Pre-season newsletter 2007-02-12

THE SEASON ENTRY LIST IS HERE 51 Cars! In 2007 the entry list will consist of 51 cars! It is already an exceptional year which is upon us, with indeed more entries, but more importantly an even greater number of ...

THE SEASON ENTRY LIST IS HERE

51 Cars! In 2007 the entry list will consist of 51 cars! It is already an exceptional year which is upon us, with indeed more entries, but more importantly an even greater number of competitors of the highest quality. A full and varied grid for Season 4 of the Le Mans Series.

In 'LM'P1, we are all clearly waiting for the two 908 Hdi-FAP's of the Peugot Total team; but the other teams have decided to not just come along for the ride. Henri Pescarolo, title holder for the last two seasons, is more motivated than ever to defend his territory and has this year entered two Pescarolo Judds. As for Martin Short, in registering a third Pescarolo Judd in the category he is looking to leave behind the bad luck which followed him last season. Creation Autosportif, second in 'LM'P1 in 2006, are not planning on staying there with their ‘Creation'. Giovanni Lavaggi and his Lavaggi LS01-Ford now seem ready to complete the season for the pleasure of the numerous ‘trifosi' of the driver-manufacturer. Overall, 14 cars are entered in 'LM'P1 this season, amongst them we count three Lolas, each equipped with a different engine. An Audi motor for the formidable Swiss duo, the well-known AER engine for Chamberlain Synergy Motorsport, whilst the Czech team Charouz will be powered by a Judd. At last two Courages have been entered by Yves Courage, along with Jan Lammers' Dome and the Zytek of the team Arena International. The competition is heating up as all these teams arrive with not dissimilar ambitions.

The 'LM'P2s are not being outdone, as we once again find Series regulars such as Pierre Bruneau and his co-driver Marc Rostan always determined to put their Pilbeam on the podium. Whatsmore they are joined by another Pilbeam, that of a team new to the Le Mans Series: Embassy Racing. The American Binnie Motorsports and the Barazi-Epsilon team are of course with the series again. Horag Racing is making its comeback to the Le Mans Series whilst Kruse Motorsport is ready to take on a full season. Team Bruichladdich Radical is also stepping up to the challenge. In total, 12 'LM'P2s are entered for the season, composed of three chassis (Dome, Pescarolo and Zytek) which have until now been regulars in 'LM'P1. There is huge variety in both the models and the teams for this grid with 12 cars and 8 nationalities!

Amongst the 'LM'GT1 category, we have the winners and runners up from 2006: Aston Martin Racing Larbre are entering two Aston Martin DB9s, and the Oreca team return with their Saleen S7-R. The Hughes de Chaunac team and Italian Racing Box will both take to the grid with the same car, a Saleen. Luc Alphand Aventures will line up two Corvettes, the C6.R driven by the former skier himself for the six races, and a C5-R for which the drivers are yet to be confirmed. Last but not least, the new Austrian team Goldentime Racing are entering their Ferrari 550 Maranello. Eight entries for four makes in this interesting category, which will offer beyond a shadow of a doubt the fiercest of the battles!

In 'LM'GT2, the selection has been extremely difficult as a lot of teams applied this year. However places are limited, especially on the Valencia track where there is a capacity of 46 cars, imposing a reduction on entries. For this race, only the top 12 in the Monza 1000km 'LM'GT 2 class will be part of the starting grid. Despite this, 17 'LM'GT 2 can proudly enter the season in which a tough battle is anticipated between Ferrari and Porsche, controlled by Corvette, Panoz and the Dutch Spyker. Once again a cosmopolitan grid with 9 nationalities represented in 5 different models. Porsche 997 GT3 RSR, Ferrari F430 GT, Panoz Esperante GTLM, Spyker C8 Spyder GT2R, Corvette C6 Z06 … they will be fighting hard from Monza to Interlagos to capture the title.

The selection has been anything but easy for the organisers of the Series given the impressive number of applications received. But looking at the list of entries in detail, it is clear that the variety of the grid and the professionalism of the competitors has been the deciding factor in their choice, in order to make the Le Mans Series both more competitive on the track, and to provide even more of a spectacle for its loyal fans.

-credit: lms

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