We have good days in Le Mans right now. A manufactur after the other is confirming a Le Mans entry for 2013/2014.
Nissan confirmed a return at the Sarthe last week.
They will begin their LMP1 programm in 2014 to start from the 56th box, before they make a full entry 2015 to the WEC and Le Mans.
Nissans last time at Le Mans was from 1997-2000 when they used the R390 GT1 car to compete against the Porsche 911 GT1 and the McLaren F1 GTR.
But we don’t know how the Nissan LMP1 will gonna look like. Hopefully like this, it looks similar to the Aston Lola though..
Now Porsche is also coming back in 2014 with a LMP1 car to compete against Audi and Toyota, but we know that already since last year. The first testing sessions could come in mid-summer. We don’t know how the Porsche LMP1 is gonna look like either.
Renault confirmed that they bring the name Alpine back to the Sarthe after 35 years. Alpine-Renault will already comeback this year with Signatech from the LMP2 class. Signatech will now switch from Nissan to the Renault engine. It’s just the beginning of a longtime project for Renault, so we can see them also in the LMP1 class in the near future. Alpine-Renault won the 1978 24h Le Mans.
Lotus also planning a LMP1 car with the T128, this car will be first used as a LMP2 prototype this year in Le Mans and then for the rest of the WEC season.
But what is with the experimental looking Delta Wing? Well the Delta Wing is optimized for the LMP1 class and now has a different color. From “Batman” to the “Silver Arrow” (the name rings a bell)
Which other Manufactures could also come to Le Mans?
Mazda has been always romourd to come to Le Mans one day.
They build the Mazda Furai Concept few years ago and are building engines for Dyson Racing in the ALMS.
Mazda planned to bring a LMP2 engine with a Lola car this year.
But no they were finding it more important to build the Mazda 6 GX car for the Grand Am Rolex Sports Car Series instead of
concetrating on the come back for the biggest endurance race in the world.
Of course they wanted to show the perfomance of the Mazda 6 on a racetrack, but who cares?
I mean there are only four cars in the GX class, two of them are Mazda 6s.
The action is in the DP and GT class, so i don’t see a future for this class, especially when Grand Am an ALMS are coming together in one series in 2014 and nobody knows if this class is going to survive.
The last time Mazda was at Le Mans was in 1991 when their won the 24h Le Mans with the legendary 787B.
Aston Martin had their problems with their comeback to Le Mans back in 2009.
The Aston Lola was a quite good car, for 3 hour races, but not for 24h hour races.
This car nearly won the ALMS title in 2011.
Aston Martin then produced the all new AMR-One for Le Mans 2011 and guess what happend.
This car only lasted seven laps and it was so embarrissing that Aston Martin retired from their LMP programm.
I hope they comeback one day, but hopefully with more success.
Who remembers the Bentley Speed 8 at Le Mans 2003?
Yes they won the race but after then Bentley retired due financial issues, because of the build of an new road car, named the Continental GT.
Bentley now coming back into motorsport with the Continental Supersports GT3 for the FIA GT Series and the Blaincpain Endurance Series.
Bentley said that they have interes to build an LMP, but ave to concetrate on their GT3 programm.
But Bentley could easily comeback, they just have to build the GTE version of the Continental and that’s it!!!
Of course they are also other Manufactures like Peugeot, BMW, Mercedes, MG, Cadillac (yes in 2002), and we don’t have to forget the privatiers like Rebillion, Strakka, OAK, Pikket, Dyson, Drayson and many more.
Of course looking forward to the comeback of Dome maybe next year with their own LMP1 car
Exciting times for the WEC and Le Mans ahead in the next 2-3 years and of course with awesome racing.