First 34 selected for 24 Hours of Le Mans

LE MANS 24 HOURS 2005: THE FIRST 34 CARS SELECTED The Selection Committee has chosen an initial list of 34 cars for the 73rd Le Mans 24 Hours on 18th and 19th June 2005. It is level pegging in both the Prototype and GT ...

LE MANS 24 HOURS 2005: THE FIRST 34 CARS SELECTED

The Selection Committee has chosen an initial list of 34 cars for the 73rd Le Mans 24 Hours on 18th and 19th June 2005.

It is level pegging in both the Prototype and GT categories with seventeen in each. This includes the 15 automatically selected entries picked according to their 2004 results and confirmed by the respective teams within the deadlines.

The Selection Committee has thus added an additional 19 cars on the basis of their entry forms: 10 in the Prototype Category and 9 in the Grand Touring one.

This preliminary list is a good indication of the variety and appeal of the coming Le Mans 24 Hours. The battle for the topmost step of the rostrum (occupied by the Team Goh Audi in 2004) looks like being a very open one. There are newcomers in the Prototype Category like the Creation Autosport and Jota-Zytek Engineering squads, which made a big impact during the four rounds of the 2004 Le Mans Endurance Series. In the LMP 2 Category Courage as expected is well represented with no fewer than 5 entries powered by different engines: the 4 cylinder 2-litre turbocharged A.E.R unit for the American team Miracle Motorsport, Ford for Paul Belmondo Racing (backed by Ford France and Gulf), normally aspirated Judds for Intersport Racing and G force Racing/Bokkenrijders: CG ( (Mecachrome, the initials CG stand for Gérard Cazella President of the company) for Courage Competition an entry looked after by Noël Del Bello. The car will be powered by the V8 used in the new GP 2 Championship whose cubic capacity has been reduced from 4 to 3.4 litres.

A quick glance shows that the LM GT entry is more varied than in the past: obviously, it is not yet finalised as the Aston Martins will be closely watched at Sebring in mid-March. Saleen is back and there are also the new Corvette C6-Rs plus 550 Ferrari Maranellos and a 575 GTC from French Team JMB Racing. In LM GT2 there is another newcomer, the Panoz from the USA, which will be up against the Porsches that have dominated this category, TVRs and Ferrari 360 Modenas.

16 places still have to be allocated by the Selection Committee. This will be done at the end of March after the Sebring 12-Hour event, the opening round of the American Le Mans Series on 19th March. The names of 8 reserves will be added to the list of 50 entries. The former will only be called upon in case of official withdrawal before 27th May 2005. Thus, everything is still up for grabs for the 44 out of the 78 entries that have not yet been officially selected.

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Series Le Mans