Le Mans: The ex-F1 drivers in the field

Leave a comment

There’s always a healthy contingent of former Formula One race drivers who compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and the 2014 edition is no different.

The following list does not include drivers such as Neel Jani (No. 14 Porsche 919 Hybrid, LMP1-H), for example, who practiced on a Grand Prix weekend but never started a Grand Prix.

Here’s a breakdown of each one of them, with their Le Mans entry by their name.

  • Lucas di Grassi (No. 1 Audi R18 e-tron Quattro, LMP1-H)
  • Alexander Wurz/Stephane Sarrazin/Kazuki Nakajima (No. 7 Toyota TS040 Hybrid, LMP1-H)
  • Anthony Davidson/Sebastien Buemi (No. 8 Toyota TS040 Hybrid, LMP1-H)
  • Nick Heidfeld (No. 12 Rebellion R-One Toyota, LMP1-L)
  • Mark Webber (No. 20 Porsche 919 Hybrid, LMP1-H)
  • Mika Salo (No. 27 SMP Racing Oreca 03 Nissan, LMP2)
  • Marc Gene (No. 38 Jota Sport Zytek Z11SN Nissan, LMP2)
  • Christian Klien (No. 43 Newblood by Morand Morgan Judd, LMP2)
  • Karun Chandhok (No. 48 Murphy Prototypes Oreca 03 Nissan, LMP2)
  • Gianmaria Bruni/Giancarlo Fisichella (No. 51 AF Corse Ferrari F458 Italia, GTE-Pro)
  • Olivier Beretta (No. 71 AF Corse Ferrari F458 Italia, GTE-Pro)
  • Jan Magnussen (No. 73 Corvette Racing Corvette C7.R, GTE-Pro)
  • Bruno Senna (No. 97 Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage, GTE-Pro)
  • Shinji Nakano (No. 70 Team Taisan Ferrari F458 Italia, GTE-Am)
  • Pedro Lamy (No. 98 Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage, GTE-Am)

Note that only one of Audi’s nine drivers and only one of Porsche’s six have past F1 experience, while five of six for Toyota come from the F1 ranks.

By class, it’s 8 in LMP1, 4 in LMP2, 5 in GTE-Pro and 2 in GTE-Am for a total of 19 ex-F1 drivers in this year’s race.

Audi bids farewell to Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich upon retirement

Audi Sport
Leave a comment

Audi bid farewell to its iconic head of motorsport, Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, at its end-of-season ‘Race Night’ event in Germany on Friday upon his retirement.

Ullrich took over the reins as Audi’s head of motorsport in 1993 and stayed in the role for 23 years, overseeing its arrival in the prototype class of sports car racing and domination of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Ullrich stepped down from the position at the end of 2016, handing the reins over to ex-Audi DTM chief Dieter Gass, and attended his final racing event with the German marque at its first works Formula E outing in Hong Kong earlier this month.

Ullrich was honored at the Race Night event on Friday and thanked for his efforts in developing Audi into a force within global motorsport.

“In 566 factory-backed commitments during this period he celebrated 209 victories, 13 of them in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, eleven in the 12-hour race at Sebring and nine in the ‘Petit Le Mans’ at Road Atlanta,” a piece on Ullrich’s tenure for Audi’s website reads.

“31 driver titles in super touring car racing, in the DTM and in the sports prototype category are credited to him. 57 campaigners were Audi factory drivers during Wolfgang Ullrich’s era and he was responsible for 18 new developments of racing cars – an impressive tally.”