The Automobile Club de l'Ouest has confirmed the entry list for the 90th running of Le Mans 24 Hours as well as revealing a 32 car field for the 2013 FIA World Endurance Championship.
The WEC entry features six LMP1 cars, twelve cars in LMP2, six in GTE-Pro and eight in GTE-Am with a number of additional cars expected to join the field on a race-by-race basis.
The headline news is two car teams from both Audi and Toyota in LMP1 – the latter having been expected to only enter one car – with Rebellion Racing and Strakka Racing representing the privateer teams with single-car entries.
LMP2 sees Starworks return to defend the title it won last season, with each of the teams that competed last year again on the grid this year, albeit with the Signatech team entered under the G-Drive Racing banner. Greaves Motorsport and HVM Status GP both step up from the European Le Mans Series having contested limited WEC programmes last year.
GTE-Pro features the return of a factory Porsche team with two cars being run by Manthey Racing against two factory Aston Martins and two Ferraris from AF Corse, while Ferrari, Aston Martin, Porsche and Corvette are all represented in GTE-Am, where Larbre Competition will attempt to defend its title.
“We are extremely pleased to announce a grid of 32 full season entries for the 2013 season,” ACO president Pierre Fillon said. “2012 was a great first year for the championship and we hoped to secure between 28 and 30 cars on the list for 2013. To receive 32 full season entries underlines the importance of the WEC and a great indication that we have created a world championship that teams and manufacturers want to take part in.”
The 32 car WEC field is bolstered by a number of strong entries for Le Mans, where the 71 potential entrants has been whittled down to the 56 that are set to contest the 90th running of the famous race in June.
In LMP1, Audi will field a third car at the Circuit de la Sarthe with the other entry in the premier class coming from Rebellion Racing, which will field the car that it plans to use in the American Le Mans Series this season.
British squad JRM Racing had been expected to secure an entry before halting its plans after struggling to find the financial support needed, while OAK Racing has elected to focus on its LMP2 programme this season with new regulations coming into force in LMP1 from 2014.