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24 Hours of LeMans

Button, Kubica and a Red Bull army: The F1 interests at the Le Mans 24 Hours

With the special occasion at the Circuit de la Sarthe almost upon us, who can Le Mans newcomers look out for during the 24-hour race?

Toyota GR Le Mans 2023
Article
To news overview © XPBimages

The Le Mans 24 Hours takes place at the Circuit de la Sarthe this weekend to complete the 2023 Triple Crown.

The Monaco Grand Prix and Indianapolis 500 both took place two weekends ago, with Le Mans finishing the set.

With many F1 fans likely to be watching the test of endurance and teamwork for the first time, RacingNews365.com provides a guide on familiar names to look out for, including a former F1 World Champion and a number of drivers who passed through the Red Bull junior ladder on the way to the sport.

Hypercar

Former Toro Rosso (now AlphaTauri) driver Sebastian Bourdais will take to the wheel of the #3 Cadillac Racing entry alongside Renger Van Der Zande and Scott Dixon.

Andre Lotterer competed in one Grand Prix for Caterham at Spa in 2014 and will aim for another Le Mans success with the #6 Porsche Penske crew.

Toyota Gazoo Racing has been the outfit to beat in WEC and harbours three former F1 drivers across its two entries. Kamui Kobayashi lines up in the #7 whilst former Toro Rosso drivers Sebastian Buemi and Brendon Hartley are teammates in the #8.

Will Stevens competed for Manor Marussia in 2015 after one race with Caterham the year prior. The Briton drives the #38 Hertz Team Jota Porsche 963.

Ferrari return to the top echelon of sportscar racing at Le Mans with a two-car effort. The #51 499P will have Alfa Romeo alumnus Antonio Giovinazzi as one of its three drivers.

Another ex-Sauber driver in Felipe Nasr lines up in the #75 Penske Porsche.

Peugeot is another returning manufacturer under WEC's Hypercar formula – the #93 9X8 will see Jean-Eric Vergne and Paul di Resta join forces.

Former Williams reserve Jack Aitken – who filled in for George Russell at the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix – takes part in the #311 Action Express Racing Cadillac, whilst Mercedes-affiliated Esteban Gutierrez helps the #709 Glickenhaus Racing effort.

Former F1 champion Jacques Villeneuve will not have the chance to secure motorsport's Triple Crown, having been replaced by Tristan Vautier at Vanwall last month.

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

LMP2

McLaren CEO Zak Brown has interest in the race through United Autosports, which as usual enters two LMP2 cars.

Haas reserve driver Pietro Fittipaldi stood in for Romain Grosjean after the Frenchman's horrific Bahrain Grand Prix crash in 2020. The Brazilian lines up as part of the #28 Jota entry.

Jan Magnussen – former McLaren and Stewart driver and father of Haas' Kevin – takes his place in the #34 Inter Europol Competition squad.

French manufacturer Alpine have a two-car LMP2 entry, whilst the demise of Racing Team Nederland sees former Caterham driver Giedo van der Garde line up for the #39 Graff Racing outfit.

2008 Canadian Grand Prix winner Robert Kubica is in as the star name for the #41 Team WRT entry, whilst Daniil Kvyat takes his place for the #63 Prema Racing Oreca-Gibson.

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

Innovative Car

An entry at Le Mans is always saved for an Innovative Car to take part. Previous editions have seen the Nissan Delta Wing and a car which allowed a driver with quadriplegia to take part.

This year, NASCAR outfit Hendrick Motorsports have entered a modified Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, with 2009 F1 Champion Jenson Button part of a superstar ensemble – joined by Mike Rockenfeller and seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson.

The grid is also full of drivers who have passed through the F1 junior categories, be it GP3 and GP2 or the restructured F3 and F2 series.

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

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