So the ACO announced today the entry list for the World Endurance Championship (WEC), Le mans 24 hours and the European Le mans Series (ELMS)
Thirty one entrants will be entered in the WEC full season, 55 + a garage 56 entry of the Nissan ZEOD for Le mans and an incredible 45 entries for the European Le mans Series.
For the WEC, we have 9 LMP1 entrants, 6 of which are factory entries from Porsche, Audi and Toyota and the remaining three LMP-L entries, which are Privateer entrants. For the Le Mans 24 and Spa, a further Audi R18 Eton Quattro will join the field. The Privateer entrants Rebellion Racing with the teams two new Rebellion R-ONE entries for the Anglo-Swiss Squad and a final full season LMP1 entrant with a Lotus T129 from Kodewa.
Nick Heidfeld, Nicolas Prost and Mathias Beche are already confirmed for the Rebellion programme.
Nissan Power dominates LMP2. Nissan powers every full season WEC entrant in LMP2. The class isn’t restricted to which engine manufacturer is chosen. Nissan’s domination is down to the quality of the product in a similar way to how F3 is dominated by Dallara Chassis, despite being open. Something that F1 fans might think about if we get customer cars in the series at some point.
Anyway WEC has seven full season LMP2 entries in 2014. Included in this are two from Russian team SMP and a full season entrant from Hong Kong based KCMG.
American open wheel fans might become more familiar with SMP as the season progresses as the team is additionally fielding Mikhail Aleshin in a partnership with Sam Schmidt Motorsports in the Indycar Series.
The chassis manufacturers in LMP2 come from Oak – Morgan, DOME with former HPD LMP1 team Strakka racing moving to LMP2 and the largest contingent from Oreca with five of the 9 entrants full season entrants using the Oreca 03 chassis. A notable omission is no HPD entrants in the WEC full season in either chassis or engine competition.
For the Le Mans 24 a further ten entrants will be added to the LMP2 class from ELMS and Asian Le mans competition including two Morgan-Judd’s built by Onraok, Two of the new closed cockpit LIGIER JS P2’s which are also designed by Onroak will join the series at the Le mans 24. Onroak is the constructor attached to Oak racing. Some entrants at Le Mans will also use Judd Power.
Oak Racing – Team Asia and the Thiriet By TDS Racing team with a HPD engine for Team Asia will field these cars at Le Mans. The cars are entered in a partnership with Guy Ligier. Bringing a total of seventeen LMP2 entrants for Le Mans with a further five in reserve, the world has no shortage of LMP2 competitors outside of TUSC.
In GTE Pro. Its battle re commenced between Aston Martin, Ferrari and Porsche full season with seven entries in the class full season. Porsche took a majority shareholding in Manthey Racing team over the winter and the team will field two Porsche 911 (991) entrants as in 2013 as well as the factory LMP1 team. The two teams are completely separate though in operation.
Ferrari will be represented through AF Corse and the British based RAM Racing who won the 2013 ELMS GTE class in its first season of competition, Advancing to the WEC this season.
Giancarlo Fisichella has gone over to the US to compete in the TUSC series and Kamui Kobayashi has returned to F1 with Caterham. As a result Davide Rigon Ferrari’s F1 test driver has joined AF Corse as a lead driver, Per the entry list Gianmaria Bruni is definitely retained for 2014.
Darren Turner and Stefan Mucke are listed as the lead drivers for the two Aston Martin entries. For the Le Mans 24 a further entry from Aston Martin Racing plus two Corvette Racing C7.R and two SRT Viper GTS-R entrants will be represented from the TUSC Series in GTE Pro.
In GTE AM. Porsche, Ferrari and Aston Martin are represented. RAM Racing, AF Corse and Aston Martin Racing fielding cars in both GT classes. The three teams will be joined b Prospeed Competition and Proton Competition. (No relation to the Malaysian company) Prospeed will run the older shape Porsche 911 (996) whilst Proton Competition are running a customer 911 (991) as the car has now experienced a year of competition in FIA WEC so as a result is eligible for GTE Am competition. An Additional eight GTE am entrants will be added to the class for the Le Mans 24 hours in June.
The Press conference additionally gave mention to an “app” for the WEC to be used as a second screen device and the plans to build a new pit complex at Le Mans for 2015.
Full entry lists