60 cars will be at the start of the 85th 24 Hours...

60 cars will be at the start of the 85th 24 Hours of Le Mans

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24 Hours of Le Mans
24 Hours of Le Mans / Source: Porsche

The Automobile Club de l’Ouest launched the 2017 endurance season in a completely new conference format. More than 75 000 web spectators followed the unveiling of the lists of entries for the European Le Mans Series (ELMS), the FIA World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC) and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

On 17th June 60 cars will be at the start of the 85th 24 Hours of Le Mans

The race is the third round of the 2017 WEC. They will be split up into four categories: 6 LM P1s (Le Mans Prototype 1), 25 LM P2s (Le Mans Prototype 2), 13 LM GTE Pros and 16 LM GTE Am.

In the blue-riband LM P1 category, Toyota has stacked all the odds in its favour by entering three TS050-Hybrids. But Porsche is gunning for a hat trick with its 919s. Completing the LM P1 field is the non-hybrid Enso CLM P1/01 entered by ByKolles Racing team with former F1 ace Robert Kubica as the lead driver.

2017 looks like being the year of the LM P2 due to a record field of 25 new cars

A new set of technical regulations came into force on January 1st 2017. These prototypes all have improved performances, capped costs and a quality service linked to the fact that they all have the same engine. The aim is to ensure long-term success for this category.

The on-track spectacle in 2017 will be guaranteed thanks to these very quick machines in the baby prototype category. Oreca has a numerical advantage with no fewer than 15 cars. They include 13 Oreca 07s and two Alpine A470s developed by the Signes-based constructor. Then comes Ligier with six JS P217s, Dallara with 3 P217s and Riley with a single MK30. In compliance with the new regulations all the cars will be powered by the Gibson engine.

Signatech Alpine Matmut will have its work cut out to retain its title in the 24 Hours.

There is a nod to the new Michel Vaillant comic book, which is being published in the near future

The two Oreca 07-Gibsons entered by Rebellion Racing bear the name Vaillante Rebellion in homage to the famous cartoon hero, Michel Vaillant.

In LM GTE Pro the new Porsche 911 RSR, two of which have been entered by the eponymous Stuttgart firm, looks like it will pose a serious threat. Corvette Racing-GM, AF Corse and Aston Martin will also bring along two cars each. So they will be fighting on a level playing field. Ford is again doing everything in its power to repeat its victory in the Sarthe. The brand has an impressive armada of four cars. American team Risi Competizione will complete this high-quality field.

Only cars over one year old are eligible to compete in the LM GTE Am category. Thus the Ferrari 488, which appeared in 2016, will race in the 24 Hours for the first time in this class. JMW Motorsport entered an older Ferrari 458. So the Italian firm provides 50% of the field with a total of eight cars. For the moment the only woman driver in this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans is in LM GTE Am. This is Christina Nielsen from Denmark. In 2016 she became the first woman to win a title in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

On the reserve list are two teams, one in the LM P2 category and the other in LM GTE Am

They will be allowed into the race in case of withdrawal of another entrant in keeping with the order on the list. During this press conference Mark Webber was named Grand Marshall of the 85th More than 75 000 web spectators followed the unveiling of the lists of entries for the European Le Mans Series (ELMS), the FIA World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC) and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The Australian follows in the footsteps of Henri Pescarolo, Allan McNish, Tom Kristensen and Alexander Wurz.

2017 24 hours of Le Mans entry list

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