Former DTM driver Mike Rockenfeller will take the NASCAR cockpit for the 2023 24 Hours of Le Mans, sharing the automotive with fellow Formula 1 icon Jimmie Johnson.
NASCAR has introduced the driving force trio for the 2023 24 Hours of Le Mans. Along with many American racing sequence companions, Hendrick Motorsports will likely be utilizing a next-gen Chevrolet automobile particularly designed for the long-distance basic in Garage 56.
Developer Mike Rockenfeller, who was concerned within the challenge from the start, was awarded the contract and grew to become a part of the group.
As properly as the previous DTM champion and 24 Hours of Le Mans winner, his teammates are large names within the race: seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson and former Formula 1 world champion Jenson Button are additionally there and will likely be making their first NASCAR begin at Le Mans. Drives a Chevrolet beginning in 1976 and past the classification.
Rockenfeller raced in two NASCAR rounds for Spire in 2022 to familiarize himself with the sequence and the automotive. The Le Mans winner can be a improvement driver on NASCAR’s Garage 56 challenge and helped develop Chevrolet to adapt it to the Sarthe race monitor. Even throughout the improvement section, the German hoped to be elected to the Le Mans cockpit.
A concentrated motorsport expertise for Le Mans
“It’s been an amazing journey with the entire group and the challenge up to now,” says Rockenfeller. “It’s been an honor to be a driver from day one, and now it is nice to have Jimmy and Jenson by my aspect as teammates at Le Mans.”
There isn’t any higher NASCAR driver within the trendy period than Johnson, who has gained a complete of seven titles, together with legends Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt Sr. Johnson just lately joined Petty-GMS as a associate – the group was renamed Legacy Motor Club. The American additionally has IMSA expertise in endurance racing and has competed in two IndyCar seasons.
“I’m very excited – sooner or later competing within the 24 Hours of Le Mans is excessive on my want listing,” says Johnson. “Having the chance to work with this group and this driver line-up is a superb alternative and I’m grateful to be part of it.”
Former Formula 1 star Jenson Button accomplished the lineup
Button, who gained the Formula 1 title with Brawn GP in 2009, is third within the group. The Brit is presently energetic as a group principal in Extreme E and competed within the 2018 Le Mans 24 Hours with SMP. His greatest end result within the World Endurance (*1*) (WEC) was third place at the 2018 Shanghai race.
“As a lifelong motorsports fan, I’ve all the time dreamed of driving sure vehicles, competing with and in opposition to sure drivers, and competing in sure occasions,” Button stated. “In June, a few of these desires will come true as I, together with my pals Jimmy and ‘Rocky,’ carry NASCAR to the world stage for the one centesimal anniversary of the world’s most prestigious race.”
Garage 56 is devoted to vehicles with an modern spirit and forward-thinking expertise, so NASCAR is predicted to area a hybrid at Le Mans. However, particulars concerning the new-gen Chevrolet are nonetheless unknown because the automotive remains to be below improvement. The 2023 Le Mans 24 Hours will likely be held on June 10 and 11.