Not only the cars are categorized in classes, for a while now the A.C.O. has also put the race drivers into different categories – since 2010 in the Le Mans Series, since 2011 this system also applies for the 24h of Le Mans. Professional race drivers are rated as either “platinum” or “gold”, the so called “Gentlemen drivers” have “silver” or “bronze” status.
The above criteria is not set in stone, the race organizers always have the final say. Drivers which are younger than 30 years are rated minimum as “silver”. Drivers which are older than 55 years are rated 1 class lower than their experience shows, drivers older than 60 years even 2 classes lower.
For the teams, certain restrictions for their driver squad apply:
In case of a last minute driver change, e.g. at the beginning of a race weekend, the race stewards will categorize a driver. Not only experience, also the weight matters: If the average weight of all 3 drivers of each team is below 80kg, appropriate extra weight will be added to the car. Starvation diets like in Formula 1 are not necessary!