Le Mans: Meet the Americans in this year’s 24 Hours

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Here’s a look at the 18 American drivers in this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans (7 LMP2, 2 GTE-Pro, 9 GTE-Am). The number is the same as last year, thanks to an increase in the LMP2 class balancing out the drop in GTE-Am.

  • David Cheng, Chinese-born but sharing U.S. and Hong Kong residence, makes his second 24 Hours of Le Mans start in the No. 29 Pegasus Racing Morgan Nissan in LMP2.
  • Scott Sharp will be one of four American drivers in the Tequila Patron ESM team. He’s in the team’s No. 30 Ligier JS P2 Honda, while Ed Brown, Johannes van Overbeek and race debutante Jon Fogarty share the No. 31 Ligier.
  • Team principal Tracy Krohn brings Krohn Racing up to LMP2 with the No. 40 Ligier JS P2 Judd.
  • South African-born Mark Patterson races under U.S. nationality and shares the No. 48 Murphy Prototypes Oreca 03R Nissan in LMP2.
  • Tommy Milner and Jordan Taylor, two of the three drivers in the No. 64 Corvette C7.R, are the only two Americans in GTE-Pro. The delightfully quirky Taylor (pictured above) comes to Le Mans sans mullet this year.
  • Ben Keating and Marc Miller fly the flag for the U.S.A. in the red, white and blue No. 53 ViperExchange.com SRT Viper GTS-R for Riley Motorsports-TI Automotive.
  • Peter Ashley Mann will be in the No. 61 AF Corse Ferrari F458 Italia.
  • Scuderia Corsa has an all-American lineup of race debutantes Bill Sweedler, Townsend Bell and Jeff Segal in the No. 62 Ferrari F458 Italia.
  • Michael Avenatti will make his Le Mans race debut in the No. 66 JMW Motorsport Ferrari F458 Italia that he’ll share with Kuba Giermaziak and Abdulaziz Al Faisal.
  • Patrick Dempsey and Patrick Long are together for the third straight year in the No. 77 Dempsey Racing-Proton Porsche 911 RSR.

Three-time W Series champ Jamie Chadwick joining Andretti in Indy NXT Series for 2023

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Jamie Chadwick, the three-time W Series champion, will drive for Andretti Autosport in the Indy NXT Series next season.

Chadwick will make her debut in an American racing series in March, driving the No. 28 for Andretti Autosport with sponsorship from DHL. The 24-year-old will become the first female driver in 13 years to compete full time in the Indy NXT championship.

Chadwick joined the female free-to-enter W Series in its inaugural 2019 season, winning two races and the first of three consecutive championships. She has been a reserve driver for the Williams Formula One team and will continue in that role in 2023. She also has driven in the Extreme E Series.

Despite her success, Chadwick hasn’t landed a bigger ride in F3 or F2, and her break didn’t come until Michael Andretti contacted her and offered a test in an Indy NXT car.

The final three races of this year’s W Series schedule were canceled when funding fell through, but Chadwick still believes the all-female series was the right path for her.

“W Series has always been and will continue to be an opportunity to be racing for every female driver, so for my side, I looked at it while perhaps I would have liked to step up maybe earlier, at the same time being able to have that chance to race, get that experience, have that development, seat time… I was constantly learning,” Chadwick told The Associated Press.

“In that sense, I wasn’t frustrated at all. But on the flip side of it, now I’ve had that experience testing in the United States in Indy NXT and this is something I’m really excited about.”

Chadwick also is expected to have an enhanced role as a development driver next season with Williams, which chose American driver Logan Sargeant to fill its open seat on next year’s F1 grid.

“Andretti Autosport is proud to be supporting Jamie alongside DHL,” said Michael Andretti. “Jamie’s successful career speaks for itself, but Indy NXT gives Jamie the opportunity to continue her development in a new type of racing.

“We’ve turned out five Indy NXT champions over the years and look forward to continuing our role in developing new talent.”

Indy NXT is the new name of the rebranded Indy Lights Series, the final step on the ladder system before IndyCar.

Andretti will field two drivers next season in IndyCar that were developed in Indy NXT: Kyle Kirkwood, the 2021 champion, will return to Andretti after one season in IndyCar driving for A.J. Foyt Racing, and Devlin DeFrancesco is back for a second season.

Chadwick will be teammates in Indy NXT with Hunter McElrea and Louis Foster. She becomes Andretti’s second full-time female driver alongside Catie Munnings, who competes for Andretti United in the Extreme E Series.