With the 85th running of the Le Mans 24 Hours fast approaching, the entry list is nearing completion with just 20 of the 180 names on the entry currently unfilled.
Taking into account announcements already made there’s just a handful of seats still left to fill in each class, and just one reserve entry remains after RLR MSport withdrew their LMP2 Ligier from first reserve slot.
Here’s a look at the state of each class on the entry:
LMP1: Just one ByKolles seat remains
With Toyota confirming the drivers for its third TS050, just ByKolles Racing has one driver to confirm. Oliver Webb and James Rossiter are locked in, with the third seat, which at Silverstone was taken by ex-Rebellion racer Dominik Kraihamer. Whilst Robert Kubica has said publicly he won’t compete for the team some sources suggest he may not be done yet!
At the moment it’s unclear who’s in line to take the drive.
LMP2: Seven TBAs remaining
Last week’s announcement of Karun Chandhok taking the third (and final) Tockwith Motorsport seat and the confirmation by Eurasia that Pierre Nicolet is to join his father, and Erik Maris, at the wheel of the #33 Ligier leaves just seven seats still to be filled across the bumper 25-car category.
Three of the remaining seats are for SMP Racing in their yet to be announced Dallara crew, though the Russian squad have confirmed that its trio will feature two young SMP development drivers and one driver who has endurance experience with the team.
The third seat in the #22 G-Drive by DragonSpeed Oreca 07 is still up for grabs, Leo Roussel not confirmed for Le Mans. And the United Autosports Ligier line-up is not finalised as yet either with Filipe Albuquerque as yet unconfirmed though it is very clear that Richard Dean is working hard to ensure that he keeps his Silverstone ELMS winning trio together with Albuquerque very much part of ‘Plan A’ for Le Mans.
The only other free prototype seats left are in the #40 GRAFF Oreca, which currently only has James Allen confirmed; James Winslow announcing last week that he’ll take the final seat in the #39 alongside Eric Trouillet and Enzo Guibbert.
Elsewhere, the only other news yet to emerge in the class is the tyre choice for Keating Motorsports’ Riley Mk.30. the car includes Ricky Taylor on the driving squad. If the team chooses Michelin, it would make four teams on French rubber.
GTE Pro: Corvette’s roster still in the works
GTE Pro is pretty much complete, with just two drivers yet to be announced.
Both of those come from the Corvette Racing camp, with its C7.Rs both still missing a driver apiece.
Mike Rockenfeller and Marcel Fassler have done duty in the North American enduros thus far, and neither have drives for Le Mans elsewhere.
GTE Am: Ten To Be Confirmed
As is often the case the GTE Am field is where much of the late market action occurs and 2017 is no different.
10 seats across five cars are still to be confirmed.
Larbre’s Corvette is one of the the latest cars to be confirmed with Romain Brandela and ex FFSA GT racer Christian Philippon set to be joined by Larbre returnee Fernando Rees! The Brazilian is set to feature in a planned outing for the team at Monza’s ELMS round with the Corvette too.
The full FIA WEC #54 Spirit of Race Ferrari has yet to have a replacement for Miguel Molina (who joins the #71 Pro squad for Le Mans)
The Asian Le Mans Series winning DH Racing effort meanwhile also has a TBA still to be filled alongside the evergreen (in more ways than one) Krohn/ Jonsson combo.
With Matt Griffin on Clearwater Racing duty his ELMS seat alongside Duncan Cameron and Aaron Scott looks set to go to Marco Cioci.
JMW Motorsports meanwhile have named regular Gentleman driver Rob Smith in their sonorous 458 GTE but have a pair of TBAs remaining.
So too do two of the three Proton entered Porsches, four names then to come from Ried & co.
And a duo to be confirmed too from Beechdean AMR, Andrew Howard confirmed already in the 2016 ELMS Championship winning squad.
The Mentos Porsche of Egidio Perfetti is the sole remaining reserve entry and it remains to be seen whether he might turn up in one of the Proton seats if the entry stays stable.
The current entry list can be seen HERE>>