Audi won the 24 Heures du Mans in 2010 - this year's car is a fixed coupe entry for the first time
Photo: Anne Proffit
Rebellion Racing will be using Toyota power in 2011
Photo: Anne Proffit
The list of entries for this year’s 24 Heures du Mans classic to be held on 11-12 June at The Sarthe circuit outside the city of Le Mans have been revealed by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest.
Twenty of the 56 invited cars – there are 10 reserves – received automatic entries under the ACO’s system that rewards class-winning teams in the previous 24 Hours, in Petit Le Mans, the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup (ILMC), American Le Mans Series (ALMS), the Le Mans Series (LMS) and Asian Le Mans Series. Another invite goes to the LMS team that gained the most points in the previous season’s Michelin Green X Challenge, based on fuel economy at every event.
There are very few surprises amongst the LM P1 entries, which includes one American-based team, Highcroft Racing. Audi Sport Team Joest has two entries and third from Audi Sport North America. Last year’s winners are bringing their new R18 TDI coupe, a radical departure for the team, which has traditionally focused on open cars.
There are three factory entries for the Sebring and Petit Le Mans winning Peugeot Sport Total 908, also a diesel-powered entity. A fourth Team Oreca Matmut entry, last year’s 908 HDI-FAP has received an invitation from the ACO>
Rebellion Racing will bring two Lola B10/60 coupes with Toyota power. Oak Racing has Pescarolo-Judd machines, Quifel-ASM Team brings a Zytek 09 SC, Aston Martin Racing has received entries for two AMR-One petrol-powered coupes and Highcroft has a Honda Performance Development (HPD) ARX-01e for its attack on this circuit.
For this race, the ACO is trying to equalize matters amongst diesel- and petrol-powered cars and has lowered capacity to last year’s LM P2 level for all, with “grandfathering” permitted for older cars this one year. They’ve also required engines in the LM P2 class to be production-based and smaller, so the breadth of that class will be very different.
In LM P2, the 2010 class-winning Strakka Racing team returns with an HPD ARX01 D open car, as do Ray Mallock Ltd (RML), this year racing an all-HPD package and Americans Level 5 Motorsports, who will use an HPD engine in a Lola coupe, much as RML did last year. Signatech Racing have a pair of Oreca 03-Nissan entries, while Oak Racing has two Pescarolo-Judd BMW entries. Pecom Racing’s LolaB11/40 carries a Judd BMW engine, as does Race Performance team, which is campaigning an Oreca 03. Greaves Motorsport will run a Zytek Nissan, Team Oreca Matmut has a single Oreca 03-Nissan in this class.
The GT categories, too, had a workover for the 2011 season and are comprised of two classes: LM GTE Pro and LM GTE Am. The latter class requires an amateur as the lead driver.
Americans represented in the GTE Pro category include two cars for Petit Le Mans winners Corvette Racing and a single entry for Flying Lizard Motorsports, whose drivers won the GT category in ALMS competition. Krohn Racing is represented in the LM GTE Am competition, as is Robertson Racing and a second car for Flying Lizard Motorsports.
BMW Motorsport has two M3 cars in LM GTE Pro, while there are a total of six new Ferrari 458 Italia global entries for this year’s twice-around-the-clock classic. Porsche is represented by five entries including Flying Lizard and there are two Lotus Evora entries in the category.
In the LM GTE AM category that allows previous year’s cars, there is a single Corvette C6-ZR1, four Ferrari F430 racers, a single Aston Martin Vantage, three Porsche 911 RSR (997) racers and Robertson’s sole Ford GT-Doran.
The list could change as cars become unable to attend due to various reasons, but the strength and breadth of this year’s entry seems like it could amount to one of the strongest entry lists for the 24-hour classic.
© 2011 Anne Proffit