The FIA WEC series has revealed a 62-car strong entry list for 2023 Le Mans 24 Hours along with a list of reserve cars too.
At 4pm on Saturday 10 June, the French flag will be waved to herald the start of the Centenary 24 Hours of Le Mans, the fourth round of the 2023 FIA World Endurance Championship. After outlining the programme of festivities last December, it is now time to present the grid!
Once again, there will be 62 cars competing on track. The line-up comprises 16 Hypercars, 24 LMP2s, 21 LMGTE Am cars and one Innovative Car. There are ten teams on the reserve list. In the top tier, this is the highest number of race entries since 2011 (17 LMP1s)! Although the list of 186 drivers is not yet complete, we know that there will be 12 former outright winners among them, plus five women.
Seven manufacturers will have their eye on the prize in the premier class: Ferrari, Porsche, Peugeot, Cadillac, Vanwall, Glickenhaus and Toyota. The Japanese marque will be aiming for a sixth consecutive win but will have its work cut out against some iconic and highly experienced rivals. Porsche will be aiming for its 20th overall victory, while Ferrari returns to the top tier at Le Mans after a 50-year hiatus. The luxury Italian carmaker can draw on almost 75 years of expertise in the discipline and will be keen to add a tenth Le Mans victory to its list of achievements. After a promising start on the other side of the Atlantic, Cadillac will line up three cars, hoping to maintain its momentum. Peugeot, which made its Hypercar début at Monza last year, followed by races at Fuji and in Bahrain, will be looking to add a fourth Le Mans victory to its record. Glickenhaus stepped on to the Le Mans podium for the first time in 2022 and will benefit from the experience garnered over the last two years. Finally, Vanwall is a newcomer to this level at Le Mans and will no doubt hope to cause a stir. So, who will lift the unique trophy created especially for the Centenary?
There will be 24 teams on the LMP2 grid, eight of which will be driven by a mix of professional and amateur drivers. This class is highly competitive and, year after year, keeps spectators on tenterhooks right up to the final moments of the race. Many of the teams have a real chance of winning. Alpine, due to return to the premier class next year, will launch a two-prong attack to try and claim the crown back from Jota.
The LMGTE Am grid at the 24 Hours of Le Mans features 21 cars. This class will run in the French endurance classic for the final time this year, before it is replaced by LMGT3 in 2024. It is open to amateur drivers teamed with professionals. Four prestigious marques will battle it out on the track: eight Porsche 911 RSR-19s, seven Ferrari 488 GTE-EVOs, five Aston Martin Vantage AMRs and one Chevrolet Corvette C8.R. They will all be keen to make history by becoming the final name on the winners roster. The Iron Dames, an all-female trio, will be competing again this year.
Garage 56, reserved for an innovative car running outside the official classification, will host a Chevrolet Camaro LZ1 entered by the Hendrick Motorsports team, on its maiden appearance at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. This will be a modified version of the Next Gen car that competed in the 2022 Cup Series, Nascar’s main championship. The car is a sign of the ever-closer friendship between France and the United States in endurance racing and will be entrusted to an all-star team: Jenson Button, former Formula One World Champion, Mike Rockenfeller, 2010 Le Mans 24 Hours winner and Jimmie Johnson, seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion.
Here’s 2023 Le Mans 24 Hours entry list: https://assets.lemans.org/explorer/pdf/courses/2023/24-heures-du-mans/entry-list-24-heures-du-mans-2023.pdf
[Note: The story is as per press release]