A single LMP2 entry and three GTE-Ams make up a four-car reserve list added to the bottom of the main entry list for this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Race organizer the Automobile Club de l’Ouest announced on Friday that a pair of AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE Evos, an Aston Martin Vantage GTE from Garage 59 and an Oreca 07 Gibson from Algarve Pro Racing will on standby to replace any withdrawals.
The first reserve is the No. 62 AF Corse Ferrari which has ex-Formula 1 driver Sergey Sirotkin listed alongside Christoph Ulrich and Italian GT class champion Simon Mann.
Sirotkin represented SMP Racing at Le Mans in 2017 and 2019, before switching to GTs with the Russian squad for a factory-supported Ferrari program in last year’s Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Endurance Cup.
Should a car from the main field withdraw, Sirotkin would be poised for his GTE debut.
The second car on the reserve entry is the No. 27 Algarve Pro Racing Oreca LMP2 for Mark Patterson and Naveen Rao.
Patterson has raced with Algarve Pro at Le Mans on two previous occasions, while Rao worked with the Portugal-based team during the recent Asian Le Mans Series campaign when it provided technical support to the new Racing Team India organization.
Garage 59’s GTE-Am Aston Martin is shown with reigning GTWC Europe Endurance Cup Pro-Am champion Alexander West as the only nominated driver.
Garage 59 finished fifth in the Asian LMS GT championship standings, one place off qualification for an automatic invitation to Le Mans.
The fourth and final backup entry is the No. 61 AF Corse Ferrari for Francesco Piovanetti. Reserves are added to the main field in the order that they are listed.
The 2021 Le Mans reserve list is notably smaller than the ones that have issued in previous years with 10 cars usually featured.
DragonSpeed last week posted a tweet suggesting that it was considering filing a reserve entry for its LMP1-class BR Engineering BR1 machine which has not raced since 2019, but the American squad was not mentioned in the ACO’s entry update on Friday.
Last year all of the reserve cars received the option to advance to the main field as a result of entries being pulled, in many cases due to travel restrictions linked to the coronavirus pandemic. A total of seven of last year’s reserves ultimately joined the grid.