The Automobile Club de L’Ouest, organiser of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, has issued the first 14 invitations for the 2017 running of the French classic.
Following the conclusion of the 2016/17 Asian Le Mans Series, the ACO is now in a position to extend its initial invitations.
For those new to endurance racing, participation at the 24 Hours of Le Mans is solely at the invitation of the ACO. Participation, and particularly success, in an ACO-organised or sanctioned series brings with it the possibility of an invitation to enter the great race.
Currently fourteen invitations have been extended. The first four are for class, or outright, victory in the previous year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans. As a result, Porsche Team has an invitation for the LMP1 class, Signatech Alpine for LMP2, Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Team USA for LM GTE pro and Scuderia Corsa in the LM GTE Am class.
The next set of invitations are drawn from the class winners in the 2016 European Le Mans Series. Series victors G-Drive Racing has an invitation for the LMP2 class. Aston Martin Racing are invited in in the LM GTE Pro or Am categories for success in the LM GTE class and similarly JMW Motorsport are invited in the LM GTE Pro or Am classes for finishing second in the LM GTE class in the 2016 European Le Mans Series
United Autosports, as victor in the LM P3 class in the European Le Mans Series, receives an invitation. However, as LMP3 is not a class that races in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Leeds-based team has received an invitation to compete in the LMP2 class.
The ACO also extends invitations to participants in the IMSA WeathertTech SportsCar Championship, as designated by the Championship organisers. Keating Motorsports has received IMSA’s designation for an invitation to compete in the LMP2 class. Scuderia Corse, winner of the GT Daytona class in the 2016 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship also receives IMSA’s designation and has been invited to compete in the LM GTE Am class.
The Asian Le Mans Series, which held its final round at Sepang International Circuit on January 22 also receives invitations from the ACO. A|garve Pro Racing, who won the LM P2 category, receives an invitation to compete in the LM P2 class at Le Mans in 2017. DH Racing, who won the GT category, receives an invitation for the LM GTE Pro or Am class.
Tockwith Motorsports, who won the LMP3 class in the 2016/17 Asian Le Mans Series receives an invitation to enter the LM P2 or LM GTE class as LMP3 is not a class raced in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Finally TF Sport, winners of the 2016 British GT Championship in the GT3 category, receives an invitation for the LM GTE class as winners of the inaugural Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup.
The full entry list, with reserves, will be announced on February 2 from Le Mans.