We can scratch off one more car from the list for the 2014 24 Hours of Le Mans. The Lotus T129 LMP1 car has been dropped from the entry list of the 82nd running of the historic race, with organizers citing "a lack of preparation" as the reason. On a more positive note, the list of 168 drivers in 56 vehicles has been officially published for the June 14 race.
Like the Lotus team currently in Formula One, the Lotus T129 uses the iconic British brand's name and colors but is actually built by a separate company. It previously ran a Lola chassis in the LMP2-class (pictured above). The Le Mans organizers claim the car will likely be on display during the 24-hour race, but it won't make it's competition debut until the World Endurance Championship round at the Circuit of the Americas in September. The T129 is being replaced by an Oreca 03 chassis with Nissan power in the LMP2 class, entered by Millennium Racing.
The Lotus' retirement came as the teams had to send in the names of the three drivers nominated to race each car. This year there are racers from 26 countries with the most coming from France (39), Britain (29), the US (17) and Italy (15). The latest tally of entries breaks down to 9 LMP1s, 19 LMP2s, 9 LM GTE Pros, 18 LM GTE Ams and the Nissan ZEOD RC as the experimental Garage 56 entry.
Like the Vipers earlier this year, it's always unfortunate to see a team drop out before it can turn a wheel. However, the lineup still indicates some really exciting racing, especially in the top LMP1 class with Audi, Toyota and Porsche squaring off. The entire list of drivers and cars can be viewed as a PDF, here.