For this weekend’s 25th running of the Motul Petit Le Mans, there are 48 teams that posted entries to the race, but that number is already down to 43. It is equal to last year’s entry.
The biggest team that has already withdrawn is Racing Team Nederland in the LMP2 class.
The team’s Facebook post translates to this: “Following Frits van Eerd’s decision to concentrate fully on his personal situation in the near future, Racing Team Netherlands will not participate in the IMSA race next weekend in Atlanta.
The circumstances behind the withdrawal are somewhat unusual. Team owner/driver Frits van Eerd, was recently arrested and questioned in The Netherlands as part of an investigation into money laundering and VAT (value-added tax) fraud. While van Eerd is not considered to be the main person in this fraudulent operation, he is one of nine people that have been detained. As a result, van Eerd has temporarily stepped down as CEO of JUMBO Supermarkets.
In LMP3, three separate teams have withdrawn. Andrew Wojteczko Autosport (AWA) was originally going to be running three cars, but only had five drivers between those three entries. As a result, the No. 7 entry under the Forty7 Motorsports banner has been withdrawn. Muhelner Motorsports America’s entry has also been withdrawn, along with the FASTMD Racing No. 40. In FASTMD’s case, the team had actually announced a three-driver lineup with Adam Ali, Max Hanratty and Colin Noble last week.
Finally, Crucial Motorsport’s McLaren has been withdrawn from the GTD class. That car had no drivers listed on the original entry list.
The DPi class has seven entries for the final race for this particular class. Action Express Racing’s second car is back with Jimmie Johnson leading the way.
At Era Motorsport, Christian Rasmussen will make his IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship debut race with Ryan Dalziel and Dwight Merriman. Rasmussen comes from Indy Lights, where he drove this season for Andretti Autosport. He finished sixth in points with two victories (Road America and Laguna Seca No. 2) and five podiums.
LMP3 originally had 11 entries, but it’s down to eight now. AWA still has two cars entered, their regular No. 13 and their second car. That car, which ran as the No. 7 earlier this season, will run as the No. 76 with Anthony Mantella, Kyle Marcelli and Josh Sarchet.
At Sean Creech Motorsports, Nico Pino is the third driver for the weekend alongside Joao Barbosa and Malthe Jakobsen. At Performance Tech Motorsports, Tyler Maxson will join the team for the week as part of double-duty.
In addition, WeatherTech Racing has moved back up to the GTD Pro class after running the last few races in GTD. Cooper MacNeil has removed himself from the car for the weekend. In the car will be the Maxmilians, Buhk and Goetz, along with Mikael Grenier.
GTD is the largest class with 15 teams entered. Since Petit Le Mans is part of the Michelin Endurance Cup, three drivers are entered in all cars, so the endurance drivers such as Erik Johansson with Paul Miller Racing and Spencer Pumpelly with Magnus Racing are back.
At Cetilar Racing, Ferrari factory racer Antonio Fuoco is unable to attend due to a conflict. As a result, Ulysse de Pauw has been drafted into the No. 47. De Pauw is the current Silver Cup champion in Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS Sprint Cup, claiming two overall wins (Brands Hatch Race No. 1 and Valencia Race No. 1) with teammate Pierre-Alexandre Jean.
The Motul Petit Le Mans is scheduled to go green Saturday at 12:10 p.m. ET under sketchy conditions. The race coverage will be split between NBC, USA and Peacock.
About the author
Phil Allaway has three primary roles at Frontstretch. He's the manager of the site's FREE e-mail newsletter that publishes Monday-Friday and occasionally on weekends. He keeps TV broadcasters honest with weekly editions of Couch Potato Tuesday and serves as the site's Sports Car racing editor.
Outside of Frontstretch, Phil is the press officer for Lebanon Valley Speedway in West Lebanon, N.Y. He covers all the action on the high-banked dirt track from regular DIRTcar Modified racing to occasional visits from touring series such as the Super DIRTcar Series.