In Paris today the ACO revealed an incredible 35 entries for the forthcoming FIA World Endurance Championship season which begins at Silverstone on the 12 April. The large grid includes 21 LMP entries, with 11 LMP1 and 10 LMP2 cars entered for the full season. The LMGTE entry is evenly split with 7 cars in both Pro and Am categories, making a total of 14 in all.
LMP1: The Largest Class in 2015
For the first time there will be four manufacturers competing for the World Endurance Championship title. On Sunday Nissan revealed the Nissan GT-R LM Nismo which will take on the might of reigning World Champions Toyota, 24 Hours of Le Mans winners and double World Champions Audi, and race winners Porsche. The Japanese manufacturer also announced Marc Gené as its first driver signing and today has revealed that reigning 24 Hours of Le Mans LMP2 class winner and ELMS Vice Champion Harry Tincknell will become a Nissan factory driver in 2015. He is joined by Olivier Pla, the French driver also stepping up from LMP2 after scoring four wins and seven pole positions for G-Drive Racing in 2014, and reigning Super GT GT500 Champion Tsugio Matsuda who has also competed in the WEC’s LMP2 class in 2014.
Toyota has confirmed World Champion Anthony Davidson as the lead driver in the no1 TS040, with Alex Wurz in the no2 car. Audi has announced Marcel Fässler and Lucas di Grassi as the lead drivers in the no7 and no8 R18 e-tron quattros, with Porsche confirming Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas in the no17 and no18 919 Hybrids.
The manufacturer driver line-ups are essentially unchanged but with two notable full time additions for 2015. Audi recently announcing Oliver Jarvis as the replacement for Tom Kristensen, while Toyota has confirmed that Mike Conway would be racing for the team full time this season.
There are three LMP1 privateer entries for the 2015 season. Three-time champions Rebellion Racing are entering two Rebellion R-Ones, with Nicolas Prost and Matthias Beche announced as the lead drivers. For 2015 the Swiss team will switch from Toyota to AER engines. Team Bykolles, formerly Lotus, will enter a single CLM P1/01 – AER with Swiss driver Simon Trummer named as the lead driver.
|1||TOYOTA RACING||JPN||M||Toyota TS040 – Hybrid||Anthony Davidson (GBR)|
|2||TOYOTA RACING||JPN||M||Toyota TS040 – Hybrid||Alexander Wurz (AUT)|
|4||TEAM BYKOLLES||AUT||M||CLM P1/01 – AER||Simon Trummer (CHE)|
|7||AUDI SPORT TEAM JOEST||DEU||M||Audi R18 e-tron quattro||Marcel Fässler (CHE)|
|8||AUDI SPORT TEAM JOEST||DEU||M||Audi R18 e-tron quattro||Lucas Di Grassi (BRA)|
|12||REBELLION RACING*||CHE||M||Rebellion R-One – AER||Nicolas Prost (FRA)|
|13||REBELLION RACING*||CHE||M||Rebellion R-One – AER||Mathias Beche (CHE)|
|17||PORSCHE TEAM||DEU||M||Porsche 919 Hybrid||Timo Bernhard (DEU)|
|18||PORSCHE TEAM||DEU||M||Porsche 919 Hybrid||Romain Dumas (FRA)|
|22||NISSAN MOTORSPORTS||JPN||M||Nissan GT-R LM Nismo||Harry Tincknell (GBR)|
|23||NISSAN MOTORSPORTS||JPN||M||Nissan GT-R LM Nismo||Olivier Pla (FRA)|