24h Le Mans
New driver line-ups form for the 89th 24 Hours of Le Mans
The 2021 24 Hours of Le Mans is scheduled for 21-22 August and several teams have now officially completed and announced their driver line-ups.
The team officially representing Ferrari with two F488 GTE Evos in LMGTE Pro has finalized its driver line-ups. Côme Ledogar will be joined in the #51 by James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi. Last year, the French driver took the start at the wheel of Luzich Racing's #61 Ferrari in LMGTE Am, even clinching the Hyperpole in the class.
Miguel Molina and Daniel Serra will share the the #52 with Davide Rigon. The Italian was a veteran of Amato Ferrari's team (Spirit of Le Mans in 2020) before moving to AF Corse for seven runnings of the 24 Hours.
On 7 June, Ferrari confirmed its partnershiip with AF Corse for its participation in Hypercar starting in 2023.
While the crew for the #22 ORECA 07-Gibson is completed, two drivers for the #32 had yet to be confirmed. It has been announced Nicolas Jamin will team up with Jonathan Aberdein and Manuel Maldonado. The latter is already participating in the European Le Mans Series with the Anglo-American team and joined United Autosports this year in LMP3 in the Asian Le Mans Series. For his rookie outing in prototypes with teammates Wayne Boyd and Rory Penttinen, Maldonado won the opening round of the series and the championship title. Cousin of former F1 driver Pastor Maldonado (two starts in the 24 Hours of Le Mans), Manuel Maldonado: "It couldn’t be a more exciting opportunity. The biggest race, with the reigning champions of Le Mans, I couldn’t be in a better place. Time to get my head down and focus on the race, there is a huge amount of preparation. I know how much this race means to everyone and I am so grateful to United for the opportunity. I am hoping for the best, and I am sure we will do great. It’s going to be very tough, as it’s the longest race I’ve ever done, but I know lots of preparation will be done beforehand. I can’t wait."
For its entry in the LMGTE Pro class alongside factory teams, WeatherTech Racing has brought on two official Porsche drivers: Laurens Vanthoor and Earl Bamber. The Le Mans veterans will be joined by Cooper MacNeil. Bamber has taken the start five times with three podiums and two overall wins for Porsche in 2015 and 2017. Vanthoor counts five participations and one victory in LMGTE Pro at the wheel of a Porsche in 2018. Cooper MacNeil: "I really like our line-up for Le Mans. We have what I would call a mature Le Mans line-up. Between the three of us, we have 17 starts at Le Mans. That is a lot of miles and experience around that place. The WeatherTech Racing Porsche 911 RSR has been strong in IMSA with our win at Sebring as well as two good performances in the European Le Mans Series highlighted by a fourth place two weeks ago at Paul Ricard. The Proton Competition guys know the track and race really well in France. I am looking forward to running my eighth Le Mans."
Like WeatherTech Racing, HubAuto Racing has recruited a top notch driver line-up for the Porsche 911 RSR-19 in LMGTE Pro. The Taiwanese team will be represented by Nick Cassidy, Dries Vanthoor and former F1 driver Heikki Kovalainen. Vanthoor won the LMGTE Am class at the wheel of JMW Motorsport's Ferrari in 2017. Cassidy and Kovalainen will be taking their rookie start in the race.
Sixty-two teams and 186 drivers will take the start in the 2021 24 Hours of Le Mans.