Following on from January’s reveal of the 2021 FIA World Endurance Championship season entry list, the FIA and ACO have announced the full 62-car entry list for the delayed 2021 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The two lists are of course very similar. While it’s a major race in its own right, the 24 Hours of Le Mans is one of the rounds of the FIA WEC, and the 33 teams and machines of the WEC make the entry list automatically. In addition, the ACO invites champion teams from the previous season’s race and the winners from the various categories in other championships like the European Le Mans Series and WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
In total, the 62 entries are spread across five categories, with five in the top Le Mans Hypercar class, 25 in LMP2, seven in LM GTE Pro, and 24 in LM GTE Am. There’s also one further special entry in the Innovative category, a class formerly known as “Garage 56” (back when Le Mans only had 56 pit garages) and made famous by the Nissan-entered DeltaWing.
The five cars entered in the new LMH category are both surprising and unsurprising. It’s an identical entry list to that of the class in the full FIA WEC season, with the two Toyota GR010 entries facing the two Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus cars, and Alpine’s converted Rebellion R13 LMP1 making up the five. There is no space on the entry list for the ByKolles team’s LMP1-H, which was expected to ready for this year’s race.
LMP2 will more than double the amount of entries at Le Mans compared to the rest of the season, with 25 machines competing rather than just 11. There’ll be no fewer than nine F1 drivers in the field, with Paul di Resta, Pietro Fittipaldi, Narain Karthikeyan, and Robert Kubica all joining in the action in France. In fact di Resta won in LMP2 last year, and will be driving the #23 United Autosports car, while his team-mates from that race are both in the team’s #22. All but two of the LMP2s will be Oreca 07-Gibson machines (including G-Drive’s Aurus-branded version), with the #44 and #74 cars using Ligier JS P217 chassis.
GTE Pro might be the class that gets the fans excited, as a famous name returns from its absence last year. Corvette Racing will bring a pair of the new, mid-engined Corvette C8.Rs to Le Mans for the first time, to make the class a Chevrolet-Ferrari-Porsche battle once again. Unfortunately we won’t get to see Aston Martin defending its title, as the manufacturer has withdrawn from official factory racing in GT as it makes a return to Formula 1.
Aston fans can cheer on one of four cars in GTE Am however, as the Vantages face off with eight Porsche 911s and 12 Ferrari 488s. Again though, the winning trio from 2020 is absent, so there’s a new champion on the cards.
The final entry is one of the most fascinating, as the SRT41 team returns. In 2016 this entry — a specially modified Morgan LMP2 — saw Frederic Sausset become the first-ever quadruple amputee to start the race, and he finished it in 38th overall. For 2021 the team comes back with the same entry it planned in 2020, featuring a three-driver line up all of whom have disabilities. This year, his SRT-41 academy will be striving to write another page in the race’s history books by entering a full line-up of drivers with disabilities and an adapted Oreca 07 LMP2.
For now, the complete driver line-ups aren’t known, but you can read the full entry list here.