But should We really be surprised that the No. 7 Toyota was Fastest on Test Day…
This year’s 24 Heurs du Mans feels seriously Disjointed to Mwah, Arse-sumedly due to having been raptured in All things Indianapolis 500, not to mention that IndyCar races at Road America and Formula 1 competes in Baku the same weekend. Along with the fact that this year’s 90th Edition Le Mans 24 Hours race taking place June 11-12 feels like a Stopgap race to Boot! With only five Hypercars entries comprising of the two All Conquering Werk’s Toyota’s vs. the Grandfathered LMP1 Alpine and the two Privateer Scuderia Glickenhaus mounts…
Obviously, the Odds On favourites will be one of Toyota’s two car GR010 hybrid Factory effort winning it’s fifth consecutive 24 Heurs du Mans victory, whilst I’ll be rootin’ again for the No. 7 with K-Squared’, aka Kamui Kobayashi to win, along with co-Drivers Mike “Ice Ice, Baby!” Conway and Jose Maria Lopez, who finally stood on the Podiums top step last year. With the No. 7 Driver’s lineup remaining unchanged.
The Seester’ No. 8 that won three years in-a-row from 2018-20 with Kazuki Nakajima, Sebastian Beumi and Brendon Hartley at it’s controls. With Nakajima and Beumi winning three straight apiece, whilst Hartley, who’s a two times winner has won with two separate teams, i.e.; Porsche in 2017 and Toyota in 2020.
As ryo Hirakawa replaces Nakajima, who retired at the end of last year’s FIA World endurance Championship (WEC) season, and becomes Toyota’sRace team Manager.
And even though I’d prefer somebody else winning instead, I don’t expect it to happen, especially since the Toy-Yoters’ are the only “all Wheel Drive” (AWD) Hybrid powered LMH entrants in the Anemic five car Hypercars field.
But a la last year, I’ll also be cheering for the upstart American team. Since I’m also a Huge Fan of Ryan briscoe’s, who’ll be part of Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus’s Sophomore Le Mans outing with it’s two car SCG 007 entry
As Briscoe will be piloting the #709 with team-mates “Westie,” nee Richard Westbrook and Franck Mailleux, who swaps seats with Romain Dumas aboard the “Rear Wheel Drive” (RWD) “Blown” 3.5-litre V-8 twin turbo SCG007 racecar.
Meanwhile it’s sister car the #708 sees Pipo Derani and Olivier Pla joined by the aforementioned Romain Dumas at it’s controls for this year’s 24 Hours race outing.
Whilst the final LMH entry is the #36 Alpine A480 single car entry, the rebadged Rebellion LMP1 R13, another RWD Prototype propelled by a 4.5-litre Normally Aspirated Gibson V-8 lump that won this year’s Sebring Season Opener WEC event.
As the No. 36 features Nicolas Lapierre, the only name I recognize of it’s Driver’s trio. Presumably since the Frenchman’s a two times Sebring 12 Hours winner, along with four Le Mans 24 Hours Class victories. With Lapierre once again being joined by countryman Matthieu Vaxivier and Brazilian Andre Negro.
As still seems really weird that Thars Over five times as many second tier LMP2 Class entries, with a robust 27. Whilst the Tintop’ Saloons are similarly structured with seven GTE Pro entrants supported by 23 GTE AM runners.
The #1 Richard Mille Racing LMP2 entry’s All Femme Fatale entry of the past two seasons has been revamped following Tatiana calderon’s departure to A.J. foyt Enterprises IndyCar team, where She’s running a Twisties’ Only, nee Road Courses and Street Circuits programme as a Rookie this year aboard the team’s third entry.
While Sophia Florsch has moved over to the #47 Algarve Pro Racing’s LMP2 entry, with Jack “Achey Breaky” Aitken and John Falb as Her Co-Drivers. Leaving only Netherlands Beitske Bisser’s whereabouts Unknown? As perhaps bisser’s returned to the W Series?
As this year the entry sports an All French Male lineup of Charles Milesi, Lilou Wadoux and some Rally Guy named Sebastien Ogier, as perhaps Y’all have heard of Him? You know, the reigning Eight Times World Rally Championship winner!
As Ogier is the second most successful WRC Driver with 54 wins and 637 Stage wins as of the 2022 Portugal Rally, only one championship title behind fellow Countryman Sebastien Loeb’s nine WRC Crowns…
Meanwhile, the GTE Pro Saloons category is comprised of seven entries, with three Factories doing that Noah Arc’s 2X2 thingy’; with two Ferrari’s Porsches and Corvette’s, along with a Privateer Ferrari entered by Riley Motorsport.
The “lower” tier GTE Am entry list sees 12 Ferrari 488 GT3’s vs. 8 Porsche 911 RSR’s and 3 Aston Martin Vantage AMR’s.
As the Iron Dames No. 85 Ferrari returns intact with le Femmes Sarah boby, Rahel Frey and Michelle Gatting, the trio’s second outing, while the Iron Dames entry has run the past three 24 Hours of Le Mans races.
While the Porsche ranks includes another Hollywood Heart throb racing at Circuit de la Sarthe, with Michael Fassbender making his Le Mans Debut behind the wheel of the No. 93 Proton competition Porsche, with IMSA Co-Drivers Matt Campbell and Zacharie Robichon.
The race will be shown live upon Motortrend TV Stateside, with it’s TV Coverage beginning Saturday, June 11th at 6:30AM Pacific. But as Always, Check your local listings.
Whilst I’m Arse-suming Y’all can find a Full Field Entry list of All 62 entries and Thar respective 186 Drivers at Racer.com’s Sports Car page, along with a Spotters Guide…