Friday, June 7, 2024

Move over Indy 500, It’s 24 Heurs du Mans time!

Although this race always signals the Zenith of Summer to Mwah, even if it only stopped raining here upon Ye Oregonian coast a Fortnight ago, or did it?


This year’s 92nd edition of the legendous’ 24 Heurs du Mans is another fascinating collection of a whopping 62 competitors. Most notably the overflowing 23 Crème

De la Crème Hypercars category. Sandwiched in-between is the second “tier” 16 LMP2 Prototypes, along with the “lower” rung equally robust 23 entries of the brand new All LMGT3 “Saloons” category.


With 23 entries, I won’t even try chronicling All of them, which would simply take way too many hours of furiously poondin’ away at my ancient keyboard…


Le Mans Hypercars

A cursory breakdown of the class reveals a massive total of six Porsche 963 Panzerwagens’. Led by the three Nos. 4-5-6 Werks’ entries of Porsche Penske Motorsport. Plus two customer entries from Hertz Team Jota, Nos. 12 and 38, the latter featuring some former 2009 F1 World Champion simply known as Bloody Jense’. (Jenson Button) Although I’m more interested over how Callum Ilot in the #12 does. Along with an additional No. 99 customer entry from Proton Competition. With No 99 Red Balloons Jokes Here!


Three Cadillac V-Series.R racecars will be fielded by two Factory entries ostensibly run by Chip Ganassi Racing, it’s traditional Nos. 2-3. Whilst Action Express Racing (AXR) will run it’s #311 “customer” entry again.


Defending race winner la Scuderia bulks up to three Ferrari 499P entries. The Nos 50-51 Factory effort of AF Corse, along with it’s No. 83 privateer entry, with somebody once known as the Krakow Kid’, a la Robert Kubica as part of it’s driver’s trio…


Toyota Gazoo Racing brings it’s top-flight GR010 Hybrid two car entry again, running it’s traditional Nos. 7-8, and is looking to return to Le Mans podium’s top step again. Having pulled off a “Master Class” victory at this year’s Six Hours of Imola. Where Mike “Ice-Ice, Baby!” Conway, Nyck de Vries and K-Squared’, aka Kamui Kobayashi claimed the W in the No. 7 Toyota. With de Vries scoring His first win since Formula E in 2022.


BMW returns to Circuit de la Sarthe for the first time in a Quarter century! Winning the 1999 24 Heurs du Mans before leaving for Formula 1 with Williams. Returning with a brace of it’s LMDH (Le Mans Daytona Hybrid) spec Nos. 15-20 M8 Hybrid entries under the banner of BMW M Team WRT.


Also making it’s Hypercar debut at le Mans is Lamborghini, with a two car effort run by Iron Lynx. As the team will campaign the brand new Lambo’ SP63 No. 19 and 63.


Peugeot Total Energy sports a brand new “2.0” version of it’s 9X8 Hypercar. This time with it’s Peugeot 9X8 2024 model replete with a traditional rear wing. Running it’s customary Nos 93-94 entries.


Meanwhile, Peugeot’s rival’s Alpine Endurance Team appears with a brace of shiny, new LMDH spec Alpine A424’s, the Nos. 35-36.


And last, but not least due to it being the only single car entry. Is the “boutique” Isotta Franschini, with it’s Tipo 6-C entry. With No Jokes about the “Flying Franchitti Brothers” Here! Although in hindsight the flying bit probably isn’t funny to ‘Ol REO Speedwagon Dario Franchitti, Eh? Can Y’all say Houston?


As this has to be one of the racecars I’m most curious about and definitely rootin’ for…



Although the LMP2 category doesn’t get the recognition a la it’s Big Brother Hypercar brethren do, nonetheless the class will feature many fine drivers. And presumably will be another hard fought battle for class honours…


The Nos. 22-23 United Autosports entries are always a threat. Whilst the No. 24 Nielsen Racing entry will be of interest for some…


The #25 Algarve Pro Racing features my “Home Boyz” Heart of Racing’s 23yr old Roman De Angelis as part of it’s drivers roster.


Whilst right now, I’d have to say that the No. 45 CrowdStrike Racing by APR entry is my sentimental favourite…


And the No. 65 in an interesting entry, since it’s entrant is Panis Racing, which surely must be former Formula 1 winner Olivier Panis, Righto?



This is the inaugural running of the category featuring the pre-eminent worldwide GT3 racecar platform, for there’s a robust selection of nine Automotive marcques this year. Beginning with my aforementioned Home Boyz’ Heart of Racing Team’s #27 Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT3 Evo, with team Boss Ian James driving.


Belgium’s Team WRT who are running the Werks’ BMW M8 Hybrid Hypercars’, will also campaign a brace of BMW M4 GT3 “Coupe’s”. Although the No. 31 entry will be completely overshadowed by it’s Seester’s#46 entry! Which yes, includes The Doctor’, aka Valentino Rossi on it’s driver’s line-up.


But my main Attenzione for this class falls upon Proton Competition’s No. 44 and 77 Ford “Darkhorse” Mustang GT3’s, even if the No. 44 sports an All German driver line-up, Ja Volt! While it’s #77 entry features two prolific IMSA Sports Car Aces with Ryan Hardwick and Zacharie Robichon handling it’s Steed…

OOPS! Apologies to John Hartshorne and Ben Tuck, both who are British drivers! Making up two thirds of the No. 44 entry. Although Christopher Mies is indeed German, and they’re All driving for a German based racing team…


As the Mustang’s will be pitted vs. two of TF Sports Nos. 81-82 Corvette Z06 GT3.R’s, along with the rest of the class.


United Autosports fields a solitary McLaren 720S GT3 entry, car No. 59. While Inception Racing will field the No. 70 customer entry.


And how can I not root for the No. 85 Iron Dames Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo 2 Femme Fatale trio of Sarah Bovy, Michelle Gatting and Doriane Pin.


While Thars’ also a brace of Lexus RC F GT3 entries, before I got to the bottom of the entry list and spotted Proton Competition’s third No. 88 Mustang along with United Autosports second #95 McLaren 720S entries…


Yet as usual, it’s the Prancing Horse with the most Saloon entries, with a total of four, if I counted correctly? Including some longtime Factory GM Corvette driver named Jordan Taylor being a late edition to the No. 155 Spirit of Race’s Ferrari 296 GT3 entry.


Oh yeah, there’s also two venerable Porsche 911 GT3 R’s racing…