There won’t be a huge American team contingent at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Only four teams, with six cars – Corvette Racing, SRT Motorsports, Dempsey Racing-Proton and 8Star Motorsports – will race under the U.S. flag.
Corvette and SRT are the obvious ones in GTE Pro, as they are GT Le Mans competitors in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.
Corvette returns to Le Mans with its pair of new C7.Rs racing at Circuit de la Sarthe for the first time, while SRT seeks to improve on its 2013 results of eighth and ninth with the improved, now-tried-and-tested SRT Viper GTS-Rs.
Jan Magnussen and Oliver Gavin are the two drivers nominated for Corvette’s two cars, as the team plans to return identical driver lineups for 2014.
Viper has Rob Bell, its third driver on the No. 93 in the TUDOR Championship, and Jeroen Bleekemolen, who races the lone GT3-spec SRT Viper GT3-R there, as its two nominated drivers.
In GTE Am, Dempsey is back too for an encore, after nearly making the podium in 2013 with a lineup of Patrick Dempsey, Joe Foster and Patrick Long. Dempsey, unsurprisingly, was the nominated driver for the team’s No. 77 Porsche 911 RSR.
Meanwhile 8Star Motorsports shifts numbers – it will now be 90 instead of 81 as it was in 2013 – but will again fly the U.S. banner with Enzo Potolicchio leading the driving contingent.
The absentees are notable. Risi Competizione was one of two teams awarded the automatic invitation after its 2013 American Le Mans Series effort; Muscle Milk Pickett Racing was the other.
Pickett’s team announced earlier this week it didn’t take up the automatic invitation, but Risi’s non-listing came as a bit of a surprise.
The reasoning for Risi’s absence from the confirmed field, per the team, is officially it’s because the ACO recognized the chassis number submitted as belonging to Krohn. There is no crossover of entries allowed between teams, despite the submission and all paperwork etc being done by Risi.
As it is, Risi has a car on the entry list, but it’s as the fifth reserve in GTE with Tracy Krohn as listed driver.
There was also a potential U.S.-based LMP2 program in the works, but those plans failed to materialize.
Although the team number may be small, there should still be a strong contingent of American drivers likely to compete at Le Mans this year.
Dempsey is an American driver nominated to a confirmed car; meanwhile, Krohn and Chris Dyson are on the reserve list.
Dyson is listed for Caterham Racing’s No. 42 Zytek Z11SN Nissan, which was confirmed earlier in Thursday’s presentation as a full-season entrant into the European Le Mans Series.