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Motorsports: Le Mans 24 Hours announces 168 driver entry list for 2014

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On Tuesday, May 20, the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO) released the entry list of 168 drivers for the 2014 Le Mans 24 Hour race. The iconic enduro race of sports cars will take place this year on June 14-15.

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According to the ACO, the 168 drivers entered hold licenses from 26 different countries, overwhelmingly from Europe and North America.

The highest number of licenses comes from France with 39; the U.K. is represented with 29; there are 17 Americans; and 15 Italians. There are eight Russian driving licenses, and one Swiss driver will pilot LM P1.

The cars entered in this year's 24 Hours of Le Mans break down this way, according to the ACO: 9 LM P1s, 19 LM P2s, 9 LM GTE Pros, 18 LM GTE Ams and the Nissan ZEOD entered in the context of the 56th garage - 29 prototypes and 27 GT. Of the four categories of cars, the one with the largest number of different licences is GTE Am with 19 nationalities represented.

Americans entered in the 24 Hours of Le Mans 2014 include: LM P1 = none; LM P2 = David Cheng (Oak Racing - Team Asia); Chris Dyson (Greaves Motorsport); Matthew McMurry (Greaves Motorsport); and Ricky Taylor (Larbre Competition).

In LM GTE Pro, the drivers listing American licenses are: Tommy Milner (Corvette Racing) and Jordan Taylor (Corvette Racing).

In LM GTE Am, American licensees = Peter Ashley Mann (AF Corse); Patrick Dempsey (Dempsey Racing - Proton); Joe Foster (Dempsey Racing - Proton); Patrick Long (Dempsey Racing - Proton); Cooper Macneil (Prospeed Competition); Frank Montecalvo (8 Star Motorsports); Howard Blank (AF Corse); Spencer Pumpelly (JMW Motorsport); Seth Neiman (JMW Motorsport); Bret Curtis (Prospeed Competition); and Mark Patterson (Ram Racing).

Notably, Porsche returns to the 24 Hours of Le Mans this year; its team will be driving two Porsche 919 Hybrids, No. 14 and 20, in LM P1. Former Formula 1 Red Bull driver Mark Webber of Australia will debut at Le Mans in Car No. 20, co-driving with designated driver Timo Bernhard of Germany and Brendon Hartley of New Zealand. Driving No. 14 will be Romain Dumas of France; Neel Jani; and Marc Lieb.

According to ACO, there is a change on the entry list. Their statement reads: "There is one change on the list of entries. Due to a lack of preparation the Lotus team is unable to honor its invitation for the Le Mans 24 Hours. The ACO has worked hand in hand with this team for it to be present and gives it its confidence for the future. This brand-new LM P1 should be at Le Mans during the 24-Hours week, and may take part in the final rounds of the FIA World Endurance Championship starting with the Circuit of the Americas on 20th September 2014. The no. 22 Oreca 03-Nissan entered by the Millenium Racing team driven by Giroix, Martin and Turvey will replace it."

For a full listing of drivers entered for 2014, check out the Le Mans website.

The 24-hour endurance race at Circuit de la Sarthe near Le Mans, France, tests -- among other elemenets -- vehicle engineering, construction, and reliability; driver skill and stamina; and teamwork.

This year marks the 82nd running of the famed sports car race.

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