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Hopping across the pond: IndyCar drivers racing in the 92nd 24 Hours of Le Mans

Written by Dan Jones


Credit: Amber Pietz

With the 24 Hours of Le Mans less than a week away, attentions turn to the 62 entries that will see the green on Sunday for the 92nd running of the iconic race. DIVEBOMB delves into the IndyCar drivers who will be racing at Le Mans, both past and present.


Scott Dixon

Credit: Harry Parvin

Not many people need an introduction into who Scott Dixon is. A six-time IndyCar Champion, with 57 race victories, 138 podiums, and an Indianapolis 500 to his name, back in 2008. Dixon's astonishing IndyCar almost hides from the fact that the Kiwi has had great success in the endurance scene too. Dixon won the 24 Hours of Daytona in 2005, 2015 and 2020, as well as a class win in GTLM in 2018, Dixon having done the race 21 times.


2024 will signify Dixon's sixth run at the Le Mans 24 Hours. Dixon raced from 2016-2019 in the GTE Pro class for Ford Chip Ganassi Team USA, with ex-IndyCar teammate, Ryan Briscoe, and endurance veteran, Richard Westbrook, with a best class finish of third in 2016, which were followed by 7th, 14th and 5th placed finishes.


Dixon returned to Le Mans last year, when Cadillac made their return to the top class at Le Mans, as they joined forces with Dixon's IndyCar team, Chip Ganassi Racing. Dixon was alongside ex-IndyCar driver, Sébastien Bourdais, as well as Ganassi's endurance supremo, Dutchman, Renger van der Zande, as the trio finished fourth at the flag, two laps down from the race-winning Ferrari.


Dixon will be back with Bourdais and van der Zande in the #3 Cadillac Racing entry in this year's event, in a team filled with experience. Dixon may have all the accolades to his name in IndyCar, but a win at Le Mans would truly solidify him as one of the all-time greats.


Álex Palou

Credit: Harry Parvin

Dixon's Chip Ganassi Racing teammate, Álex Palou, will be making his first appearance at Le Mans in 2024, as the two-time IndyCar champion lines-up at Cadillac Chip Ganassi Racing in the #2 entry, alongside Earl Bamber and Alex Lynn.


Palou's first experience in endurance racing was in the Super GT series, based in Japan, where the Spaniard competed in 2019, before he made the successful switch over to IndyCar. Palou has since competed in the Daytona 24 Hours twice.


His first venture was with Dixon, Bourdais and van der Zande, where the team finished seventh in class, back in 2022. Palou made his Daytona return this season, in the same line-up as two years prior. However, their day would come to an early end, after they had to retire in the 14th hour with a mechanical issue.


Palou switches to the other Cadillac entry, the entry that competes full-time in the World Endurance Championship, unlike Dixon's #3 car. The team have only entered two full-time drivers, with a third driver on rotation. Bourdais joined the team in the Qatar season-opener, before the team opted to use only Bamber and Lynn for both Imola and Spa.


It might be Palou's first Le Mans, but his teammates have a wealth of experience. Bamber is a two-time Le Mans winners, and going into his eighth Le Mans. Lynn also goes into his eighth Le Mans, being a class winner in GTE Pro in 2020. Bamber and Lynn finished third last year, alongside Richard Westbrook - can Palou push that number forward in 2024?


Callum Ilott

Credit: Julien Delfosse

Callum Ilott has now made the switch full-time to the World Endurance Championship, but the Brit very much remains part of the IndyCar fold, after his two-and-a-half seasons with Juncos Hollinger Racing, as well as appearances for Arrow McLaren this season on the Streets of St. Petersburg, the $1 Million Challenge and the 108th Running of the Indianapolis 500.


Many teams in the IndyCar paddock are believed to be trying to capture Ilott's signature for next season. However, Ilott's success so far in the World Endurance Championship causes a problem with that, as many teams in the series are trying to capture Ilott's signature there.


This will be Ilott's second Le Mans, but the first in the top class. As a Ferrari reserve, Ilott competed in the GTE Am class in 2021 alongside Matteo Cressoni and Rino Mastronardi, where the trio claimed a third place finish in class.


Ilott made the full-time switch to WEC at the beginning of the season, after he was suddenly dropped by Juncos Hollinger Racing. Ilott now races for the Tunbridge Wells based-outfit, Jota Sport, in the #12 car, alongside Norman Nato and Will Stevens. The team finished second in the season opened in Qatar, and after a disappointing Imola, Ilott and Stevens claimed a stunning victory in the 6 Hours of Spa, whilst Nato was doing his regular Formula E commitments in Berlin.


Despite their success in the series so far, the #12 Jota Sport team will be seen as an outsider, being a customer team for Porsche. However, Ilott and co will be looking to raise more eyebrows.


Romain Grosjean

Credit: Lamborghini.com

Some 14 years after his first appearance at Le Mans, Romain Grosjean will return to the world's premier endurance race, as he races for Lamborghini, who finally make their long-awaited Le Mans debut in the top class.


Grosjean's involvement in endurance racing is slightly wider than his IndyCar competitors, the Frenchman competing in the endurance rounds in the IMSA SportsCar Championship with Lamborghini Iron Lynx, in addition to his IndyCar duties at Juncos Hollinger Racing.


Ahead of Lamborghini's impending arrival in 2024, Grosjean competed in the Daytona 24 Hours and Sebring 12 Hours in the GTD Pro Class in 2023, finishing fourth on both occasions, before retiring from this year's Daytona 24 Hours, as they awaited the arrival of the SC63, which arrived in time for the Sebring 12 Hours, where Grosjean and co finished seventh.


Grosjean's first Le Mans appearance came in 2010 in the GT1 class for Matech Competition, alongside Thomas Mutsch and Jonathan Hirschi, however they were forced to retire after 171 laps with an engine issue. Grosjean's full-time stint in Formula One, and his initial IndyCar seasons with Dale Coyne Racing and Andretti Autosport have prevented him from doing the iconic race since.


2024 will see Grosjean line-up with his IMSA teammates, Matteo Cairoli and Andrea Caldarelli, as they drive the #19 Lamborghini Iron Lynx entry. If Grosjean were to win, it'd be a fairytale entrance for Lamborghini, as they finally make their long-awaited top class debut.


Nolan Siegel

Credit: Marius Pecker

Nolan Siegel may only be 19-years-old, but he has a wealth of experience in endurance racing. The Californian has already competed in three Daytona 24 Hours, with a best class finish of second in the LMP3 class in 2022. Siegel also achieved class victories in the 6 Hours of Watkins Glen and Petit Le Mans last season with CrowdStrike Racing by APR.


He has also found himself competing in the Asian Le Mans Series, where he claimed an LMP2 class victory in Dubai. However, 2024 will signify Siegel's first experience of Le Mans. He will race for United Autosports, the endurance team owned by McLaren Racing CEO, Zak Brown. Siegel's links to the McLaren boss led to Arrow McLaren sporting director, Tony Kanaan, help Siegel attempt to qualify for the 108th Running of the Indianapolis 500.


It only add's to Siegel's packed schedule in 2024. Siegel has already done the Daytona 24 Hours with Sean Creech Motorsport, as well as a full season in Indy NXT. The 19-year-old has had outings for Dale Coyne Racing at the $1 Million Challenge and the Streets of Long Beach. He was unable to qualify for the Indianapolis 500, but received a surprise call-up to Juncos Hollinger Racing at Road America, after the team sidelined Agustín Canapino, due to the Argentine's mental health situation.


Siegel lines up alongside fellow American, Bijoy Garg, also in his first Le Mans, and the particularly experienced Oliver Jarvis, who finds himself in his 13th Le Mans, in a mixture of youth and experience for Zak Brown's outfit.


Kyffin Simpson

Credit: Gabi Tomescu

Like his fellow 19-year-old, Kyffin Simpson, despite his age, has vast experience in the endurance scene. Simpson was champion in the European Le Mans Series last season, with Algarve Pro Racing, the team he also claimed third in the championship with in the Asian Le Mans Series last year.


Simpson also won the Petit Le Mans in the GTD class in 2022, before a Sebring 12 Hour victory in the LMP2 class the following year. A particularly impressive resume for someone at just 19 years of age. Simpson is regarded as a huge talent in the endurance scene, and 2024 will be hist first venture at the Le Mans 24 Hours.


Simpson, the third Ganassi driver racing at the event, will continue his LMP2 career with Nielsen Racing, alongside David Heinemeier Hansson, and Fabio Scherer, who won the LMP2 class last season, despite breaking his foot mid-way through the race! Hanson has also won in class at Le Mans, with a victory in the GTE Am class in 2014. He raced with Scherer in 2022, alongside now-Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing driver, Pietro Fittipaldi.


This looks to be the first of many Le Mans outings for Kyffin Simpson, and will be hoping to start that career in the perfect way.


Colin Braun

Credit: Jan Patrick Wagner

The final driver at Le Mans who has appeared in the 2024 IndyCar field, Braun prepares for his third Le Mans 24 Hour. Braun's usual trade in motorsport is endurance racing, having competed in 20 Daytona 24 Hours, including victory in 2023. Braun has also claimed three IMSA SportsCar Championships, in the PC Class in 2014 and 2015, and the LMP3 class in 2022.


Braun made his IndyCar debut on the Streets of St. Petersburg, where he finished 20th, and continued to race for Dale Coyne Racing in the $1 Million Challenge., before Siegel took over the car for Long Beach. Tristan Vautier, who also has occupied the #51 car this season, will also be at Le Mans, as a reserve driver to the likes of Álex Palou and Scott Dixon at Cadillac Chip Ganassi Racing.


Braun will be racing for CrowdStrike Racing by APR, alongside Goerge Kurtz, who Braun drove with at Le Mans last season, as well as three of the last four Daytona 24 Hours. Endurance Supremo, Nicky Catsburg completes the team, for his sixth Le Mans. Catsburg claimed class victory in the GTE Am class last year, but this year's Le Mans will be Catsburg's first in LMP2 machinery.


Braun has done plenty in the American endurance scene, but a Le Mans 24 Hours would only further add to that resume.


Familiar faces from the past

And let's look at some of the ex-IndyCar drivers who will also be competing in this year's Le Mans.


We've already mentioned Sébastien Bourdais who will line-up alongside Scott Dixon and Renger van der Zande in the #3 Cadillac entry.


Although technically speaking, Felipe Nasr, has not raced in IndyCar, he was set to compete for Carlin in 2020, before COVID-19 struck, and has since tested for Team Penske. He will race alongside Mathieu Jaminet and Nick Tandy in the #4 Porsche Penske Motorsport entry.


Ben Hanley competed in four IndyCar races, including two Indianapolis 500's for DragonSpeed, the team he has spent the majority of his endurance racing career with. He lines up alongside Filipe Albuquerque and Ben Keating in the #23 United Autosport USA LMP2 entry.


Réne Binder did six races for Juncos Racing in 2018, he enters his sixth Le Mans alongside Laurents Hoerr and Alexander Mattschull for the #33 DKR Engineering entry in the LMP2 class.


Jack Hawksworth raced in IndyCar for three seasons, for Byran Herta Autosport and A.J. Foyt Enterprises, claiming a podium in the 2014 Grand Prix of Houston. Hawksworth has raced in endurance ever since, but competes in his first Le Mans, alongside Esteban Masson and Takeshi Kimura in the LMGT3 class for the Akkodis ASP team in the #87 entry.


Franck Perera did four IndyCar races back in 2008, the year CART and IndyCar unified again. Perera raced for Conquest Racing and A.J. Foyt Racing with a best finish of sixth in the slightly bizarre Long Beach event. He competes in his first ever Le Mans in 2024, alongside Matteo Cressoni and Claudio Schiavoni in the #60 Iron Lynx LMGT3 entry.


IndyCar fans, all the faces for you took look out for in the 92nd Running of the Le Mans 24 Hour, can any of the above faces claim true motorsport glory? There's not long to wait....

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