Monday, January 21, 2019

2019 Daytona 24 Hours - LMP2 Class Preview

We're back! After a...oh, 51 or so week layoff here at GBS, we are back with our patented and never imitated (likely for very good reason) Blogathon hijinks, including our full(ish) coverage of the Daytona 24 Hours. Due to a variety of things that the three of us have going on (including, but not exclusively related to, the fact that Mike, Allen and I collectively now enough children to field a full baseball team...but also due to the fact that I have a new work schedule that is...a little more "commute heavy" than in the past, so free time is at more of a premium), there may not be as much general tomfoolery here as in past years. But we're going to make a go of it, including my annual 24 Hours class previews (which are likely going to be shorter than in the past, due to time constraints, plus probably the fact that everybody but me wanted them shorter, anyway).

Hey! After a year with just three classes, we are now back up to four! Really, it's the same three classes as before, but the DPi cars in the Prototype class have had their performance envelope opened up to allow them to go quicker, and the "customer" Pro-Am (mandated to have at least one "amateur" driver in their lineup) LMP2 cars have stayed about the same speed. So, with LMP2 spinning off into its own category, it now gets its own class preview. And, because I do this in order of "least interesting class (to me)" to "most interesting class (to me)", the class with just four cars goes right up top. Let's get started, shall we?

The Less Likelys

#38 Performance Tech Motorsports Oreca LMP2 - The team with the lowest rated drivers (two Silvers and two Bronzes, on a scale of Bronze-Silver-Gold-Platinum, where Bronze and Silver are amateur and "amateur" and Gold and Platinum are Formula 1/IndyCar/factory World Endurance Championship level folks) goes first here. Odds: 6 to 1.

#52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports Oreca LMP2 - A better overall driver lineup over the #38 (one Bronze, two Silvers, one Gold, plus one of those Silvers is the very quick Matt McMurry) means that the #52 slots in a touch higher. Odds: 4 to 1.

The More Likelys

#18 DragonSpeed Oreca LMP2 - Two Silvers, plus Gold sometimes-IndyCar driver Sebastian Saavedra, plus former-F1-punchline-turned-very-capable sportscar driver Pastor Maldonado...interesting team. But not the favorites. Odds: 3 to 1.

The Favorites

#81 DragonSpeed Oreca LMP2 - WEC regulars DragonSpeed bring some of their regular guys (Bronze Henrik Hedman, soon-to-be-part-time-IndyCar driver Gold Ben Hanley), along with many-times-in-the-past factory WEC Prototype driver Nicolas Lapierre.  This is the one to watch. Odds: 3 to 2.

Well, that was short and sweet, no? Join us later in the week for my other three less short and less sweet class previews!

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