The Little Chancers
#18 Muehlner Motorsports America Porsche 911 GT America - This year, I couldn't just completely rule any one team out, like I did last year. This year, I've at least heard of one driver on every squad. I've heard of just about all the drivers on this team (Darryl O'Young, Marc Basseng, Connor De Philippi), but not everybody (welcome to my brain, Matteo Beretta). I've gotta think that this team doesn't have the firepower to be up front after 24 hours. Odds - 100 to 1.
#19 Muehlner Motorsports America Porsche 911 GT America - See above, especially since De Philippi and Beretta are two of the three announced drivers for this car. Odds - 100 to 1.
#009 TMG-AMR Aston Martin V12 Vantage - I've heard of the two entered drivers (Derek DeBoer and Max Riddle), but couldn't tell you one single thing about either one. That's a bad hit rate. Odds - 100 to 1.
#64 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 Italia - I've heard of all four drivers in this squad (Francisco Longo, Daniel Serra, Marcos Gomes and Andrea Bertolini), but only one of them (Bertolini, the former Maserati factory driver) appears to have had much success outside of his home country. Nope. Odds - 50 to 1.
#49 AF Corsa Ferrari 458 Italia - Three mid-packers in World Endurance Championship GTE-Am (Michele Rugolo, Rui Aguas and Matt Griffin) plus one guy I've never heard of (Pasin Lathouras) does not equal a winning combination. Odds - 50 to 1.
#28 Konrad Motorsport Porsche 911 GT America - It's Klaus Bachler plus four guys who I think I've heard read their names once or twice on results sheets but otherwise have never heard of. Nope. Odds - 50 to 1.
#007 TMG-AMR Aston Martin V12 Vantage - This car proved to be lightning fast in the hands of James Davison last year (who is with the team for the full season again, along with Christina Nielsen), especially over one lap in qualifying, but not so much so in basically anybody else's hands. Perhaps the team has made some strides in improving overall speed over long runs, but until I see it, I can't really imagine it being up front after 24 hours. Odds - 40 to 1.
#45 Flying Lizard Motorsports Audi R8 LMS - This car is being driven by an ex-Formula 1 driver (Markus Winkelhock), a promising young American (Robert Thorne), and two Japanese guys who I've never heard of (Satoshi Hoshino and Tomonobu Fujii). If those Japanese guys are as fast as the guys on "The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift", maybe this car has a shot at winning. However, I fear that nobody is as fast as the guys on "The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift". Which makes me kind of sad, in an existential sort of way. Odds - 40 to 1.
#97 Turner Motorsport BMW Z4 - An extremely solid driver lineup, featuring BMW factory drivers Markus Palttala and Andy Priaulx, longtime Turner Motorsports driver Michael Marsal, and the one and only Boris Said (enough said). The BMW may be down on straightline speed again, and may have jumped to Pirelli World Challenge for the rest of the season, but they still finished strong at Daytona last year (7th in class) and won the teams championship in 2014. Can't be ruled out. Odds - 13 to 1.
#81 GB Autosport Porsche 911 GT America - A car sporting Porsche standout driver Damien Faulkner, standout "drive anything" guy Mike Skeen, and last year's Porsche Supercup runner up Kuba Giermaziak, this team has its strong points. However, I'm not so sure how strong the rest of the squad is. Could still pull out a win, though. Odds - 13 to 1.
#73 Park Place Motorsports Porsche 911 GT America - Longtime Porsche campaigner Park Place Motorsports has put an extremely solid squad on the grid this year. This team doesn't really appear to have any weak links, though I'm not sure that any of the drivers is as quick over a full stint as some of the full-on factory drivers will be at the end of the race. They'll probably be in the conversation at the end. Odds - 13 to 1.
#23 Team Seattle/Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT America - Another solid squad. Another team that gets an Odds - 13 to 1.
#22 Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT America - See above entry. Am I starting to repeat myself? I afraid that I am. Am I repeating myself? Odds - 13 to 1.
#44 Magnus Racing Porsche 911 GT America - The jokesters of the paddock. I'll be pulling for these knuckleheads, but I just can't give them better than Odds - 13 to 1.
#48 Paul Miller Racing Audi R8 LMS - An absolute lightning fast lineup (Christopher Haase, Bryce Miller, Dion von Moltke and Rene Rast). I'm not sure how quick the car is in comparison to the competition, since it was only 9th fastest at the "Roar Before the 24" test, but I have a hard time picking against that lineup. Odds - 13 to 1.
#58 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT America - It's the car with that actor guy (Patrick Dempsey) and some seriously fast other guys (Madison Snow, Jan Heylen and Philipp Eng). Dempsey is clearly the slowest of the four (though he is capable), but the other three guys could carry this car to the top of the podium. Odds - 13 to 1.
#93 Riley Motorsports Dodge Viper SRT - The Vipers were lightning fast at the Roar Before test, and they've also got some fantastic driving talent. This car has ex-Viper factory drivers Dominik Farnbacher and Kuno Wittmer, so it's in plenty capable hands. Will it be around at the end? If it is, it should be in the top-5. Odds - 13 to 1.
#33 Riley Motorsports Dodge Viper SRT - Ahem. The Vipers were lightning fast at the Roar Before test, and they've also got some fantastic driving talent. This car has the Bleekemolen brothers (Sebastiaan and Jeroen), plus Marc Goossens. Will it be around at the end? If it is, it should be in the top-5. Odds - 13 to 1.
#63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 Italia - The eagle-eyed among you will notice that I basically copped out and gave ten of the 19 cars in the class the exact same odds. That was by design. This class is seriously impossible to pick. But, with a gun to my head (as I said last year about this same group of drivers), the nod for the class has to go to the Bill Sweedler/Townsend Bell/Anthony Lazzaro/Jeff Segal team, as all but Lazzaro (who is pretty darn handy in a Ferrari himself) was on the winning team in 2014. They've gotta be the incumbent favorites, if only by a slight margin. Odds - 10 to 1.
Two classes down means that we're halfway through our analysis. Stay tuned for the GTLM and Prototype previews later in the week!