All-American Porsche lineup headlines recent Le Mans entry updates

Photo: WeatherTech Racing

A bummer as it was to have not seen Bill Riley’s Riley Motorsports team and its Dodge Viper GTS-R get a spot on this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans entry list, as it’s turned out, things are shaping up fine for its planned lineup of drivers at Le Mans after all.

Ben Keating announced a deal to where he, Jeroen Bleekemolen and another Riley veteran in Marc Goossens would be in the No. 48 Murphy Prototypes Oreca 03R Nissan for Le Mans. It’s an open-top LMP2 car and one of the oldest in the field, but a tried-and-true package featuring two aces.

Marc Miller, meanwhile, will get the chance to return to the race for a second time as well – with an assist from Keating, Bleekemolen and Riley who were keen to see the talented American driver back on the grid in a GTE car.

Miller will be one of three drivers in an all-American driver lineup, along with Cooper MacNeil and Leh Keen in the No. 89 WeatherTech-backed Porsche 911 RSR run by Proton Competition. Gianluca Roda had been that car’s nominated driver.

MacNeil and Bleekemolen ran the 2014 Le Mans race on their own in GTE-Pro without an available fill-in Bronze-rated driver in a backup Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, which proved an incredible story. Miller, meanwhile, will get to race a Porsche at Le Mans as he does in the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge.

“My second time doing the race was an experience I will absolutely never forget,” MacNeil reflected. “Jeroen Bleekemolen and I finished fifth in GT Pro driving an antiquated car, compared to the competition, with all odds against us.

“We were a privateer team going up against strictly factory efforts with factory drivers while we were in an older car racing against the best in the world with one less man. Every time I got out of the car I would get some food and then lay down to sleep. As soon as my head hit the pillow there was a knock at the door for me to go back to the pits and prepare for my next stint in the car. I did over 11 hours in the car and the Dutchman did the rest.”

Added Miller, “When I think about Le Mans, I think about the 917’s and 911’s that have enjoyed so much success. It is incredible to have the opportunity to say that I will have raced a Porsche at the most storied race in the world. I have a huge amount of respect for Cooper and Leh and the entire WeatherTech Racing program. They have been front runners in the series and both also have experience at Le Mans, making this year even more focused and exciting.”

Some other changes/updates of note:

  • Joel Camathias has been confirmed at KCMG as its third driver of its Porsche 911 RSR in GTE-AM for the full FIA World Endurance Championship with Christian Ried and Wolf Henzler. Henzler was originally scheduled to step up as third driver of Dempsey Proton’s No. 77 Porsche 911 RSR in GTE-Pro for Le Mans with Richard Lietz and Michael Christensen. Assuming he stays there, the No. 78 KCMG Porsche would need a third driver for Le Mans.
  • Algarve Pro Racing has been promoted to the main entry list as the 23rd car in LMP2 with its No. 25 Ligier JS P2 Nissan that will run in the European Le Mans Series. Michael Munemann is the car’s nominated driver with Andrea Pizzitola the second confirmed driver. Indian driver Parth Ghorpade is testing with them this week in Paul Ricard, among several others.
  • Algarve Pro takes the place of TDS Racing, whose No. 59 Aston Martin Vantage was withdrawn from GTE-Am.
  • Greaves Motorsport’s Gibson 015S Nissan, which had been the first reserve, has withdrawn as have the Riley Viper (seventh reserve) and extra Proton Porsche (ninth reserve).
  • Clearwater Racing’s Ferrari F458 Italia (GTE-Am) will switch from No. 58 to No. 61.
  • The number of driver openings are dwindling. Some of the key spots not yet nominated include the third drivers for the Ferrari 488 GTE seats in GTE-Pro, Krohn Racing’s third seat in LMP2, and the Beechdean-backed Aston Martin in GTE-Am. There, Jonny Adam will be with Alex MacDowall and Andrew Howard in the ELMS, but will be in a factory GTE-Pro entry for the WEC.

Supercross 2023: Results and points after Houston


Eli Tomac led all 23 laps of the Monster Energy Supercross race at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas and the results show he now has three wins in the season and is one shy of tying Ricky Carmichael’s 48 for third on the all-time list. With this win, he takes a seven point lead in the standings with 12 rounds remaining.

For Tomac at Houston, it was literally a tale of two races. Both his heat and the main started the same with Tomac grabbing the holeshot, but he was passed quickly by Chase Sexton in the heat. Tomac faded quickly after getting passed and was trailing by almost eight seconds at the checkered flag, which caused him to retreat to the hauler and reassess his lines. Without making any adjustments to the bike, Tomac entered the Main with a new attitude, and simply rode better.

Supercross Results Houston
Chase Sexton played it safe in the sand, but he was aggressive in every other turn. – Feld Motor Sports

Sexton had so great a lead in his heat that one could not even use the cliche that he left Tomac in his dust. By the time the rider with the No. 1 plate crossed the same real estate as the No. 23, the dust was well settled. Sexton had a modest start on the initial gate drop and ended Lap 1 in fourth. He worked his way past Aaron Plessinger on Lap 3 and got around Jason Anderson three laps later. Sexton was able to catch Tomac and pressure him, but he picked a safe, i.e. slow line through the sand section and could never get alongside his rival.

RESULTS: Click here for 450 Results; Click here for full 250 East Main Results

After starting the season with back-to-back seventh-place finishes, Anderson now has a pair of podiums. He won his heat and was easily one of the top three riders in the field, ultimately finishing behind the riders who finished 1-2 in the other preliminary. Anderson was subdued on the podium – happy he was there, but disappointed he has not yet found a way around the riders he is chasing in the points.

In the early stages of the race, Plessinger appeared to have a bike capable of winning. He pressured Tomac on the first two laps and was setting up the pass just as a red flag waved for an injury to Dylan Ferrandis that brought out a red flag. He lost second to Anderson on the restart and eventually slipped to fourth to score his first top-five of the season.

Click here for 450 Heat 1 | Heat 2 | Last Chance Qualifier

Cooper Webb rounded out the top five. Along with Sexton, he is now one of just two riders with a sweep of that mark in 2023, but with Tomac’s three wins, he is beginning to slip in the points. Webb sits third in the standings, 12 points behind the leader.

Ken Roczen entered the race as the third rider with a sweep of the top five and progressively better results in the first three races of 2023. Had the pattern held, he would have finished at least second, but he struggled for most of the night, finishing fifth in his heat and eighth in the Main. There may have been extenuating circumstances, however. Ferrandis’ injury was suffered when he landed on the back of Roczen’s bike and potentially damaged the No. 94 Suzuki.

Click here for 450 Main results | Rider Points | Manufacturer Points | Lap Chart

The 250 East division made their 2023 debut in Houston, but the name atop the board was familiar. Hunter Lawrence joined his brother Jett Lawrence as the early points’ leader in their respective divisions, but it didn’t come without a little anxiety.

Riding behind Supercross newbie Tom Vialle on the second lap, Lawrence was forced to take evasive action when the leader pitched his bike sideways to scrub speed over a jump. Lawrence veered left and landed off course, but he cleared the Tuff Blox and kept his bike straight. Lawrence made the pass for the lead on Lap 18 and never relinquished it.

Click here for 250 Heat 1 | Heat 2 | Last Chance Qualifier

In his first attempt on a 250, Max Anstie ascended to the podium. – Feld Motor Sports

England’s Max Anstie made the move from 450s to 250s this year after scoring a best result of 11th on the big bike at Anaheim 2 last year. It didn’t take anytime at all to find the front for Anstie, who finished second in both his heat and main.

It has been a while since Jordon Smith stood on the podium: February 23, 2019 to be exact when he finished that well in Detroit. A series of injuries kept him off the bike for much of 2020 and 2021, but he’s proving to be a factor when he’s healthy.

Click here for 250 Main results | 250 East Rider Points | Combined Rider Points | Lap Chart

There was a lot of hype surrounding the debut of Haiden Deegan in the 250 class and he proved it was merited. He finished fourth in his heat and main. He was as far down as ninth at one point in the feature before slowly picking off riders on his way to the front.

Jeremy Martin finished fifth and now has a streak of three consecutive top-fives to his credit stretching back to last year. Unfortunately, his pair of strong runs in 2022 were interrupted by injury.

Making impressive debuts in the 250 division, Vialle recovered from a fall to finish seventh, Chance Hymas finished eighth, and Talon Hawkins just missed the top 10 with an 11th.

2023 Results

Race 3: Chase Sexton, Levi Kitchen win
Race 2: Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence win
Round 1: Tomac, Lawrence win

2023 SuperMotocross Power Rankings

Week 3: Ken Roczen takes the top spot
Week 2: Roczen moves up; Chase Sexton falls
Week 1: Eli Tomac tops 450s; Jett Lawrence 250s