As has been the case for several years, a handful of IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship teams will run the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
IMSA confirmed Friday following the release of the Le Mans and FIA World Endurance Championship entry lists that at least seven IMSA cars will be present at Le Mans.
Michelin technical partner teams Corvette Racing, Ford Chip Ganassi Racing and Porsche GT Team – via its CORE autosport North American-run outfit – will provide six of those cars to add more depth to the GTE-Pro class.
Corvette Racing, now in its 20th season of competition, will continue its annual appearance with two cars. The team made its Le Mans debut in 2000, and has eight wins. The team will announce its third drivers in the Nos. 63 and 64 Corvette C7.Rs alongside its full-season pairings (Jan Magnussen/Antonio Garcia and Oliver Gavin/Tommy Milner) in due course.
— 24 Hours of Le Mans (@24hoursoflemans) February 9, 2018
Ford adds the two U.S. entries to its two U.K. entries for the manufacturer’s third straight year with four cars at Le Mans. The same trios that race in IMSA (Joey Hand/Dirk Mueller/Sebastien Bourdais and Ryan Briscoe/Richard Westbrook/Scott Dixon) will race at Le Mans.
Gentlemen, start your engines. Four #Ford GTs are going to #LEMANS24!! 17 GTE Pro cars at Le Mans. That is going to be some battle! @andypriaulx @olivierpla @stefanmuecke007 @harrytincknell @rwestbrook1 @joeyhandracing @muellerdirk @Ryan_Briscoe @CGRsportscar pic.twitter.com/4LPlkZRRbk
— Ford Performance (@FordPerformance) February 9, 2018
CORE autosport achieves its dream of going to Le Mans with Porsche GT Team’s North American program. Patrick Pilet, Nick Tandy and Earl Bamber (No. 93) and Timo Bernhard, Romain Dumas and Sven Mueller (No. 94) will be in the pair of Porsche 911 RSRs.
— Porsche Motorsport (@PorscheRaces) February 9, 2018
“Going to Le Mans is a goal for any sports car team and we didn’t hesitate when Porsche presented the opportunity,” said Morgan Brady, COO for CORE autosport.
“This will be a big challenge for us, but it’s exactly what we’re built for and we’re doing everything in our power to prepare ourselves. The IMSA GTLM class is one of the toughest in the world, so we are confident that we will represent the series and the U.S. well.”
Keating Motorsports takes up its automatic invitation from IMSA. Ben Keating and Jeroen Bleekemolen are the first two confirmed drivers in the No. 85 Ferrari F488 GTE. That team has entered into a partnership with Risi Competizione for its GTE-Am class run.
Going to Le Mans this year with Ben Keating and Risi Competizione in the Ferrari 488 GTE Running in GTE-Am. Great car and team, great opportunity to flight for a win! pic.twitter.com/dYtUFFOHGT
— Jeroen Bleekemolen (@jbleekemolen) January 25, 2018
JDC-Miller Motorsports has passed up its automatic invitation, due to funding issues. Other IMSA teams Scuderia Corsa and BAR1 Motorsports are on the reserve list.