Glickenhaus has named Ryan Briscoe and Gustavo Menezes as drivers for its two Le Mans Hypercars on the expanded 33-car entry list for the 2021 FIA World Endurance Championship season.
Revealed on Thursday, the entry list features five cars in the newly-renamed top ‘Hypercar’ class, with the Glickenhaus 007 LMHs joining two Toyota GR010 Hybrids and a solo grandfathered Alpine A480 (formerly the Rebellion R-13) LMP1 car run by Signatech.
Andre Negrao has been listed as the first driver for the Alpine Elf Matmut effort.
LMP1 stalwart ByKolles, which had intended to be on the grid for the start of the WEC’s new era with a new LMH of its own, is notably absent from the entry list.
Bulking out the entry are 11 LMP2s, all of one of which are Oreca 07s, four GTE Pro cars (two factory cars each from Ferrari and Porsche) and 13 GTE Am machines.
Glickenhaus promises “big names” for first season
Ex-IndyCar racer Briscoe is joining Glickenhaus after losing his seat at the Wayne Taylor Racing IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship team at the end of last season.
The Australian’s previous WEC experience has come at the Le Mans 24 Hours, in which he has driven for the works Ford and Corvette GTE Pro teams, as well as the Level 5 LMP2 squad.
American Menezes meanwhile joins Glickenhaus after two seasons driving in LMP1 for the Rebellion Racing squad.
Glickenhaus, which is expected to test the 007 LMH for the first time this month, has so far only confirmed Briscoe and Menezes despite having already signed its full roster of drivers.
Marque founder Jim Glickenhaus has promised “some big name that will surprise a lot of people” for the team’s maiden WEC campaign. The announcement of a further five drivers, including a reserve, is expected at the end of next week.
Toyota had previously announced an unchanged roster of six factory drivers for the 2021 season on the launch of its GR010 hypercar last week.
WRT steps up to LMP2
The Belgian WRT team, winner of both the Nurburgring and Spa 24-hour classics with Audi GT3 machinery, is part of a 11-strong entry in LMP2, up from last year’s eight cars.
Envision Virgin Racing Formula E driver Robin Frijns, who is no longer part of Audi’s factory set-up, has been confirmed as the first driver for WRT’s solo Oreca 07.
Team boss Vincent Vosse said: “Robin has been driving for WRT since 2015 and we picked him out of single-seaters and he won the Blancpain GT Series in his first season.
“He’s just a pure talent, whose very calm in the car and doesn’t make mistakes, so he will have no problem adapting to LMP2.”
Reigning class champion United Autosports will run a single Oreca after its plans to expand to two full WEC entries failed to come to fruition. Filipe Albuquerque and Phil Hanson will defend their 2019/20 title with Switzerland’s Fabio Scherer.
The only non-Oreca in the LMP2 ranks is the ARC Bratislava team’s Ligier JS P217.
Five of the 11 entries in the class have been made in the new sub-class for line-ups containing a bronze driver under the FIA categorisation.
Porsche and Ferrari provide the four factory cars in GTE Pro after Aston Martin’s withdrawal announced its exit from the class late in December.
Earlier this week, Ferrari revealed that Daniel Serra would replace Davide Rigon on its roster for the 2021 campaign, while Porsche announced last year that former LMP1 ace Neel Jani would be taking over from Michael Christensen.
Works Aston part of bumper 13-car GTE Am entry
The GTE Am class entry meanwhile has grown from 11 to 13 cars, including a works entry from Aston Martin Racing despite the manufacturer’s withdrawal from the GTE Pro ranks.
The Prodrive-run operation will field a Vantage GTE for Paul Dalla Lana, who has been with the team since 2013. It joins the expanded two-car TF Sport effort, which has one car running under the Japanese D’station Racing banner.
This week Ferrari confirmed its five GTE Am entries, a figure that has been matched by Porsche with five 911 RSR-19s – newly eligible for the class this season.
Project 1 Racing and Proton Competition are again fielding two cars each, bolstered by a single entry from GR Racing (formerly Gulf Racing UK).
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