to draw up the list of teams invited including the 55 cars for the race and the ten reserves to fill any spaces left by withdrawals.
On 1st February 2013 the field for this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours will be announced during the press conference in the Eurosites George V. It will be broadcast in live streaming on the new site www.24h-lemans.com thanks to Michelin’s collaboration.
The entrants still have a week to wait but one car is already assured of a place: the GreenGT H2! This prototype with an electric engine powered by a fuel cell fed by hydrogen has received the 56th pit invitation, which is destined for a car designed around an innovative technological project. As in 2012 with the revolutionary Nissan DeltaWing, it can take part in practice and the race provided it meets all the safety regulations and performance minima set by the ACO – but outside the overall classification.
(Image: Gerlach Delissen)