Five teams pull out of Le Mans - no more reserves remain

It was announced this morning that three GTE and two LMP2 cars have pulled out of this years 24 Hours of Le Mans race.

Five teams pull out of Le Mans - no more reserves remain

The ACO confirmed Monday morning the withdrawal of five race teams from the 24 Hours of Le Mans; three of which were Aston Martins.

Aston Martin Racing had originally planned to have six cars in the race with three each in GTE Pro and GTE Am. They are pulling their No. 89 GTE Pro entry and the No. 96 GTE Am Aston from their roster. The four remaining Aston Martins are their full-time WEC teams. AMR cited that they wanted to focus all efforts only on their works cars as the reason for the two withdrawals.

The third Aston Martin was to be fielded in GTE Am by Craft Racing, which has recently merged with the British based Bamboo team to form Craft-Bamboo Racing. As a joint venture, they are running the GTE Pro division in the World Endurance Championship this season.

#75 Prospeed Competition Porsche 911 GT3 RSR: Francois Perrodo, Emmanuel Collard, Matthieu Vaxiviere
#75 Prospeed Competition Porsche 911 GT3 RSR: Francois Perrodo, Emmanuel Collard, Matthieu Vaxiviere

Photo by: Daniel James Smith

There are two reserves set to take their place - the No. 76 IMSA Performance Matmut and the No. 79 Prospeed Compétition Porsche 911 GT3 RSR's (those teams will now have two cars each in the race).

Prospeed is a Belgium based outfit founded in 2006 and currently competes in the GTE Am category with three French drivers in the WEC. IMSA Performance Matmut has its roots in France and is most notably, a current competitor in the European Le Mans Series. Obviously, 56 minus three and plus two does not equal the golden number of 56 cars on the grid. This is where it gets interesting.

#50 Larbre Competition Morgan Judd: Gustavo Yacaman, Keiko Ihara
#50 Larbre Competition Morgan Judd: Gustavo Yacaman, Keiko Ihara

Photo by: Daniel James Smith

There are no reserves left for the GTE classes so the No. 50 Larbre Compétition Morgan-Judd BMW Team, which was slated as the first LMP1 reserve, has been integrated into the P2 category. Like IMSA Performance Matmut, they are racing in the European Le Mans Series this year.

The other two withdrawals come from the same team - Millennium Racing. They were initially planning to field two Oreca 03-Nissans in the LMP2 class and had previously announced that they weren't going to participate in the first two rounds of the WEC due to financial issues. Now it seems that they won't be making the trip to Le Mans for that same reason.

#29 Pegasus Racing Morgan Nissan: Julien Schell, Niki Leutwiller, Jonathan Coleman
#29 Pegasus Racing Morgan Nissan: Julien Schell, Niki Leutwiller, Jonathan Coleman

Photo by: Daniel James Smith

The No. 42 Zytek Z11SN-Nissan of the Caterham Racing and the Pegasus Racing No. 29 Morgan-Nissan have been selected to fill the gaps. Caterham Racing is actually run by Greaves Motorsport, which will now have two cars in the great race. They have tasted victory at Le Mans before, winning the LMP2 category in 2011 and placing 8th overall that year.

There are no more reserves left after this latest shake-up, meaning that anymore withdrawals could lead to less than 56 cars on the grid in June.

Updated Entry List For Le Mans

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Five entries withdrawn from Le Mans 24 Hours - reserves called up

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