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24 Hours of Le Mans

Le Mans 24 Hours 2013 – 71 entries for 56 places

IMG_32256The 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)

Discussion

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  1. Should be another loaded field, maybe not necessarily in P1, but the other three classes will be very competitive. May end up having some unexpected teams on the reserves list.

    Posted by Matty Embry | January 25, 2013, 22:53
  2. The big prototype field is mainly coming from LMP2, but I think that there will be around 10 LMP1, which is not bad after there will be only 5 permanent LMP1 entries in the WEC season. 3xAudi, 2xToyota, 2xRebellion-Lola, 2xHonda (JRM, Strakka) are already certain, and I suppose there will be some more participation (OAK-Honda?, Dyson? Pickett?). Sad that Henri Pescarolo definitely won’t be there.
    The GTE-Pro class will be extremely interesting with four works teams (Ferrari AF Corse, Porsche Manthey, Aston Martin, Corvette) competing for the class win. Does anybody know if SRT will bring the Vipers over to Le Mans? Would be great (not only to see, also to listen…)!

    Posted by kw | January 26, 2013, 12:13
  3. Oak have stopped their LMP1 program. Sad since it never reached its full potential.

    Picket have said they will not be going to lemans. With the arrival of rebellion they want to focus on the alms. Maybe if the updates oontheir car get them somewhat close to the diesels they might change their minds.

    Pescarolo should have just used the Oak-Pescarolo LMP1 car instead of trying to develop a car that already failed. In hands of pescarolo the Oak P1 could have been a higher caliber piece of machinery.

    Posted by Bamba | January 26, 2013, 21:05
  4. I’m worried that most of the 71 will be GTE-Am teams. Worst idea EVER!

    Posted by J Hunter | January 27, 2013, 4:30
  5. There is a rumor SRT will run at Le Mans since its likely the 2014 GTE rules may not include the 8.0L V10 engine, unless they make it more like GT3 being inclusive instead of exclusive.

    There could be merging of GT3/GTE as outlined by Race Car Engineering.

    Posted by Anthony | January 28, 2013, 8:55
  6. Saw the published entry list today. You were right, Bamba: OAK brings three LMP2 instead of continuing their LMP1 program and even JRM has withdrawn its LMP1. So there will be a big prototype field, but not much quality. I’ll prefer watching the GT-Pro fight, including the Vipers.
    When seeing who is “in” and who is on the reserve list, I see some very “French” (that means not logical…) decisions, e.g. 5 (!) AF Corse Ferrari’s “in”, but the Prospeed Porsche and TRG Aston Martin “out”. But never mind, that’s the same way ’round every year…

    Posted by kw | February 2, 2013, 16:30
  7. I don’t see not having a couple more LMP1s as a negative. The class is clearly going to be dominated by the Audis and Toyotas anyway, so a couple other HPDs racing for 6th (barring failures/wrecks) doesn’t mean much to me. I’d much rather have the privateers focus on LMP2 and have a big fight there.

    As for Prospeed and TRG, I probably wouldn’t have picked TRG either given that there are 4 factory Astons in and another on the reserve list that I would have picked before TRG.

    Posted by GTurner | February 3, 2013, 2:47
  8. GTE Pro is well supported at Le Mans. SRT is a welcome addition, as are the additional entries from AM and other works associated teams. The issue at Le Mans is the reducing number of P1s. The issue is bigger for the WEC.

    After Le Mans when Rebellion reduces to one car and JRM disappears to run GT3 Nissans in the Blancpain and other championships, P1 will have very reduced interest.

    For fans we talk to the issue is that P2 ends up being about attrition not out and out racing and, post Le Mans, GTE like P1 will be very thinly supported. So watching at Silverstone, Spa and Le Mans is viable but the planned trip to the US will have wait until there is a proper P1 entry.

    Posted by xj8 | February 7, 2013, 8:14
  9. I think the TRG car is more likely to have some very “fresh” gentleman drivers. So I’m not too high on it.

    Check out Aston Martin’s second entry for Sebring. It’s in actuality being run by TRG.

    AF Corse is also everywhere these days because the president of the FIA is in reality a Ferrari “agent”. Michellotto is making some serious money, building, refurbishing and supplying parts for all the F458 versions.

    Posted by Bamba | February 9, 2013, 16:20

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