The 24 Hours of Le Mans 2018 Rookies
Photo: ACO

The 24 Hours of Le Mans 2018 Rookies

To call some of this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans competitors ‘rookies’ is something of a misnomer as they include two F1 World Champions, an Indy 500 winner and a former winner of the race!

To call some of this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans competitors ‘rookies’ is something of a misnomer as they include two F1 World Champions (Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button), an Indy500 and Daytona 24 Hours winner (Juan Pablo Montoya) and a former winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans (Mike Rockenfeller in 2010)!

What is a Rookie?

Broadly speaking, the term “Rookie”, when applied to Le Mans, means all those drivers who have not driven there before or those who do not appear on the official list of experienced drivers (Appendix 10, 24 Hours of Le Mans Specific Regulations).  

What do they have to do before the 24 Hours of Le Mans?

These drivers must take part in the 2018 Test day and must complete a minimum of 5 full timed laps (10 laps in total including pit out and pit in loops).  They must also take part in a training session at the AOTech simulator before 2nd June – this being a whole day’s training for Bronze-rated drivers. 

Since 2014, all rookies are required by the ACO to attend an intensive simulator session where they are put through their paces in a variety of situations they will face during the race.  This invitation is also extended to drivers who have not contested the race for over five years, to refresh their memories on the positioning of marshal posts, safety procedures and night driving. The training course is geared more towards race simulation than improving driving technique, ensuring that it has relevance for drivers of all experience levels.  Jenson Button completed his session at the AOTech simulator today.

An exception to this rule concerns Platinum-rated drivers not appearing on the approved list who can, upon special request to the Sporting Committee, receive permission to miss the Test Day if they are competing in another major car race elsewhere (for example, any Indycar or IMSA drivers competing in Detroit the same weekend). These drivers must complete a minimum of 5 full timed laps during the free practice sessions on Wednesday 13th June.

Who are this year’s Rookies?

There are nine ‘Rookies’ in LMP1 including Toyota’s Fernando Alonso and SMP Racing’s Jenson Button, 17 in LMP2 including Juan Pablo Montoya and Pastor Maldonado, 8 in LMGTE Pro (five of the six BMW drivers and Mike Rockenfeller with Corvette Racing included) and 13 of the 39 drivers from LMGTE Am.  

The full list can be found below. 


 4    Tom Dillman        ByKolles Racing Team
 5    Charles Robertson    CEFC TRSM Racing
 5    Michael Simpson        CEFC TRSM Racing
 6    Oliver Rowland        CEFC TRSM Racing
 8    Fernando Alonso     Toyota Gazoo Racing
 10    Renger van der Zande    DragonSpeed
 11    Jenson Button        SMP Racing
 17    Egor Orudzhev        SMP Racing
 17    Matevos Isaakyan    SMP Racing


22    Paul di Resta        United Autosports
25    Ale de Jong        Algarve Pro Racing
25    Tacksung Kim        Algarve Pro Racing
31    Pastor Maldonado    DragonSpeed
32    Hugo de Sadeleer    United Autosports
32    Juan Pablo Montoya    United Autosports
33    Nicolas Boulle        Jackie Chan DC Racing 
34    Come Ledogar        Jackie Chan DC Racing
35    Harrison Newey        SMP Racing
35    Norman Nato        SMP Racing
37    Jazeman Jafaar        Jackie Chan DC Racing
37    Nabil Jeffri        Jackie Chan DC Racing
37    Weiron Tan        Jackie Chan DC Racing
38    Gabriel Aubry        Jackie Chan DC Racing
47    Luiz Felipe Nasr    Cetilar Villorba Corse
50    Erwin Creed        Larbre Competition
50    Romano Ricci        Larbre Competition

GTE Pro    

52    Antonio Giovanazzi    AF Corse
63    Mike Rockenfeller    Corvette Racing
81    Martin Tomczyk        BMW Team MTEK
81    Nicky Catsburg        BMW Team MTEK
82    Augusto Farfus        BMW Team MTEK
82    Antonio Felix da Costa    BMW Team MTEK
82    Alexander Sims        BMW Team MTEK
94    Sven Muller        Porsche GT Team


56    Patrick Lindsey        Team Project 1
56    Egidio Perfetti    Team     Project 1
70    Motoaki Ishikawa    MR Racing
70    Edward Cheever        MR Racing
77     Matt Campbell        Dempsey Proton Racing
77    Julien Andlauer        Dempsey Proton Racing
80    Fabio Babini        Ebimotors
85    Luca Stolz        Keating Motorsports
86    Alexander Davidson    Gulf Racing
88    Giorgio Roda        Dempsey Proton Racing
90    Euan Hankey        TF Sport
90     Charles Eastwood    TF Sport
99    Tim Pappas        Proton Competition