The ACO has revealed the full provisional entry list for the 2022 Le Mans 24 Hours, with the same five cars set to fight for victory as seen in 2021 and a full grid despite the withdrawals of Peugeot and G-Drive.
It was hoped that Peugeot would debut its 9X8 Hypercar at Le Mans or the round before it at Spa, but last month the French manufacturer confirmed that it would not be ready to race until at least the Monza round of the World Endurance Championship.
The entry list was delayed and the application process reopened following the news that LMP2 squad G-Drive would not race at Le Mans or in the World Endurance Championship, or even in the European Le Mans Series, in 2022. The move came after Russian backer Roman Rusinov said he would not comply to the FIA’s new regulations for Russian drivers and teams to compete as neutrals.
Despite the late changes the entry list is full, with all 62 garages set to be full for the 2022 event.
The top LMH class will see four Hypercars competing, reigning champions Toyota Gazoo Racing’s pair of GR010s and two Glickenhaus 007 LMHs, alongside the grandfathered Alpine A480 LMP1 car.
The largest section of the grid will be made up by LMP2 cars, 25 in total, made up in the large majority of 24 Oreca 07s. Competing alongside the dominant Oreca will be a single Ligier JSP17 entered by Racing Team India Eurasia.
LMP2 will again be split into two sections, with two different winners crowned. “LMP2” will see purely Silver to Platinum-rated drivers compete, while each cars in “LMP2 Pro/Am” must have at least one Bronze driver driving.
Highlights of the LMP2 field include the Le Mans debut of eight-time WRC champion Sebastien Ogier – racing in the #1 Richard Mille Racing Oreca – and Penske’s return to Le Mans with Dane Cameron, Emmanuel Collard and Felipe Nasr.
Yifei Ye, freshly signed to race for Porsche, returns to LMP2 after his storming run in 2021, now joining Cool Racing, while former Formula E champion Antonio Felix Da Costa races again for Jota. Former F1 drivers Robert Kubica and Esteban Gutierrez also race, for Prema and Inter Europol respectively.
The GT ranks will be split between LMGTE Pro and Am for the penultimate time. This year’s Pro field will have seven cars, with the expected pairs of cars from AF Corse (Ferrari), Porsche and Corvette joined by Riley Motorsport, running another Ferrari 488 GTE for Felipe Fraga, Ferrari regular Sam Bird and multiple Australian Supercars champion Shane van Gisbergen.
The other 23 cars on the 2022 Le Mans 24 Hours entry list will compete in GTE Am, with a trio of Aston Martin Vantage AMRs joining the field made up mostly of Ferrari 488s and Porsche 911s.
Driver highlights include Hollywood A-lister Michael Fassbender making his Le Mans debut following a long build-up programme with Porsche, and an all-female line-up for the Iron Lynx-entered Iron Dames car, driven by Rahel Frey, Michelle Gatting and Sarah Bovy.
Several driver spots remain to be filled in the run up to the race, and there is a six-car reserve list, perhaps surprisingly including 2021 LMP2 Pro/Am runners-up Racing Team Nederland. Also on the reserve list is a High Class Racing LMP2 car that would be driven by former and now current Haas F1 driver Kevin Magnussen, alongside his father Jan and Mark Patterson.