Even though the 2016 edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans will have four more slots in the grid, the Automobile Club de l’Ouest staff had to scratch their heads to decide the first entry list for the French endurance classic. 60 entries were decided and seven were in the reserve list, just in case of any cancellation. Well, one of the slots was used.
This Monday (21) came with the confirmation that Greaves Motorsport will not carry on with the race-winning Gibson 015S for the 2016 season, as they plan to focus only in their Ligier JS P2 machine as well in the Krohn Racing Ligier which will be run by the British squad.
The other withdrawals in place are from the LMGTE camp. TDS Racing was expected to jump from GT3 machinery and the former GTC class to an Aston Martin V8 Vantage GTE, but they pulled the plug in the GT program, focusing on their Nissan powered ORECA 05 LMP2, which already has a confirmed slot at La Sarthe. The other in the leave is Riley Motorsports, as concerns for being in the reserve list with their Dodge Viper GTS-R made Ben Keating switch it for a deal with Murphy Protoypes in the LMP2 class, bringing his Viper partners Jeroen Bleekemolen and Marc Goosens to the team.
Although still a speculation, other teams in the reserve list may leave their bids to Le Mans, including the famous Courage squad that was intended to do a full time program with the BR Engineering BR01 prototype. Another team in the speculation zone is DragonSpeed, although they intend to keep their European Le Mans Series program for the 2016 season, which may happen specially after their successful debut of the ORECA 05 machine at the Sebring 12 Hours, finishing in fourth place overall.
With the changes in the entry list, we now have the 60 entries along with six reserves, as two LMGTE cars and four LMP2s stand in the sidelines if another team withdraws.
PHOTO: Asian Le Mans Series