Welcome, everybody, to Blogathon 2022! Well, such as it might be this year, anyway. We're kind of throwing things together at the last minute this year, due to what can only be described as "A Lot Of Stuff Going On", for all of us here at GBS. As a result, it's not fore sure what all we're going to have for Blogathon events this year, but I plan on getting some abbreviated odds and class previews up here before the Daytona 24 Hours starts tomorrow. Circumstances have stepped in this week and prevented me from doing the daily posts with full class breakdowns, so with a little over 25 hours to the green flag (as I type this), I'm going to consolidate the GT classes into one post and the Prototype classes into another post. First up, in my usual "least interesting (to me)" to "most interesting (to me)" order, it's.....
THE PROTOTYPE CLASSES! CONTROVERSY! Well, not really, I suppose. The GTD class has been my "most interesting class" the last couple years, and with there now being TWO GTD classes (more on this later), we've doubled our fun with the GT cars. Meanwhile, LMP3 and LMP2 are roughly as interesting (to me) as they've been in the past, and the DPi class only has seven cars again this year, so the Prototypes are first.
The Field Maker-Uppers:
#38 Performance Tech Motorsports Ligier JSP320 - Two Bronze level drivers and one Silver = can't imagine this one winning. Odds - 15 to 1.
#26 Muelhner Motorsports America Duqueine D08 - One Bronze and two Silvers = see above. Odds - 15 to 1.
#7 Forty7 Motorsports Duqueine D08 - One Bronze and THREE Silvers = see above. Odds - 15 to 1.
The Solid Mid-Pack
#6 Muelhner Motorsports America Duqueine D08 - One Bronze and two Silvers BUT also plus ex-Mazda factory driver Joel Miller = a better bet. Odds - 10 to 1.
#13 AWA Duqueine D08 - One Bronze and two (experienced) Silvers BUT also plus ex-multiple factory team driver Kuno Wittmer = an even better bet. Odds - 8 to 1.
#33 Sean Creech Motorsport Ligier JSP320 - Half of the drivers are a Priaulx (Seb, Andy's kid) and a Barbosa (Joao). We're getting to the pointy end now. Odds - 7 to 1.
The Front Runners
#36 Andretti Autosport Ligier JSP320 - An Andretti (Jarrett), a front running Indy Lights driver (Rasmus Lindh) and longtime IndyCar/sports car driver Gabby Chaves. A near lock for a podium, as long as it's running at the end. Odds - 6 to 1.
#54 CORE Autosport Ligier JSP320 - The driver lineup is loaded with longtime sports car competitors Colin Braun, Jon Bennett, George Kurtz and Nic Jonsson, and the team has a zillion sports car wins in many different classes. This car will be in the mix for the win at the end. Odds - 5 to 1.
#74 Riley Motorsports Ligier JSP320 - The defending champs. It'll come down to them and the CORE Ligier. Odds - 5 to 1.
The Field Maker-Uppers:
#69 G-Drive Racing by APR ORECA LMP2 07 - Odds - 15 to 1.
#20 High Class Racing ORECA LMP2 07 - Odds - 12 to 1.
#8 Tower Motorsport ORECA LMP2 07 - Odds - 12 to 1.
The Solid Mid-Pack
#68 G-Drive Racing by APR ORECA LMP2 07 - The presence of former IndyCar driver Ed Jones and Audi factory driver Rene Rast gives this car the nod in the G-Drive stable. Odds - 10 to 1.
#29 Racing Team Nederland ORECA LMP2 07 - Odds - 10 to 1.
#22 United Autosports ORECA LMP2 07 - Odds - 10 to 1.
The Front Runners
#18 Era Motorsport ORECA LMP2 07 - The defending champs, with the entire 2021 driving lineup coming back to defend their title. They'll be in the conversation all day, night and day. Odds - 8 to 1.
#81 DragonSpeed USA ORECA LMP2 07 - Longtime sports car driver Eric Lux is joined by newcomer IndyCar driver Devlin Defrancesco and rising IndyCar stars Colton Herta and Pato O'Ward (who, don't forget, won an LMPC championship in IMSA only a few years ago). This car will be in the mix at the end. Odds - 7 to 1.
#11 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA LMP2 07 - Half of the drivers are ex-Mazda factory driver Jonathan Bomarito and ex-multiple factory teams Harry Tincknell. Enough said. Odds - 7 to 1.
#52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA LMP2 07 - An incredibly experienced driver lineup, and they start on the class pole after winning the LMP2 class in the Roar Before qualifying race. They look like they might be the one to beat this year. Odds - 6 to 1.
#5 JDC Miller Motorsports Cadillac DPi -The only arguable weakness here is the presence of a Bronze driver (Ben Keating, going for an overall win to add to his 2015 GTD class win), but he's about as good of a Bronze as you're going to find. The rest of the lineup is beyond reproach, with Tristan Vautier being joined by Richard Westbrook for the season and Loic Duval on board for the enduros. Odds - 8 to 1.
#60 Meyer Shank Racing w/ Curb-Agajanian Acura DPi - The Meyer Shank guys struggled to come to grips with the Acura DPi last year, but should be closer to front running pace with a year of data in the notebook. Odds - 7 to 1.
#48 Ally Cadillac DPi - Finished 2nd here last year after missing juuuuuust a pinch of speed vs. the #10 Acura. It'll be in the top-5 for most of the 24 hours. Odds - 7 to 1.
#31 Whelen Engineering Racing Cadillac DPi - The #31 Cadillac always runs at the front, and 2022 will be no different. Odds - 6 to 1.
#02 Chip Ganassi Cadillac Racing Cadillac DPi - The Ganassi guys have added a second car for 2022 and with an all-Platinum lineup, it should contend all day, night and day. Will it win, though? Hmmmmm.... Odds - 6 to 1.
#10 Konica Minolta Acura ARX-05 Acura DPi - The three time defending champs are going for their unprecedented fourth straight win.....but they're not the favorites?!?!? Hold that thought. Odds - 6 to 1.
#01 Chip Ganassi Cadillac Racing Cadillac DPi - The #01 is jam packed with driving talent, with sports car ace Renger van der Zande being joined by drivers holding 11 IndyCar championships and 91 IndyCar race wins. To boot, Scott Dixon has won overall at Daytona FOUR times Sebastien Bourdais has won overall at Daytona twice. Yeah, I'm going with these guys as the favorites. Odds - 5 to 1.
OK, that's all of the Prototype classes done. Come back sometime in the next 24 hours for the GTD-Pro and GTD class previews before the green drops!