This year’s Le Mans 24 Hours will equal the record for the biggest ever, with 60 cars on the grid for the world’s most famous sportscar race. The grid’s capacity has been expanded by four cars for 2016, thanks to new garages being constructed at the end of the pitlane. This matches the 60-car grids that were run in the 1950s – most recently in 1955.

By: Charles Bradley, Editor in Chief

This year’s Le Mans 24 Hours will equal the record for the biggest ever, with 60 cars on the grid for the world’s most famous sportscar race.

The grid’s capacity has been expanded by four cars for 2016, thanks to new garages being constructed at the end of the pitlane.

This matches the 60-car grids that were run in the 1950s – most recently in 1955.

“This is really good news,” said Automobile Club de l’Ouest president Pierre Fillon. “We’ve decided to open all four garages, instead of the two we originally planned [for 2016], so we will have an incredible grid of 60 cars. We’ve not seen that for a long while."

The news was announced at the annual press conference in Paris, which was livestreamed by Motorsport.com.

Overall favourites trim their entries

As previously announced, Porsche and Audi have trimmed their entries from three cars each to two in the top LMP1 hybrid class. Porsche will run the numbers 1 and 2 on its cars this year, in deference to its World Endurance Championship title of last year.

Toyota will continue to run two cars, as usual.

Swiss team Rebellion Racing (two cars) and the Austrian ByKolles Racing Team also field privateer LMP1 entries.

In LMP2, there is a huge 22-car entry, coupled with 14 cars each in LMGTE Pro and Am.

Ford gets all four entries accepted

The other headline news from the announcement was that all four factory Ford GTs have been accepted on to the Le Mans grid, on the 50th anniversary of the manufacturer’s famous victory over Ferrari in 1966. Ford then went on to win the event outright for four consecutive events.

"This is a big deal for Ford, we're dealing with 50 years of heritage," said Ford's Dave Pericak. "It means the world to us."

The two cars that regularly race in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will join the pair of WEC contenders, which carries a significant challenge to regulars Porsche (two factory cars plus Dempsey entry), Ferrari (two works cars plus American Risi entry), Chevrolet (two) and Aston Martin (two).

Aston Martin chief David Richards said: "The GT category is always incredibly competitive, I think it's going to be harder-fought than ever before."

Wurz to be Grand Marshal

Recently-retired sportscar ace Alex Wurz is to fulfill the role of grand marshal of the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2016, following on from Tom Kristensen last year.

“I was terribly honoured and I instantly said yes, I simply love Le Mans,” said Wurz. “It has never changed and always remained true to itself. It’s one day of the drivers’ lives racing against each other.”

Team Car Confirmed drivers

LMP1

1  Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid  Timo Bernhard
 Mark Webber
 Brendon Hartley
2  Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid  Romain Dumas
 Neel Jani
 Marc Lieb
4  ByKolles Racing CLM P1/01 - AER  Simon Trummer
5  Toyota Racing Toyota TS 050 Hybrid  Anthony Davidson
 Sebastien Buemi
 Kazuki Nakajima
6  Toyota Racing Toyota TS 050 Hybrid

 Stephane Sarrazin

 Mike Conway

 Kamui Kobayashi

7  Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 e-tron quattro 

 Andre Lotterer

 Benoit Treluyer

 Marcel Fassler

8  Audi Sport Team Joest  Audi R18 e-tron quattro 

 Lucas di Grassi

 Loic Duval

 Oliver Jarvis

12  Rebellion Racing Rebellion R-One - AER   Nicolas Prost
13  Rebellion Racing  Rebellion R-One - AER  Matheo Tuscher

LMP2

22  SO24 by Lombard Racing
Ligier JS P2 - Judd

 Vincent Capillaire

23  Panis Barthez Competition
Ligier JS P2 - Nissan

 Fabien Barthez

26  G-Drive Racing Oreca 05 - Nissan

 Roman Rusinov

 Nathanael Berthon

27  SMP Racing BR01 - Nissan 

 Nicolas Minassian

28  Pegasus Racing Morgan - Nissan 

 Julien Schell

30  Extreme Speed Motorsports Ligier JS P2 - Nissan

 Scott Sharp

31  Extreme Speed Motorsports Ligier JS P2 - Nissan

 Ryan Dalziel

33  Eurasia Motorsport ORECA 05 - Nissan

 Pu Jun Jin

 Nick de Bruijn

 Tristan Gommendy

34  Race Performance ORECA 03R - Judd

 Nicolas Leutwiler

35  BAXI DC Racing Alpine Alpine A460 - Nissan 

 David Cheng

 Ho-Pin Tung

36  Signatech Alpine Alpine A460 - Nissan 

 Gustavo Menezes

 Nicolas Lapierre

37  SMP Racing BR01 - Nissan 

 Vitaly Petrov

38  G-Drive Racing Gibson 015S - Nissan 

 Giedo van der Garde

 Simon Dolan

 Jake Dennis

40  Krohn Racing Ligier JS P2 - Nissan  Tracy Krohn
41  Greaves Motorsport Ligier JS P2 - Nissan  Memo Rojas
42  Strakka Racing Gibson 015S - Nissan 

 Nick Leventis

43  RGR Sport by Morand Ligier JS P2 - Nissan

 Ricardo Gonzalez

 Filipe Albuquerque

 Bruno Senna

44  Manor ORECA 05 - Nissan 

 Tor Graves

46  Thiriet by TDS Racing ORECA 05 - Nissan 

 Mathias Beche

 Pierre Thiriet

47  KCMG ORECA 05 - Nissan   Tsugio Matsuda
48  Murphy Prototypes ORECA 03R - Nissan   Greg Murphy
49  Michael Shank Racing Ligier JS P2 - Honda

 Laurens Vanthoor

 Oswaldo Negri

 John Pew

LMGTE Pro

51  AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE

 Gianmaria Bruni

 James Calado

63   Corvette Racing - GM Chevrolet Corvette C7R 

 Jan Magnussen

 Antonio Garcia

 Ricky Taylor

64   Corvette Racing - GM Chevrolet Corvette C7R 

 Oliver Gavin

 Tommy Milner

 Jordan Taylor

66  Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT  Marino Franchitti
67  Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT  Olivier Pla 
68  Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT  Joey Hand
69  Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT  Ryan Briscoe
71  AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE

 Davide Rigon

 Sam Bird

77  Dempsey Proton Racing
Porsche 911 RSR

 Richard Lietz

 Michael Christensen
82  Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE

 Giancarlo Fisichella

91  Porsche Motorsport
Porsche 911 RSR

 Nick Tandy

 Patrick Pilet

 Kevin Estre

92  Porsche Motorsport
Porsche 911 RSR 

 Earl Bamber

 Frederic Makowiecki

 Jorg Bergmeister

95  Aston Martin Racing

Aston Martin Vantage

 Nicki Thiim

97  Aston Martin Racing  Aston Martin Vantage

 Richie Stanaway

LMGTE Am

50  Larbre Competition Chevrolet Corvette C7R 

 Yutaka Yamagishi

 Paolo Ruberti 

 Pierre Ragues

55  AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia  Duncan Cameron
57  Team AAI Chevrolet Corvette C6-ZR1  Jun-San Chen
58  Clearwater Racing Ferrari 458 Italia  Mok Weng Sun
59  TDS Racing Aston Martin Vantage V8

 Eric Dermont

60  Formula Racing Ferrari 458 Italia

 Christina Nielsen

 Mikkel Mac

 Johnny Laursen

62  Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 Italia  Bill Sweedler
78  KCMG Porsche 911 RSR 

 Christian Ried

83  AF Corse  Ferrari 458 Italia 

 Francois Perrodo

 Emmanuel Collard

 Rui Aguas

86  Gulf Racing Porsche 911 RSR 

 Michael Wainwright

88  Abu Dhabi-Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR 

 Khaled Al Qubaisi

89  Proton Competition Porsche 911 RSR

 Gianluca Roda

98  Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage V8  Paul Dalla Lana
99  Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage V8 

 Andrew Howard

Invitational

84  SRT 41 Morgan - Nissan

 Frederic Sausset

Reserve entries (in order of priority):

No.ClassEntryCarNamed driver
45 LMP2  Greaves Motorsport Gibson 015S - Nissan  Alex Brundle
25 LMP2  Algarve Pro Racing Ligier JS P2 - Nissan  Michael Munemann
76 LMGTE Am  JMW Motorsport Ferrari 458 Italia  Robert Smith
32 LMP2  Courage BR01 - Nissan  Andreas Wirth
29 LMP2  Pegasus Racing Morgan - Nissan  Ines Tattinger
24 LMP2  OAK Racing Ligier JS P2 - Judd  Jacques Nicolet
53 LMGTE Am  Riley Motorsports SRT Viper GTS-R  Ben Keating
21 LMP2  Dragonspeed ORECA 05 - Nissan  Henrik Hedman
87 LMGTE Am  Proton Competition Porsche 911 RSR  Marco Seefried
56 LMGTE Am  Team AAI Chevrolet Corvette C6-ZR1  Han-Chen Chen

Be part of something big

Sixty-car grid confirmed for 2016 Le Mans 24 Hours