Le Mans Series Heads For Silverstone

Intercontinental Le Mans Cup
Intercontinental Le Mans Cup

This year's 6 Hours of Silverstone (September 9-11) will bring together a grid of the most exotic racing sportscars at Britain's top circuit.

The race not only forms the penultimate round of the Le Mans Series, but also the final race in the European leg of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup (ILMC).

The prestigious series, which brings together some of the world's most iconic races, including the 12 Hours of Sebring and the 24 Hour of Le Mans, is led by the works team representing Audi and Peugeot.

Aboard the Audi Allan McNish will lead the British contingent, the 41-year-old Scot searching for his fourth 6 Hours win at Silverstone, a feat that would tie him with Jochen Mass and Jack Ickx for the most win in the event's 20th running.

“The battle with Peugeot is always fierce and that is the way it should be, two big teams wanting to win,” said McNish, who will share his Audi R18 TDI with Tom Kristensen. “Sometimes there have been some incidents which put our car out of contention of a win, but that is often just 'racing' when the difference between winning and losing big races is measured in seconds.”

While McNish's main opposition will come in the form of the fleet of Peugeot 908s, and the other works Audi, the premier LMP1 class also features British interest in the form of manufacturers Lola and Zytek as well as the works backed Aston Martin squad, hoping to turn around a difficult season on home soil.

LMP2, too features British talent in terms of teams and drivers. With both Strakka Racing and RML running HPD ARX-01. Both teams have British drivers in their squads, Ben Collins – still better known as a the former Stig on Top Gear – for RML, while Strakka Racing remain with their tried and tested all-British line up of Nick Leventis, Jonny Kane and Danny Watts.

In the GT ranks, Porsche, Ferrari, BMW and Aston Martin line up against each other, each with their own factory supported teams. Porsche offer their fleet of centrally employed drivers, though defending Le Mans Series champions Marc Lieb and Richard Lietz have struggled this season with incident and accident.

While Porsche struggle all three Le Mas Series races this season have been won by Ferraris. The marque's effort is led by AF Corse, twice victors in 2011 with a driver line-up that includes former F1 driver Giancarlo Fisichella.

The Prancing Horse is also represented by Essex-based team JMW Motorsport. Returning to the manufacturer from Aston Martin, the began 2011 with a class win at Paul Ricard, and twelve months on from suffering at the hands of a harsh penalty at Silverstone Jim McWhirter's team will be looking for another win on home soil.

Despite JMW's defection, Aston Martin continue to have representation, Jota Sport the marque's main representative this season.

On the September 9-11 weekend Silverstone will also host a celebration of the event's history with several cars and drivers from the 6 Hours of Silverstone's 35 year history expected to stand alongside their modern counterparts.

Also on track over the course of the weekend will be the F3 Euroseries, the Speed Series designed for fledging Le Mans racers and a classic endurance race for Le Mans cars from 1966-79 – a grid that will include Ford GTs and Ferrari Daytonas.