ACO reveals preliminary round of entries for 2016 Le Mans 24 Hours

The full list of guaranteed entries for this year's Le Mans 24 Hours has been announced by race organiser the Automobile Club de l'Ouest

ACO reveals preliminary round of entries for 2016 Le Mans 24 Hours

The ACO has confirmed the 15 cars that gain an automatic entry for the blue-riband round of the World Endurance Championship in the wake of Sunday's Asian Le Mans Series finale at Sepang.

Thirteen of the places are awarded on the basis of results achieved at Le Mans and in the Le Mans Series in Europe and Asia, while the organisers of the renamed IMSA SportsCar Championship had two discretionary spots to give out.

The list is topped by Porsche, which is awarded a firm place on the grid for its outright Le Mans victory last year.

It is joined by KCMG, Corvette Racing and SMP Racing, which respectively won the LMP2, GTE Pro and GTE Am at the 24 Hours last June.

Greaves Motorsport, Formula Racing, Marc VDS, TDS Racing and Team LNT gain the five spots on offer in the ELMS.

Race Performance, Clearwater Racing and DC Racing claimed the three guaranteed entries awarded to class winners in the the Asian LMS.

Michael Shank Racing and Scuderia Corsa have been granted the two places awarded by IMSA.

Shank has announced that Audi GT driver Laurens Vanthoor will join team regulars Oswaldo Negri Jr and John Pew in its Ligier-Honda JSP2 at the 24 Hours.

Teams must commit to racing in the European or Asian LMS or the IMSA series to take up their guaranteed entries.

Cars contesting the WEC are automatically selected for Le Mans.

A number of the guaranteed entries will not be taken up: Porsche is only fielding two cars at Le Mans as part of its cost-cutting agreement with sister marque Audi; KCMG has announced its intention not to continue in LMP2; and the Marc VDS team closed its doors at the end of last season.

The 2016 Le Mans entry will be announced in Paris on February 5.

The grid will expand from 56 to 58 courtesy of the completion of the first phase of an extension of the pitlane that will take the grid to 60 cars in 2017.

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