The Automobile Club de l'Ouest, the organising body of the Le Mans 24 Hours, has revealed the list of 29 entrants to have secured automatic entries into the 2009 race.

In LMP1, Audi has secured three automatic places after a season which saw it win at Le Mans and in both the Le Mans Series and the ALMS. Its second and third entries come due to the championship success in the Le Mans Series and at Petit Le Mans. With the ALMS title winning Audi already having taken its automatic entry by other means, Intersport Racing secures a slot through its championship position.

The diesel battle will resume in 2009 meanwhile, with Peugeot taking two automatic slots through its runner-up finishes at both Le Mans and in the Le Mans Series.

LMP2 is a wholly Porsche RS Spyder affair, although it remains to be seen how many of the seven automatic entries will be accepted by the entry deadline.

Penske Racing has two entries from the ALMS and Petit Le Mans but has yet to appear at La Sarthe and faces uncertainly over its future, while van Merksteijn Motorsport and Team Essex also earn two entries into the event but could be unlikely to accept. The van Merksteijn outfit won't continue in its current guise into 2009 with Peter van Merksteijn turning his focus towards rallying, while Team Essex has closed its doors.

It leaves Horag Racing, which took its entry through the Michelin Energy Endurance Challenge, as the lone car most likely to appear although the team is looking for drivers and funding after Fredy Lienhard retired at the end of the 2008 campaign.

Eight cars gain entries in GT1 in what is set to be the final year for the category, although at least two of the entries are set to be non-starters with Team Modena having announced a switch to GT2 for 2009 and Vitaphone Racing's Maserati MC12 not complying with ACO regulations. Vitaphone could elect to run a different model however as was the case in 2008 when it ran the Strakka Racing Aston Martin DBR9.

It leaves Aston Martin and Corvette set to go head-to-head once again, while Bell Motorsports, Luc Alphand Aventures and Phoenix Carsport all gain entries.

In GT2, Risi Competizione and BMS Scuderia Italia secure two entries apiece, while Flying Lizards, Virgo Motorsport, Felbermayr-Proton and AF Corse all receive a single entry.

Le Mans 24 Hours 2009 Automatic Entries:

LMP1:

Audi Sport North America Audi R10 TDi Le Mans 24 Hours Audi Sport North America Audi R10 TDi Petit Le Mans Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R10 TDi Le Mans Series Team Peugeot Total Peugeot 908 HDi Le Mans 24 Hours Team Peugeot Total Peugeot 908 HDi Le Mans Series Intersport Racing Lola B06/10 AER ALMS

LMP2:

van Merksteijn Motorsport Porsche RS Spyder Le Mans 24 Hours van Merksteijn Motorsport Porsche RS Spyder Le Mans Series Team Essex Porsche RS Spyder Le Mans 24 Hours Team Essex Porsche RS Spyder Le Mans Series Penske Motorsports Porsche RS Spyder Petit Le Mans Penske Motorsports Porsche RS Spyder ALMS Horag Racing Porsche RS Spyder MEEC

GT1:

Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin DBR9 Le Mans 24 Hours Corvette Racing Corvette C6.R Le Mans 24 Hours Corvette Racing Corvette C6.R Petit Le Mans Bell Motorsports Aston Martin DBR9 ALMS Luc Alphand Aventures Corvette C6.R Le Mans Series Team Modena Aston Martin DBR9 Le Mans Series Vitaphone Racing Maserati MC12 FIA GT Phoenix Carsport Corvette C6.R FIA GT

GT2:

Risi Competizione Ferrari 430 Le Mans 24 Hours Risi Competizione Ferrari 430 Petit Le Mans BMS Scuderia Italia Ferrari 430 Le Mans 24 Hours BMS Scuderia Italia Ferrari 430 FIA GT Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche 997 RSR ALMS Virgo Motorsport Ferrari 430 Le Mans Series Team Felbermayr-Proton Porsche 997 RSR Le Mans Series AF Corse Ferrari 430 FIA GT

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