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2013 Le Mans 24: #TheFuture Comes To Le Mans - This Year's Lineup
Posted by: newsla on May 30, 2013 - 05:35 PM
American Le Mans Series News
2013 Le Mans 24: #TheFuture Comes To Le Mans - This Year's Lineup

Let’s say you’re a fan of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón and/or GRAND-AM Road Racing, and – like many other fans all over the world – you tune into live coverage of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, which will be provided by SPEED in North America.


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One of the first things you’ll notice is just how huge the Circuit de la Sarthe is, with 36 turns spread out across more than eight miles, and the blinding speed of many of the cars. Perhaps the next thing you’ll notice as you watch the “hat,” (that’s a TV term used to describe the running order that scrolls across the top of the screen) will be a number of familiar names.

You then may say to yourself, “There’s Ricky Taylor in a Corvette, but that’s not a Corvette DP he’s driving,” or “There’s Olivier Beretta in a Ferrari, but that’s not a Risi Ferrari. What is going on around here?”

Never fear, ALMS and GRAND-AM fans, we’ve got you covered. What follows is a complete “cheat sheet” of ALMS and GRAND-AM teams and drivers competing in this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans. Study it or keep it handy as you follow the race and you’ll be up to speed immediately – and stay there.

And don’t worry; we’ll be sure to update it, if any of “our” drivers or teams are added to the list.

ALMS/GRAND-AM Teams at Le Mans

Rebellion Racing
No. 12 Lola-Toyota
Class: LM P1
Drivers: Neel Jani, Nick Heidfeld, Nicolas Prost
Note: The Anglo-Swiss team competing full time in the 2013 American Le Mans Series with Jani and Heidfeld stays true to its European roots at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The team will also field the No. 13 Lola-Toyota for Andrea Belicchi, Mathias Beche and Cong Fu “Frankie” Cheng.

Level 5 Motorsports
No. 33 HPD ARX 03b-Honda
Class: LM P2
Drivers: Scott Tucker, Marino Franchitti, Ryan Briscoe
Note: The Level 5 driving trio already won one of sports car racing’s crown jewels this year with a P2 victory in March’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida. Can they score another big win at Le Mans?

SRT Motorsports
No. 53 SRT Viper GTS-R
No. 93 SRT Viper GTS-R
Class: GTE Pro
Drivers: No. 53 - Ryan Dalziel, Dominik Farnbacher, Marc Goossens; No. 93 – Jonathan Bomarito, Kuno Wittmer, Tommy Kendall
Note: The last three times factory-backed Vipers raced at Le Mans, they won (1998, ’99 and 2000). Can they pick up where they left off? It’s a tall order but they’ve been fast throughout the 2013 ALMS season so far.

Corvette Racing
No. 73 Chevrolet Corvette C6 ZR1
No. 74 Chevrolet Corvette C6 ZR1
Class: GTE Pro
Drivers: No. 73 – Jan Magnussen, Antonio Garcia, Jordan Taylor; No. 74 – Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner, Richard Westbrook
Note: The gold standard of ALMS regulars at Le Mans, Corvette Racing has seven class victories at Le Mans since 2001. With ALMS wins at Sebring and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca already this season, they’ve certainly got momentum on their side to make it eight.

Dempsey Del Piero-Proton
No. 77 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR
Class: GTE Am
Drivers: Patrick Dempsey, Michael Avenatti, Joe Foster
Note: On the heels of a near victory in the ALMS race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Dempsey Del Piero heads for its first 24 Hours of Le Mans. The team has partnered with European Porsche stalwarts Proton Competition to field the GTE Am entry.

8Star Motorsports
No. 81 Ferrari F458 Italia
Class: GTE Am
Drivers: Enzo Potolicchio, Rui Aguas, Jason Bright
Note: GRAND-AM regular and 8 Star team owner Enzo Potolicchio co-drove to the LM P2 class victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans last year with Ryan Dalziel and Tom Kimber-Smith. He returns this year as owner of the No. 81 Ferrari.

ALMS/GRAND-AM Drivers at Le Mans (Alphabetical, Car/Class in parentheses)

• Bill Auberlen (No. 98 Aston Martin Vantage V8/GTE Pro) – The BMW factory driver and multi-time ALMS and GRAND-AM race winner is on loan to Aston Martin for this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.

• Olivier Beretta (No. 71 Ferrari F458 Italia/GTE Pro) – A six-time class winner at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Beretta goes for win No. 7 with AF Corse this year.

• Jeroen Bleekemolen (No. 34 ORECA-Judd/LM P2) – One of the fastest drivers in the ALMS GTC class driving a Porsche, Bleekemolen will wheel a P2 prototype at Le Mans.

• Jonathan Bomarito (No. 93 SRT Viper GTS-R/GTE Pro) – The Californian makes his 24 Hours of Le Mans debut with SRT Motorsports, but he knows what it takes to win a 24-hour race, as his 2010 victory in the Rolex 24 At Daytona will attest.

• Ryan Briscoe (No. 33 HPD ARX-03b-Honda/LM P2) – Won the 12 Hours of Sebring and just raced in the Indianapolis 500. Le Mans represents his third “crown jewel” event of the year.

• Paul Dalla Lana (No. 98 Aston Martin Vantage V8/GTE Pro) – The 2011 BMW Sports Trophy winner, given annually to BMW’s top privateer driver, joins his GRAND-AM Rolex Series and Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge teammate Bill Auberlen in an Aston Martin.

• Ryan Dalziel (No. 53 SRT Viper GTS-R/GTE Pro) – No stranger to winning endurance races, Dalziel won class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and 12 Hours of Sebring in 2012, and won the Rolex 24 At Daytona overall in 2010. He will re-join SRT Motorsports for the event.

• Patrick Dempsey (No. 77 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR GTE Am) – Hollywood actor Dempsey returns to Le Mans with the momentum of a second-place finish in the most recent ALMS race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

• Dominik Farnbacher (No. 53 SRT Viper GTS-R/GTE Pro) – The SRT Motorsports driver sits third in the ALMS GT standings through three races. Season-best finish of third came at Long Beach.

• Joe Foster (No. 77 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR/GTE Am) – With more than 25 years of professional racing experience, Foster will make his third appearance this season for Dempsey Del Piero.

• Marino Franchitti (No. 33 HPD ARX-03b-Honda/LM P2) – Already two-for-three on the season, Franchitti will look to win his second major event this season after winning the 12 Hours of Sebring.

• Antonio Garcia (No. 73 Chevrolet Corvette C6 ZR1/GTE Pro) – With three class victories already in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Corvette Racing driver is considered a favorite once again in 2013.

• Oliver Gavin (No. 74 Chevrolet Corvette C6 ZR1/GTE Pro) – Defending ALMS GT champion and one of the winningest drivers in class history, Gavin will look to add a fifth Le Mans class victory to his long list of accomplishments.

• Marc Goossens (No. 53 SRT Viper GTS-R/GTE Pro) – SRT Motorsports driver has tons of experience, including starts in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. First start in the 24 Hours of Le Mans came in 1996.

• Brendon Hartley (No. 48 ORECA-Nissan/LM P2) – One of the brightest up and coming stars on the endurance racing scene, Hartley has been competing in the GRAND-AM Rolex Series for Starworks Motorsport in 2013. He is also the simulator driver for AMG Mercedes in Formula One.

• Nick Heidfeld (No. 12 Lola-Toyota/LM P1) -- With more than 180 starts in Formula One, Heidfeld is among the most experienced drivers in this year’s field. Has been competing with Rebellion Racing in ALMS P1 class in 2013 with three podiums in three races.

• Wolf Henzler (No. 67 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR/GTE Am) – Henzler is as experienced as they come driving a Porsche, he will look for his second class victory at Le Mans driving for IMSA Performance MatMut.

• Neel Jani (No. 12 Lola-Toyota/LM P1) – The Rebellion Racing driver has three podiums in the ALMS P1 class in 2013 and has been quick all season, including a pole at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

• Tommy Kendall (No. 93 SRT Viper GTS-R/GTE Pro) – One of the most recognizable names in American sports car racing, Kendall has had success everywhere he has raced. He will re-join SRT Motorsports after finishing 10th in GT in the 12 Hours of Sebring in 2013.

• Tom Kimber-Smith (No. 41 Zytek-Nissan/LM P2) – Kimber-Smith has one of the best track records at Le Mans winning in class in three of his four starts. His most recent win came in 2012 with Starworks Motorsport. This year he joins Greaves Motorsport in the LM P2 class.

• Patrick Long (No. 77 Porsche GT3 RSR/GTE Am) – A late addition to the Dempsey Del Piero Racing lineup, Long brings years of Porsche experience. He currently drives for CORE autosport in the ALMS and Park Place Motorsports in the Rolex Series.

• Lucas Luhr (No. 38 Zytek-Nissan/LM P2) – ALMS’ all-time wins leader and current P1 points leader will run in the P2 class at Le Mans for Jota Sport.

• Cooper MacNeil (No. 70 Chevrolet Corvette C6 ZR1/GTE Am) -- At 20 years of age, MacNeil is already a class winner in the 12 Hours of Sebring with a win this season in the GTC class. He’ll be in a Corvette at Le Mans for Labre Competition.

• Jan Magnussen (No. 73 Chevrolet Corvette C6 ZR1/GTE Pro) – Magnussen already has four class victories at Le Mans, all with Corvette Racing. He’ll look for a fifth driving the famed yellow Corvette again in 2013.

• Maxime Martin (No. 46 ORECA-Nissan/LM P2) – Already driving the BMW Z4 to a GT class victory for BMW Team RLL at Long Beach, Martin will look for his first Le Mans victory driving in the LM P2 class.

• Tommy Milner (No. 74 Chevrolet Corvette C6 ZR1/GTE Pro) – He may not have as much experience as his Corvette Racing teammates, but Milner is building quite a racing portfolio for himself with a win at Le Mans in 2011, in addition to a class victory at Sebring this season and the 2012 ALMS GT title.

• Enzo Potolicchio (No. 81 Ferrari F458 Italia/GTE Am) – The owner/driver for 8Star Motorsports, Potolicchio makes his Le Mans debut with his new team. He enjoyed a season for the ages in 2012 winning at Sebring and Le Mans, in addition to the WEC LM P2 title for Starworks Motorsport.

• Stéphane Sarrazin (No. 8 Toyota TS030-Hybrid/LM P1) – An endurance racing veteran, Sarrazin has four podium finishes at Le Mans, including finishing second overall in 2007 and 2009 for Peugeot. He has a season-best finish of fourth in the GRAND-AM Rolex Series in 2013 driving for 8Star Motorsports.

• Jordan Taylor (No. 73 Chevrolet Corvette C6 ZR1/GTE Pro) – Son of championship-winning driver Wayne Taylor, Jordan made his Corvette Racing debut in 2012 with runner-up finishes at Sebring and Petit Le Mans and will return with the team for this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans. He currently drives in the Rolex Series DP class for Wayne Taylor Racing.

• Ricky Taylor (No. 50 Chevrolet Corvette C6 ZR1/GTE Am) – The older brother of Jordan Taylor, Ricky has seven career Rolex Series DP class wins. He will be making his Le Mans debut driving for Larbre Competition.

• Scott Tucker (No. 33 HPD ARX-03b-Honda/LM P2) – Despite starting his racing career at the age of 44, Level 5 Motorsports owner/driver Tucker has developed a knack for winning big races, including three consecutive 12 Hours of Sebring class titles. His team will look to improve on a Le Mans podium effort in 2011.

• Richard Westbrook (No. 74 Chevrolet Corvette C6 ZR1/GTE Pro) – Westbrook, who joins Corvette Racing in endurance events, competes for Spirit of Daytona in the Rolex Series DP class. He earned the first victory for the Corvette DP in March of 2012.

The next event for the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón is the American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park on Saturday, July 6. It will be the fourth round of the 2013 championship.

ESPN2’s live coverage begins at 3 p.m. ET on Saturday, July 6 with live streaming also available on ESPN3 starting at 2:45 p.m. ET on July 6.

PaddockTalk Perspective

Also in American Le Mans Series News:

Related links
· ALMS Photos at PTalkPhoto
· ALMS Edition
· Hot PaddockTalk News!
· More about American Le Mans Series News

Most read story in American Le Mans Series News:
Gianpiero Moretti (1940-2012)

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