Monday, June 10, 2024

LE MANS: Supporting Cast and Other intriguing tidbits

As when’s the last time you read about somebody with the initials JK?


These are some of the other “Story lines” that Peaked my Attenzione regarding this year’s 24 Heurs du Man running. Noting half of the six current IndyCar drivers competing this year, along with one fascinating Hypercar entry.



This is probably the most interesting Le Mans Hypercar entry for Mwah, due to it’s drivers line-up and unknown Italiano manufacturer. Which Racer’s Marshall Pruett enjoys playfully calling the Flying Franchitti Brothers entry.


The racecar inQuestionne is none other than the Isotta Fraschini Tipo C-6, also known as the Tipo 6 LMH-C or LMH Competizione.


The chassis was reportedly designed by Michelotto, long time Italian Coachbuilder and Ferrari Motorsport partner. With the Aerodynamics being developed by Williams Advanced Engineering.


It utilizes a HWA 2.3-liter 90 degrees V-6 with a single turbocharger rated at some 700bhp, albeit I’m Arse-suming that includes the front axle’s electric motor. Although I thought that horsepower was rated at a maximum of 680bhp. Or was it 681 “Ponies?”


The single entry is being run by Dequeine Engineering and it’s drivers features two former Indy Lights racers and a totally unknown Thai behind the keyboard.


Jean-Karl Vernay, ergo the initials JK. Who won the 2010 Indy Lights championship for then powerhouse Sam Schmidt Motorsports is arguably the most heralded of this trio. With Kanuck’ Antonio Sarravall being a short lived Indy Lights competitor. Whilst I’ve never heard of Carl Bennett, a Thailand racer who’s made the jump up to Hypercars quickly after toiling in lower category single seaters. And is overseen by A14 Management, run by some Smarmy Spaniard named Fred Alonso…


It's hard to believe that I still remember Jean-Karl Vernay going Head-to-Head with another Hoser from Up North eh! Racing against thee Mayor ‘O Hinchtown if memory serves me correctly, Eh?


As Vernay’s part of an unasked trivia question. Being the second of three Indy Light champions to have never raced in Indy Cars. Having already divulged Steve Robertson, (1994) can Y’all name the third?


Times up, it’s Canadian David Empringham, who appropriately won the title for Forsythe Racing in 1996…



As typical, United Autosports, co-owned by Richard Dean and McLaren Boss Zak Brown, returns with it’s brace of Oreca 07 Gibson powered LMP2 entries. Running it’s traditional Nos. 22-23, for which I’m not sure which of these two racecars drivers line-ups is stronger?


The No. 22 has Oliver Jarvis, the 2022 IMSA SportsCar Prototype champion, plus that year’s Rolex 24 winner! Along with the totally unknown Bijoy Garg being joined by Indy NXT and IndyCar driver Nolan Siegel, making His Le Mans debut at the tender age of 19.


Whilst the No. 23 sees former IndyCar driver Ben Handley, Bad Arse Sports Car Ace Filipe Albuquerque and standout “Gentlemen” racer Ben Keating at it’s controls.


The #24 Nielsen Racing entry sees Chip Ganassi Racing IndyCar rookie Kyffin Simpson as part of the driver line-up. Alongside David Heinemeier Hansson and Favio Scherer.


As previously noted, my sentimental favourite for the LMP2 Class W’ is the No. 45 IMSA CrowdStrike Racing by APR entry.


As it features perennial Sports Car Bad Arse Colin Brown, who made His IndyCar debut for Dale coyne Racing at St Pete, along with the Thermal club “Invitational”, Err Sweepstakes race. With no word on whether or not He’ll get any moreIndyCar opportunities this season?


Along with former Factory BMW and corvette driver Nicky Catsburg and Ben Keating’s arch nemesis George Kurtz.


The No. 65 Panis Racing features Mathias Beche coupled with Yanks’ Scott Huffaker and Rodrigo Sales.


Whilst IMSA GTD Pro Championship winner Ben Barnicoat makes up part of AF Corse’s #183 entry.