In a presentation in Paris which was streamed live, the entry lists for the 90th 24 Heures du Mans and the 2013 FIA World Endurance Championship were announced, setting off waves of anticipation and speculation among sports car racing enthusiasts.
A full field of 56 cars (plus ten alternates) have been accepted as entrants for the 2013 Le Mans 24, divided into four classes: LMP1, LMP2, GTE-Pro, and GTE-Am.
The LMP1 class is mostly the playground of the factories. The cutting-edge high-tech race cars are the fastest road-racers on the planet.
Defending champion Audi will be bringing three of its R18- e-tron quattro diesel hybrids. Its main rival will be Toyota, with its pair of TS030 gasoline hybrids.
Two privateer teams will be poised to take podium positions should the factory entries fail to finish. Rebellion Racing has entered a pair of Lola-Toyotas and Strakka Racing will bring an HPD ARX-03c-Honda.
The LMP2 category—cost-controlled prototypes with advanced aerodynamics and production-based engines—is the most popular class, with 22 entries. 2012 class winner Starworks Motorsports will be back with an HPD ARX 03b-Honda, challenged by a score of Orecas, Lolas, Morgans, and Zytecs powered by primarily by Nissan engines—at least 16 of the 22 cars will use Nissan power. Level 5 Motorsports joins Satrworks in representing the U.S. in this class.
Eleven GTE-Pro cars will take the green flag: the Typical Porsches and Ferraris, and Corvettes joined by a pair of factory Aston Martins and a pair of SRT Vipers.
The defending AF Corse Ferrari will be back wilt 2012 winner Gianni Bruni leading the driving team. For the first time in this century Porsche will be fielding a factory team—Porsche AG Team Manthey will race a pair of new 991s, the only Porsches in the field.
The Corvette Racing C6-R1s and the SRT Viper GTS-Rs will be fighting not only for the class win, but also for the honor of being the fastest American supercar.GTE-Am is also well-subscribed, with 14 entries. The 2012 winning Larbre Competition Corvette will face challengesd from half-a-dozen Ferraris, including U.S. team Extreme Speed Motorsports, four Porsches including a single entry from Dempsey-Proton Racing co-driven by American actor Patrick Dempsey, and another pair of factory Aston Martin vantages.
The 90th 24 Hours of Le Mans 2013 begins on Saturday, June 22 and ends on Sunday, June 23. Tickets for the world’s most prestigious sports car race can be purchased through the race’s official website, 24h-lemans.com.
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