24 Hours of Le Mans: The American Teams To Look Out for in 2023
Cadillac, Glickenhaus, Corvette, and a, uh, modified NASCAR Cup Car will be representing the U.S.A.
Unsurprisingly, the 24 Hours of Le Mans is dominated by European entries. It's unusual that American teams win, and when we do, well, you've probably seen a movie about it. This year there are quite a few American outfits competing for victory, though. It may not be a massive list, but just so you know who to cheer for, we've compiled all of the teams from America driving American cars. I hope you like General Motors.
Cadillac announced today that it will be running three of its newly re-named V-Series.Rs at the historic race in the top-spec Hypercar class, where it will be joined by two cars from the privateer Glickenhaus outfit. Two of the Cadillacs will be operated by the brand itself, while the third will be raced by Action Express, an American team that previously ran the car, then called the V-LMDh, with success at the Rolex 24 in Daytona. Both Glickenhaus cars, called 007s, will be raced by Glickenhaus itself. That makes five of the 16 teams in the Hypercar class American. All of them will be competing for overall victory in June.
There are no American cars in the second-highest LMP2 class. The Corvette C8.R, operated by Corvette Racing, is the only American entry in the LMGTE Am class, which includes race-spec versions of other similar sports cars like the Ferrari 488 GTE EVO, the Porsche 911 RSR, and the Aston Martin Vantage AMR.
There are other European cars operated by American teams in reserve, but outside of that, there's only one other American vehicle running at Le Mans 2023, and it's a NASCAR Cup Car modified for 24-hour endurance racing by Garage 56. Operated by the Hendrick Motorsports team, it was built with help from NASCAR itself, Chevrolet, and Goodyear. The vehicle is named the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 after the production vehicle it's meant to look like. It has no mechanical relationship to an actual ZL1 Camaro, though.
Garage 56's entry is quite literally in a class of its own, called "Innovative Car." It will be driven by seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson, former F1 World Champion Jenson Button, and Le Mans Winner and DTM Driver Mike Rockenfeller. In terms of pace, it was lapping similarly to the GTD cars during testing after the Rolex 24, which means it could sneak its way up into the running in the LMGTE Am class, although nobody really knows how the car is going to perform at this point.
So if you're an American looking to root for the home teams at this year's Le Mans, that's your list. The Cadillacs are easy to spot because they sound like no other car in their class. Thank their 5.5-liter, naturally aspirated cross-plane V8s for that. The Glickenhaus cars might blend in a bit, but the Corvette is probably the only one in a hundred-mile radius of the track and the Garage 56 car is, well, a Nascar Cup Car. It's going to stick out like a sore thumb.
The 2023 Le Mans 24 will take place on June 10.
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