The driver line-up for the next-generation Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 NASCAR modified racer heading to this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans was confirmed on Saturday during the 24 Hours of Daytona.
The three confirmed drivers were Jimmie Johnson, Jenson Button and Mike Rockenfeller.
Johnson, a seven-time NASCAR champion, is set to be among the drivers in the NASCAR Le Mans program as the next-generation racer will be fielded by his former team, Hendrick Motorsports. It will be used in the Le Mans single vehicle Garage 56 class, designed for experimental vehicles.
Johnson, who joined IndyCar from NASCAR after the 2020 season, announced his retirement from full-time racing last September but announced a month later that he would be returning to NASCAR for 2023 on a limited schedule as a driver and part-time driver. Owner of Petty GMS.
Button is a former Formula 1 driver who won the title in 2009 driving for Brawn GP. He had previously driven at Le Mans in 2018 and shared driving duties in an SMP Racing event, which retired early due to engine failure. He has also competed extensively in the Japanese Super GT touring car series.
Rockenfeller is the most experienced of the three drivers when it comes to Le Mans and was therefore the main driver in testing the next-gen race car modified for the French classic. In 2010 he won the race with Audi straight away and in 2005 he drove home a victory in the GT2 class with Porsche. This year’s race will be the 11th of his career.
Outside of Le Mans, Rockenfeller made his NASCAR Cup Series debut last year when he joined Spire Motorsports for appearances at the Watkins Glen International street circuit and Charlotte Motor Speedway.
This year’s Le Mans race is scheduled for the weekend starting June 10th. The event, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary, is the highlight of the World Endurance Championship calendar and this year new LMDh cars will compete against LMH cars in the first hypercar class.