Monday, January 20, 2020

2020 Daytona 24 Hours - LMP2 Class Preview

Hi, everybody! It's been about 51 weeks since I've posted anything here, so you all know what that means...time for our annual Blogathon! Mike, Wedge and I are still hammering out the various details of what we're going to be doing this year, but at the very least, I wanted to get up my patented "Speedgeek's Daytona 24 Hours Class Previews". As always, I'm doing them in order of least interesting class (to me) to most interesting class (to me). For this year, like last year, my "least interesting class" is the LMP2 class, although at least there are 50% cars this year (six) as there were last year (four). In the past, I've done odds for each car to win their class, but I'll be honest: that takes a lot of extra time to calculate out odds that make any sense, and I have even less time than usual this year. So, this will be a little different format, in the reverse order that I think the cars will finish. LMP2, here goes!

6th Place - #2 Rick Ware Racing Multimatic/Riley LMP2

OK, so this is totally cheating, because the team announced today that they're withdrawing from the race after a hard crash at the Roar Before test. So, chalk this one up as a lock.

5th Place - #18 Era Motorsport Oreca LMP2 07

This boils down to something very simple: new team. I'll be rooting for them, though, as driver Ryan Lewis is a Twitter legend and "Dinner With Racers" podcast all-timer.

4th Place - #38 Performance Tech Motorsports Oreca LMP2 07

This team has been here before and had success, but I can't rate them higher for one reason: three Bronze level drivers in the lineup. A podium would be a win for these guys, even in a class with five cars.

3rd Place - #52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports Oreca LMP2 07

Drivers Simon Trummer, Gabriel Aubry and Nick Boulle are all very experienced LMP2 drivers, but Ben Keating is not as experienced in a prototype...and he's splitting time between this car and his GTD Mercedes. Mind you, Keating won't do a ton of the heavy lifting here, but I think I see teams with a little more balance and maybe a little more top line speed in their lineups.

2nd Place - #8 Tower Motorsports by Starworks Oreca LMP2 07

 This team will ride with Gold rated Ryan Dalziel and Platinum rated Nicolas Lapierre down the stretch. Those two guys are good. Alas, I think they will ultimately lose out to...

1st Place - #81 DragonSpeed USA Oreca LMP2 07

...the defending LMP2 class champs. Of course, this isn't the car that won last year, but it's the one I did pick to win the class last year. They've since added young gun Harrison Newey and sportscar superstar Colin Braun to the normal lineup of Ben Hanley and Henrik Hedman, so I think this has to be the team to beat.

And with that, we've already gone through one class! See you back here later in the week for the other three classes (time permitting)!

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