The Automobile Club de l’Ouest, organisers of the 24 Hours of Le Mans have announced the 16 invited entries for next year’s race, to be held on the weekend of 22-23 June.
The invitees are led by Audi Sport Team Joest, who receive a pair of automatic entries by virtue of winning both the 2012 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Michelin Green X Challenge for LMP classes in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC).
Though only there are Green X Challenge derived invites from the WEC by coincidence the champions from all the classes are also among the invited teams having also won the 24 Hours of Le Mans, joining the Audi team.
Should they take up the invite Starworks Motorsports will return to the Circuit de la Sarthe as defending champions in LMP2, AF Corse and Larbre Competition in the two divisions of LMGTE.
In total AF Corse have been given three entries, with invites for winning the LMGTE Green X Challenge in the WEC and for a second placed finished in the LMGTE Am points in the European Le Mans Series (ELMS) as well as their Le Mans success. While the 24 Hours of Le Mans and ELMS invites specify that the team must enter in the class that garnered the invite, the third invite is ‘free’ allowing a selection of either LMGTE Pro or Am.
Extreme Speed Motorsport have a similar choice as one of three teams selected by the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) for invites. Also invited from the US series are LMP2 teams Conquest Racing and Level 5 Motorsports, potentially putting at least three American teams in the LMP2 line-up for June.
Thiriet by TDS Racing, who finished second in class at Le Mans in 2012, and OAK Racing are the LMP2 invitees from the ELMS, with Boutsen Ginion Racing also awarded a spot in class as reward for winning the LMPC class of the European Series.
Also invited to Le Mans from the ELMS are Ferrari teams JMW Motorsport and JMB Racing in LMGTE Pro and IMSA Performance Matmut for winning the LMGTE Am class of the championship.
To validate their entries for Le Mans the teams must enter one of the ACO’s series – the WEC, ALMS, ELMS or Asian Le Mans Series – for the 2013 campaign.
Invited teams for the 2013 24 Hours of Le Mans
Audi Sport Team Joest
Audi Sport Team Joest
Thiriet by TDS Racing
Boutsen Ginion Racing
Level 5 Motorsports
AF Corse (LMGTE Pro or Am)
Extreme Speed Motorsports (LMGTE Pro or Am)
IMSA Performance Matmut