Five Australians will contest one of the biggest races on the international motorsport calendar this weekend – the famous 24 Hour of Le Mans.
More than 186 drivers from around the world across 62 teams have entered the great 24-hour endurance race, with five separate classes to offer fans entertainment throughout the whole event.
Leading the charge for Australia is US based Ryan Briscoe who will drive for one of the five Hypercars and is likely to be battling it out for the outright victory.
The New South Welshman will be lining up in the Glickenhaus Racing 007 LMH alongside French Porsche factory driver Romain Dumas and former Porsche Supercup winner Richard Westbrook from Great Britain.
There are two Australians locked into two of 25 teams in the LMP2 class, with James Allen and John Corbett going up against each other.
Coming off an impressive victory in the European Le Mans Series last month, Allen leads the way in the class as he teams up with the same team from that same historic win- French outfit Panis Racing team.
The West Australian will once again be alongside Frenchman Julien Canal and William Stevens of Great Britain in the same Panis Racing Oreca 07 the trio steered to a victory in the 4 Hours of Monza last month.
As for Corbett, the New South Welshman is currently sitting in second place with fellow Aussie Neale Muston on the Asian Le Mans Series standings, but enters Le Mans with a different team and different teammates.
Behind the wheel of the Racing Team India Eurasia prepared Ligier JS P217-Gibson, the 55-year-old will race alongside champion British driver James Winslow and Tom Cloet from Belgium.
While no Australians are in the eight-car LMGTE Pro class, the remaining two are in the 23-car LMGTE Am class.
Making his long awaited debut in the great race, Miami-based Scott Andrews was one of the last drivers to confirm his place in the Le Mans race.
Fresh from a maiden class victory in the Michelin Le Mans Cup at Monza, the Victorian was announced as the final driver in the Kessel Racing Ferrari 488 GTE Evo alongside 2022 Peugeot factory driver Mikkel Jensen and Japan’s Takeshi Kamura.
Rounding out the list for Australians running this weekend is the biggest name of the lot – Porsche factory driver Matt Campbell.
This year has been huge for the Queenslander who has claimed lots of silverware throughout his 2021 campaign, including wins in the Circuit Paul Ricard 1000 km and the IMSA SportsCar Championship’s Road America round.
After finishing second in class during last year’s 24 Hour Le Mans, the 26-year-old will once again steer the Dempsey-Proton Racing prepared Porsche 911 RSR.
Although Campbell will once again run with familiar teammate in German Christian Reid, the team has replaced Italian Riccardo Pera with a familiar name to Australian fans – 2018 Porsche Paynter Dixon Carrera Cup winner, Jaxon Evans – a prospect
that excited Campbell.
“Really looking forward to Le Mans again, it seems pretty crazy that this is already my fourth Le Mans and the fourth with Proton Competition, but it’s the first with Jaxon, which is very cool doing Le Mans with one of your best mates,”
“It’ll be his first time so obviously I will be trying to help him where I can. We have a very strong package but will have to wait and see how it all plays out in the race.
“It’s a new car this year, so also a new challenge to prepare for the race as we don’t know what to expect but really looking forward to the challenge.”
The official 2021 24 Hours of Le Mans gets underway on Sunday 22 August from 2am AEST and concludes at 2am AEST on Monday 23 August.