The Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) has announced the official, 62-car entry list for the 100th anniversary running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans later this year.
It’s set to be a bumper year for the top category with the largest field of cars aiming for the overall win since the 2011 race, which saw 17 LMP1 entries based on six different chassis take the race start.
For 2023 there’ll be a total of 16 Le Mans Hypercars from seven different brands — more than triple the 2022 list — as the category starts to hit its stride.
Naturally that will include defending five-time champion entry Toyota, which returns with two GR010 Hypercars to attempt a sixth successive victory. Also returning will be runners-up Glickenhaus, with two of its SCG007 cars.
After missing out on its planned debut at the 2022 event — but running some valuable miles in the latter half of the FIA World Endurance Championship, Peugeot will be bringing two of its 9X8 Hypercars to the 2023 race. They’ll be accompanied by three of the new Porsche 963s, two factory entries and a Penske-run car, which made their debut at the 24 Hours of Daytona last month.
Another debutant is the Ferrari 499P. The two official Ferrari entries will mark the first time in 50 years that the Ferrari works team has a car in the top category at Le Mans. Cadillac will also be bringing its new Hypercar, with two works entries for the Cadillac V-LMDh alongside a car campaigned by Whelen.
That just leaves the brand new Vanwall Vandervell 680 — though the car’s name depends on an ongoing legal case over the use of Vanwall by the former ByKolles team.
Aside from the huge field of LMH vehicles, there’ll also be 24 cars going for the LMP2 class win in a category that’s usually more closely fought than any other.
The reorganization of the GTE classes means there’s just the LMGTE Am category ahead of its replacement LMGT3 in 2024. We’ll see 21 entries, consisting of five Aston Martin Vantages, seven Ferrari 488s, eight Porsche 911s, and a lone Chevrolet Corvette C8.R.
That leaves just one vehicle outside of the line-up above, which will be the “Garage 56” entry for innovative vehicles. For 2023 this will be a Chevrolet Camaro, which isn’t necessarily a vehicle that springs to mind when one thinks of innovation — but there’s a little twist: it’s a NASCAR Cup car.
In fact the Camaro ZL1, run by Hendrick Motorsports, will be a modified version of the “Next Gen” NASCAR racer, and it’ll be interesting to see how the machine deals with the challenges of Le Mans.
For now, the entry list is provisional, with 10 teams on standby — seven GTE and three LMP2 — in case any other squad can’t take part for any reason.
The 186-driver field isn’t complete either, though most squads have announced either two or all three drivers thus far. There’s some big names in there too, including 12 outright winners of the event and eleven former F1 drivers — including two champions. Notably Jacques Villeneuve, behind the wheel of the #4 Vanwall, will have a chance to become the second driver to complete the Triple Crown of Motorsport…
This year’s race will get underway at 1400 UTC on Saturday June 10.
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