Confirmation of the teams automatically selected : The first fifteen entries for the 2005 Le Mans 24 Hours The year has hardly begun and already the distant thunder of the 2005 Le Mans 24 Hours can be heard. Fifteen entrants from the list of ...
Confirmation of the teams automatically selected : The first fifteen entries for the 2005 Le Mans 24 Hours
The year has hardly begun and already the distant thunder of the 2005 Le Mans 24 Hours can be heard. Fifteen entrants from the list of teams automatically selected according to their results in 2004 * have confirmed their presence at the greatest endurance race in the world on 18th and 19th June.
Out of these fifteen teams nine are from the USA, which highlights the motivation of the American Le Mans Series entrants.
What is striking is the number of LMP 2s, six in all, that have confirmed their participation promising a no-holds-barred battle between Courage and Lola with WR and Pilbeam waiting in the wings.
Also confirmed are several GT 1s, the new designation of the former GTS Category. Five of the seven automatic entries will be in the Sarthe in June including the new Corvette C6-Rs so another thrilling round in their battle with the Ferrari 550 Maranellos from BMS Scuderia Italia and Larbre Competition looks on the cards. Saleen will also be back in this category with Acemo Motorsports. This year sees the eagerly awaited return of Aston Martin to the Le Mans 24 Hours. The Selection Committee will see the DBR9s racing for the first time on 19th March in the Sebring 12 Hours.
The Selection Committee will meet twice, one in February to draw up a preliminary list based on the entries it has received by 19th January. Another meeting will be held at the end of March after it has seen the cars entered for the Sebring event, the opening round of the ALMS.
Thrilling duels in each category anticipated
Entrants who have not yet confirmed their participation have until 19th January to do so. The focal point of interest concerns names that are not on the above list: Prodrive Racing and Barron Connor in GT 1, Choroq Racing Team, Alex Job Racing and JMB Racing in GT 2 and above all Dyson Racing in LMP 1. The absence of the 2004 winner and runner up Audi Sport Japan Team Goh and Audi Sport UK Team Veloqx is not a surprise as they have already announced their withdrawal from the 2005 event.
"The various contacts I've had with the entrants leads me to believe that the 2005 field will be a very varied one and also of very high quality,' smiled Daniel Poissenot, the A.C.O Sports Manager. "It could give a very promising indication as to the involvement of certain manufacturers."
The above list provides a foretaste of this. The presence of a superb field and the promise of thrilling duels in each category should be confirmed at the end of March.
* The first two in each of the four categories in the Le Mans 24 Hours and the Le Mans Endurance Series ; the first one in the American Le Mans Series, the Petit Le Mans and the FIA GT Championship.