Le Mans entry down to 59 cars as Carlin withdraws

Carlin has withdrawn its LMP2 Dallara from what would have been its maiden Le Mans 24 Hours assault, reducing the entry list to 59 cars.

The British team has scratched the Dallara P217 due to have been driven by Ben Barnicoat, Jack Manchester and one to-be-confirmed driver for the same financial reasons that have prevented it from racing in the opening rounds of the European Le Mans Series.

Team boss Trevor Carlin told Motorsport.com: “Our sponsors have had to withdraw for COVID-related business reasons; there’s nothing more to it than that.

“The Automobile Club de l’Ouest [Le Mans organiser and WEC promoter] have been really supportive and helped us in every way possible to be there. Our intention is to return and we are prepared to do whatever it takes to earn the right to go.”

Carlin conceded that it was looking unlikely that the team will be able to return to the ELMS with the Dallara for either of the two remaining races after Le Mans.

The withdrawal of Carlin has reduced the LMP2 class to 23 cars, leaving only one other Dallara in the field – that of regular FIA World Endurance Championship squad Cetilar Racing.

In GTE Am, the withdrawal of the Kessel Racing Ferrari 488 GTE has been counter-balanced by a third Ferrari entry from Iron Lynx, to be driven by Andrea Piccini, Matteo Cressoni and Rino Mastronardi, keeping the class at 22 cars.

Magnussen joins JMW Ferrari squad

Ex-Formula 1 driver Jan Magnussen will return to Le Mans next month in the GTE Am ranks after a late call-up from the British JMW Ferrari squad.

#63 Corvette Racing, Chevrolet Corvette C8.R – Jan Magnussen

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

The four-time Le Mans class winner will share the team’s Ferrari 488 GTE together with Americans Richard Heistand and Maxwell Root in what will be his 21st participation in the event and his first not driving for Corvette Racing since 2003.

Magnussen, who had been left without a seat for Le Mans after the High Class Racing LMP2 squad had to scratch its second entry, told Motorsport.com that he had received the offer to join the team out of the blue at the weekend.

“I got a call from Christian Kuhn, who looks after one of the drivers [Root], asking if I could help him out by doing Le Mans with them,” said the Dane. “My reply was, ‘hell, yes’.

“The two other drivers are both new to Le Mans, so they need someone who can guide them.”

Also named on the entry list in GTE Am is Toyota SUPER GT ace Yuhi Sekiguchi, who joins Kei Cozzolino and Takeshi Kimura at the CarGuy Racing Ferrari squad.

Super Formula racer Charles Milesi meanwhile has replaced Alexandre Cognaud in Graff’s line-up in the LMP2 class, while Katherine Legge – still injured from her high-speed testing crash at Paul Ricard last month – is now listed as TBA for Richard Mille Racing.

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