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
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