Road to Le Mans – 39 entries!

All drivers dream of racing on the Le Mans 24 Hours circuit and Road to Le Mans gives them the opportunity to cut their teeth on the track in the Sarthe.

Road to Le Mans – 39 entries!
#17 Ultimate Ligier JS P3 - Nissan: Jean-Baptist Lahaye, Mathieu Lahaye, François Heriau
#2 United Autosports Ligier JSP3 - Nissan: Alex Brundle, Mike Guasch, Christian England
#10 Graff Racing Ligier JS P3 - Nissan: John Falb, Sean Rayhall, Enzo Potolicchio
#3 United Autosports Ligier JSP3 - Nissan: Matt Bell, Mark Patterson, Wayne Boyd
#17 Ultimate Ligier JS P3 - Nissan: Jean-Baptist Lahaye, Mathieu Lahaye, François Heriau
#17 Ultimate Ligier JS P3 - Nissan: Jean-Baptist Lahaye, Mathieu Lahaye, François Heriau
#10 Graff Racing Ligier JS P3 - Nissan: John Falb, Sean Rayhall, Enzo Potolicchio
#9 Graff Racing Ligier JS P3 - Nissan: Eric Trouillet, Paul Petit, Enzo Guibbert
#24 Oak Racing Ligier JSP3 - Nissan: Jacques Nicolet, Pierre Nicolet
#3 United Autosports Ligier JSP3 - Nissan: Matt Bell, Mark Patterson, Wayne Boyd
#51 AF Corse Ferrari F458 Italia: Rui Aguas, Marco Cioci, Piergiuseppe Perazzini
#55 AF Corse Ferrari F458 Italia: Duncan Cameron, Matt Griffin, Aaron Scott
#34 TF Sport Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3: Salih Yoluc, Euan Hankey
#55 FFF Racing Team by ACM McLaren 650S: Hiroshi Hamaguchi, Adrian Quaife-Hobbs
#24 Oak Racing Ligier JSP3 - Nissan: Jacques Nicolet, Pierre Nicolet

Road to Le Mans, one of the curtain-raisers to the 2016 Le Mans 24 Hours, which combines the LM P3s in the ACO series and the GT3s in the Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup, has attracted a big entry with a total of 39 cars. It is organised by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest in cooperation with Le Mans Endurance Management (promoter of the Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup Series), and the first running of this event is scheduled for Saturday 18th June in the late morning on the mythic 13,629-km Le Mans circuit.

All drivers dream of racing on the Le Mans 24 Hours circuit and Road to Le Mans gives them the opportunity to cut their teeth on the track in the Sarthe. This unique race that will last around an hour counts towards the Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup reserved for GT3 cars. The first round took place last weekend at Imola in the context of the European Le Mans Series. 22 LM P3s, the prototypes that help access endurance, will join the 17 GT3s giving a field of 39 cars.

The first Road to Le Mans will enable a large number of the entrants to test the waters of the Le Mans 24 Hours. For this combined GT3-LM P3 event, quantity, quality and diversity are the key words that describe this unique race. Teams and drivers from all over the world will be on the track on late Saturday morning 18th June. The 39 driver line-ups combine youth and experience.

LM P3 category

In the LM P3 category are the prototypes, introduced in 2015, which give access to the first step on the endurance pyramid put in place by the ACO: it has met with great success. However, the event does not count for any LM P3 championship. Only the prototypes competing in the ACO Series (the European Le Mans and Asian Le Mans Series) are allowed to start unless they have received an invitation from the organiser. The main contenders in the ELMS have entered starting with Anglo-American team United Autosport victorious in both the Silverstone and Imola rounds, which has entered two Ligier JS P3s.

The DC Racing squad, the reigning Asian Le Mans Series LM P3 Champion, will run a Ligier JS P3 driven by Alexandre Cougnaud and Thomas Laurent, ACO driver and winner of the 2015 World Kart Cup on the Le Mans Karting International circuit. French teams are well represented with three Ligier JS P3s for Duqueine Engineering and for Graff Racing, which has taken part in the Le Mans 24 Hours on 12 occasions. OAK Racing with two cars, M Racing – Yvan Muller Racing and N’Race will also be on the grid. The fans massed around the circuit will be delighted to see the Dutchmen in the Racing Team Holland again including Jan Lammers, winner of the 1988 Le Mans 24 Hours in a Jaguar, with Bernhard van Oranje.

Martin Brundle, another Le Mans 24-Hours winner, will be back in the Sarthe four years after his last outing and 26 years after his victory in a Jaguar. Race Performance, crowned in the Asian Le Mans Series, will be present and the team is also taking part in the Le Mans 24 Hours in LM P2. LM P3 has attracted a varied field with three makes of chassis: Ligier JS P3, ADESS-03 and the Ginetta P3-15, although the French make crushes its rivals in terms of sheer numbers.

GT3 category

The same diversity can be found in GT3 with 17 driver line-ups entered in nine different models representing the great makes: Aston Martin, Audi, BMW, Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren, Mercedes and Porsche. These GT3 cars will all go at it hammer and tongs on their first outing on the Le Mans 24-Hours circuit. Two teams that will be at the start of the 2016 Le Mans 24 Hours are also racing in Road to Le Mans: the Larbre Competition squad running a Mercedes-AMG GT3 and AF Corse with four Ferraris including two of the new 488 GT3s.

Rui Aguas will enjoy the unique experience of taking part in the Le Mans 24 Hours and Road to Le Mans the same weekend! One to watch is the Aston Martin Vantage GT3 entered by TF Sport Racing, which won the opening round of the Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup at Imola last weekend. Teams from China, France, Great Britain, Luxembourg, Italy and the Netherlands will be at the start in this category. As in LM P3 many of the teams are coming to test the waters of the Le Mans 24 Hours hoping to take part in the mythic endurance race one day.

Schedule

The timetable for the 39 cars is as follows: two free 1-hour practice sessions on Wednesday 15th June from 20h30 to 21h30, then on Thursday 16th June from 14h30 to 15h30 followed by a qualifying session between 18h00 and 18h30. The start of Road to Le Mans will be given at 11h10 on Saturday 18th June. See the entry list HERE

A.C.O.

shares
comments
Pier Guidi, Bertolini complete Ferrari Le Mans line-up

Previous article

Pier Guidi, Bertolini complete Ferrari Le Mans line-up

Next article

Brundle ready for Le Mans return after “perfect” test day

Brundle ready for Le Mans return after “perfect” test day
Load comments
How an ingenious fix prevented Paul Newman from winning Le Mans Prime

How an ingenious fix prevented Paul Newman from winning Le Mans

It's one of the great what-if stories in Le Mans history. Paul Newman finished second in the 24 Hours in 1979, but it could easily have been a famous victory were it not for the resourcefulness of the late Manfred Kremer.

Le Mans
Apr 13, 2021
Why Ferrari is ending its 50-year top-flight sportscar racing exile Prime

Why Ferrari is ending its 50-year top-flight sportscar racing exile

Making a return to top-flight sportscar racing after 50 years away, Ferrari will enter the Le Mans Hypercar ranks in 2023. The Italian marque denies the link with Formula 1's new cost cap that frees up resources, but it's certainly no coincidence...

WEC
Feb 25, 2021
Oliver Gavin's Corvette Racing highlights Prime

Oliver Gavin's Corvette Racing highlights

Oliver Gavin has stepped down from the full-time Corvette Racing line-up after a stellar career with the team spanning nearly 20 years. He looks back on a stint that encompassed, among other successes, five Le Mans 24 Hours victories.

Le Mans
Jan 28, 2021
How Tandy joined an exclusive club of endurance legends Prime

How Tandy joined an exclusive club of endurance legends

Victory at last year's Spa 24 Hours meant Nick Tandy had completed the unofficial sextuple crown of the world's six biggest endurance races, becoming the first Briton to do so. Ahead of his fresh start with Corvette Racing, he explains how he did it…

Le Mans
Jan 24, 2021
The cherished curios kept by motorsport's professionals at home Prime

The cherished curios kept by motorsport's professionals at home

Keeping trophies and momentos of key triumphs is par for the course for motorsport professionals, but what are the most cherished souvenirs picked up by the drivers and engineers who have seen and done it all?

General
Dec 26, 2020
The Porsche icon that forged sportscar racing's greatest era Prime

The Porsche icon that forged sportscar racing's greatest era

Porsche is returning to the top class of Le Mans with an LMDh prototype that it hopes will write its next successful chapter in sportscar racing. But it will have to go some to emulate its 956/962, a car which defines the Group C age more than any other.

Le Mans
Dec 16, 2020
How Tom Kristensen forged his ‘Mr Le Mans’ legend Prime

How Tom Kristensen forged his ‘Mr Le Mans’ legend

He is synonymous with success at the Circuit de la Sarthe, but Tom Kristensen's sportscar legacy amounts to much more than his record-breaking nine Le Mans wins, as the most successful driver ever at Sebring and a world champion to boot…

Le Mans
Dec 7, 2020
Why Audi’s shock return promises a new age for sportscars Prime

Why Audi’s shock return promises a new age for sportscars

OPINION: The news that Audi will return to Le Mans means we'll at last get to see the fight promised in 2012 against Peugeot and Toyota. It also gives LMDh a tangible form, which could open the floodgates for more like-minded marques to follow suit…

WEC
Dec 1, 2020