It’s finally Le Mans Entry List Day, and we get to see just how serious Porsche is about trying to win the big race this year. As it turns out, they’re taking it pretty seriously. The big news today is that Porsche will have a full three-car factory-backed entry in the Hypercar class with a trio of Penske-run Porsche 963s. Also confirmed today was the entry for Hertz Team Jota (above) in the class, marking four Porsche 963s fighting for the overall victory. Considering the Hypercar class is 16 cars deep, Porsche running a quarter of them is a pretty solid effort. Cadillac will have three cars, while Toyota, Ferrari, Peugeot, and Glickenhaus will have two cars each, and the so-called Floyd Vanwall Racing Team will enter a single car.
In the #5 Porsche, you’ll see Dane Cameron, Michael Christensen, and Frederic Makowiecki teaming up to take on the 24 hour event. Over in the sister #6 car, the other full-season car, it’s the driver squad of Kevin Estre, Andre Lotterer, and Laurens Vanthoor. The third factory entry, #75 (in honor of Porsche’s 75th year as a company) currently only lists IMSA star Felipe Nasr with a pair of TBA drivers joining him for the race. Mathieu Jaminet seriously impressed during the recent Daytona 24, I’d like to see him in the car, at a minimum. Perhaps with Nick Tandy or Dane Cameron.
The Jota Sport team also announced its three drivers. We already knew that Chinese driver Yifei Ye would be onboard, but the other two of the drivers hadn’t yet been confirmed. Neither of the pair come as a complete surprise, as Porsche Formula E driver Antonio Felix da Costa and McLaren test/development driver Will Stevens will step into the driver seat for Jota. Both are stellar talents, and both were part of the driver team that won Le Mans and the WEC championship with Jota in LMP2 last season. Hard to bet against them, then.
In its final season on earth, the venerable Porsche 911 RSR (19) will once again make up the GTE Am category. As we all know, GTE Pro has been killed off in favor of a new GT3 regulation class joining the FIA WEC and Le Mans next year, but GTE Am is still sticking around for one more run. Proton Competition will be running four cars in the class, including a factory-supported car #911 for actor Michael Fassbender. An interesting entry to the class is the newly-formed AO Racing, which has joined forces with Project 1 to enter the class with tech impresario PJ Hyett and Gunnar Jeannette, throwing in Porsche-favored (though not factory) driver Matteo Cairoli for a full lineup. Iron Lynx will run a 911 RSR in the class, as well as sister (pun intended) team the Iron Dames, an all-female team including Sarah Bovy, Michelle Gatting, and Rahel Frey.
There is a second Team Project 1 car sitting fifth on the reserve list, which could theoretically get promoted to the big game if the second Glickenhaus fails to materialize, the Vanwall isn’t ready in time, or any number of the astonishing 45 privateer entries on the list have issues.
Whatever the case, this is going to be one heck of a good race. I don’t know about you, but I’m excited to see Porsche give its best in the top class again for the first time since the 919 Hybrid retired in 2017.
If you want to see the full Le Mans entry list, you can check it out right here.