WEC Confirms 7 US Entries for 24 Hours of Le Mans
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The FIA World Endurance Championship on Monday released its entry list for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and the United States is very well represented.
The list includes seven entries from the United States. A total of five of the 16 entries in the growing Hypercar class are from the U.S. There were just five Hypercars racing at Le Mans in 2022.
This year, three of the Hypercar entries are Cadillacs and two others will come from Glickenhaus Racing, which earned the final spot on the Hypercar podium last year at Le Mans behind a pair of Toyota Gazoo Racing entries.
For Cadillac, this will be the manufacturer's first trip to the world's largest sports car race in two decades. Cadillac will field its two Cadillac V-Series.Rs that are currently racing in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and one that is competing in with WEC.
The Le Mans entry list also confirmed an LMGTE AM entry for Corvette Racing and a Garage 56 entry for the Hendrick Motorsports/NASCAR effort.
“We are thrilled to return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans with the full Cadillac Racing team,” said global vice president of Cadillac Rory Harvey. “Over the last 20 years Cadillac Racing has built a legacy of winning on the track and we feel very privileged to return to Le Mans during this exciting new electrified era in racing.”
The three Cadillac V-Series.R race cars made their competition debut Jan. 28-29 in the 61st Rolex 24 at Daytona, with the No. 01 Cadillac V-Series.R earning a podium finish. The No. 02 Cadillac V-Series.R finished fourth and the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac V-Series.R was fifth.
The No. 2 Cadillac V-Series.R received an automatic entry for Le Mans based on its full-season participation in the FIA World Endurance Championship. Earl Bamber, Alex Lynn and Richard Westbrook are the drivers.
“We are all looking forward to Cadillac returning to Le Mans and challenging for the overall victory. It has been decades since an American manufacturer has achieved this and we will be strongly pushing to achieve our goal,” said Bamber, a two-time overall winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The No. 3 Cadillac V-Series.R is a full-season IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship entrant, where it races as the No. 01. Sébastien Bourdais, Renger van der Zande and Scott Dixon will be the drivers.
The No. 311 Whelen Engineering Cadillac V-Series.R is a full-season IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship entrant, where it races as the No. 31. Pipo Derani, Alexander Sims and Jack Aitken will be the drivers.
“Cadillac is excited to build on its racing legacy by competing against the very best internationally and at one of the world’s toughest races,” said GM sports car program manager Laura Wontrop Klauser. “We’re proud to be representing the United States and the Cadillac V-Series.R is a great continuation of our racing heritage.”
The Corvette Racing entry for Le Mans comes from the World Endurance Championship and includes drivers Nicky Catsburg, Ben Keating and Nicolas Varrone.
Cadillac History at Le Mans
• The first Cadillacs raced at Le Mans were entered by privateers Briggs Cunningham and Miles and Sam Collier in 1950. Both of these Series 61 coupes were powered by the Cadillac 5.4-liter OHV V-8 engine.
Miles and Sam Collier co-drove the No. 3 “Petit Pataud” to a 10th place overall finish. Briggs Cunningham shared the wheel of the No. 2 “Le Monstre” with Phil Walters and finished 11th overall despite an early off-course incident.
That same year, Sydney Allard and Tom Cole Jr. finished 3rd overall in the Cadillac powered Allard J2.
Most recently, Cadillac competed at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2000, 2001 and 2002 with its 4.0L turbocharged V8-powered Northstar LMP.
• In 2000, Franck Lagorce, Butch Leitzinger and Andy Wallace drove the Team Cadillac No. 1 Cadillac Northstar LMP to a 21st place overall finish, while Wayne Taylor, Max Angelelli and Eric van de Poele finished 22nd in the No. 2 sister car.
• In 2001, Taylor, Angelelli and Christophe Tinseau co-drove the Cadillac Northstar LMP01 to a 15th place finish in LMP900. A second LMP01, co-driven by Eric Bernard, Emmanuel Collard and Marc Goossens, retired from the race with a mechanical issue.
• In 2002, two Cadillac LMP02 entries entered the race. Angelelli, Tinseau and Taylor co-drove to a ninth-place overall finish. A second Cadillac LMP02, co-driven by Bernard, Collard and JJ Lehto, finished 12th.