In addition to releasing the entry list for the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), the ACO (Automobile Club de l’Ouest) has named the teams it has invited to take part in June’s Le Mans 24 Hours. Michelin is targeting its 20th straight win in the celebrated French race (June 17-18).
After cruelling missing out on Le Mans glory in 2016, Toyota Gazoo Racing has chosen to return to La Sarthe with three Michelin-equipped TS050 Hybrids. Multiple WTCC champion Jose-Maria Lopez will team up with Mike Conway and Kamui Kobayashi in the N°7 prototype, while Buemi/Davidson/Nakajima will share the N°8 car, with Stéphane Sarrazin captaining the N°9 entry.
Meanwhile, in addition to defending its 2016 world titles, Porsche Team will be chasing its third win in a row at Le Mans. It will field two cars in France and in the WEC, with Neel Jani, André Lotterer and Nick Tandy in the N°1 919 Hybrid/Michelin, and Timo Bernhard, Earl Bamber and Brendon Hartley in the sister machine (N°2).
Five carmakers (13 cars) will be represented in LM GTE Pro at Le Mans, namely Ferrari, Ford, Porsche, Corvette and Aston Martin. Michelin will provide rubber for the two AF Corse-run Ferrari 488 GTEs (N°51, N°71), both new Porsche 911 RSRs (N°91, N°92), all four Ford GTs (N°66, N°67, N°68, N°69) and the two Corvette C7.Rs (N°63, N°64). Eight of these 13 cars are committed to the entire 2017 FIA WEC.
The most popular class is LM P2 which will boast 25 new prototypes at Le Mans and 13 in the world championship. Finally, 16 LM GTE Am cars – the majority on Michelin tyres – have received an invitation to race this year at Le Mans where Michelin will be targeting its 20th consecutive outright victory.
The ACO has also published a list of the 37 cars entered for the 2017 European Le Mans Series (ELMS) which will serve as the framework for the GT3 and LM P3 teams competing in the Michelin Le Mans Cup.