The official entry list for the 2017 running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans has been revealed ahead of the historic event in June.
Of the 60 cars that will comprise the field, 28 will be full-time entrants from the full World Endurance Championship. The prototype classes will be led by six LMP1 entries, including Toyota’s additional #9 TS050 Hybrid, and 25 cars from all four different chassis manufacturers will contest the LMP2 category.
Meanwhile, the two LMGTE classes will feature 29 entrants between them, representing Aston Martin, Corvette, Ferrari, Ford and Porsche.
John Rourke/ FIA World Endurance Championship
The biggest change in the LMP1 field is an adjustment to Toyota’s racing lineup. Following Jose Maria Lopez’s crash at Silverstone and withdrawal from Spa, Toyota has elected to swap the Argentine around with Stephane Sarrazin.
This means that Lopez will now drive the team’s third car alongside Nicolas Lapierre and Yuji Kunimoto, whilst Sarrazin will return to the #7 TS050 Hybrid to partner Mike Conway and Kamui Kobayashi, the pairing with whom the Frenchman finished second for Toyota in last year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.
In the LMP2 category the entrants total 25 cars, including thirteen from the Asian and European Le Mans series’ to complement those from the WEC field.
Notable names on the 2017 grid include Rubens Barrichello joining the ELMS Racing Team Nederland entry, as well as top single-seater talents such as Jean-Éric Vergne, Felix Rosenqvist, Alex Lynn and Sergey Sirotkin, who are all making their Le Mans debut in LMP2 this year.
Last year’s LMP1 champion Romain Dumas will continue racing in the #36 Signatech Alpine in place of regular driver Nicolas Lapierre, who will instead pilot the third Toyota LMP1. Matthieu Vaxiviere will also return to TDS Racing’s #28 Oreca-Gibson following his recent foot injury, and will compete against his Spa stand-in Ben Hanley, who makes his Le Mans debut this year with ELMS team DragonSpeed.
As always, the LMGTE fields feature several third-man additions to established lineups. Amongst those are former Audi LMP1 drivers Lucas di Grassi and Marcel Fassler, both of whom return to contest Le Mans in the GTE-Pro class with AF Corse and Corvette Racing respectively.
The USA and UK Ford Chip Ganassi teams have also altered their squads from the usual WSCC configuration: the respective crews of the #66 and #68 Ford GTs have been swapped around, whilst Andy Priaulx and Harry Tincknell have moved from the #69 to the #67 and join new teammate Pipo Derani.
In GTE-Am, former Manor and G-Drive racer Will Stevens joins the #66 JMW Motorsport, and Fernando Rees will make his return to Le Mans with Larbre Competition, the team with which he made his WEC debut in 2012.
James Matthews, Deputy Editor