Sunday, January 29, 2023

Weekend Update

 Well, as expected it was a busy weekend, and I ended up spending a few hours yesterday working on some music that I had to finish. To be fair, I also made an edit of the Cujo trailer, replacing all of the Cujo scenes with my dog. But I did watch a couple of hours of the race last night too.

Mainly I just wanted to note that, while I didn't get to screen a bad sports movie (hopefully next year!) this weekend, this blog will be with me in spirit in a little while, since one of the things I need to do for our podcast today is to watch THIS thing:

I mean, it's a bad Christmas movie, but also... a karate movie is kind of a sports movie, right? Look, Christmas + karate + Eric Roberts... I might need to break out the Abita after all.

I'm at least watching the end of the race while getting some actual work stuff done before I suffer through kung fu Christmas or whatever.

Looking forward to hopefully getting back into the flow around here in the future!

2023 Daytona 24 Hours - Hour 20 Check-In

We're up at Speedgeek HQ, and having taken a little time to survey what's happened overnight (and getting in a cup of coffee, so as to hopefully have a better chance of stringing together a few coherent sentences here), it appears that while plenty happened overnight, we're in much the same state as where we left off some 9-10 hours ago. The #31 Whelen Cadillac hit problems overnight and now sits about 18 laps behind the leaders, while the #24 BMW, the #6 Porsche and the #10 Acura have all had issues that have dropped them several laps behind as well. Up front, it's the #60 Meyer Shank Acura and the #01 Ganassi Cadillac on the lead lap, with the #02 Ganassi Cadillac lurking just a lap behind. 

Clustered behind those seven top GTPs, there are still eight LMP2s, with roughly four of those (the #04 Crowdstrike Racing by APR, the #35 TDS Racing, the #88 AF Corse, and the #52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports) on the lead lap. The #17 AWA Duqueine leads LMP3 by about eight laps, with 3rd in class about another 8-9 laps behind.

Meanwhile, in the GT classes, the top-4 in both GTD-Pro and the top-6 in GTD are bundled on the same lap or two, as pit stops ebb and flow. As I type, the #27 Aston Martin leads GTD and the #3 Corvette leads GTD-Pro, but these positions change and scramble seemingly with almost every lap.

We've got four hours to go. It'll be time for some waffles here shortly, and then settling in for the final run to the flag just 1:30 Eastern. Should be interesting all the way to the checkers!

Saturday, January 28, 2023

2023 Daytona 24 Hours - Hour 10 Check In

We've finally settled in for a good, long chunk of race watching in the Speedgeek household, after what I call a period of "interacting with family members" and "not monopolizing the TV". The early hours, while not without incident or reliability issues, have actually been relatively quiet, at least in my opinion. One two of the GTP cars (the #25 BMW and the #7 Porsche) have hit issues bad enough to drop them multiple laps down, and of the other seven GTP cars, all but one are still on the lead lap. The LMP2s largely lurk about 10 laps behind the GTPs, with only the #8 Tower car (an issue with a leaking drinks bottle shorting out some electronics) and the #11 TDS car (out due to crash damage) the only ones not running effectively line astern behind the leading seven GTPs.

In the GTD classes, it's still basically anybody's game, although the Mercedes and the Aston Martins have looked to be the most consistently quick. Meanwhile I've got a flavorful beverage (a Deschutes Black Butte Imperial Porter) and a comfy chair. Does it get much better than this on a Saturday night in January?

Blogathon 2023: Limerick #1

You know I have to do at least one Blogathon limerick. So as we say goodbye to the SEC/Big 12 Challenge, I present...

The Current State of LSU Basketball

We once had a coach named Will Wade
Agreements for payments were made
But his wife wrote the checks
And he got fired next
So the players he paid barely played

Oh, hey...

It's Blogathon!

It's been a while, huh? I can't describe how busy work has been the last two years (note: being a school athletic director is A LOT of work), but things may finally be slowing down around here. And in my sports world, it hasn't really been a GREAT time to be a fan of the Cubs, Saints, and LSU (I just watched my basketball team wrap up the SEC/Big 12 Challenge with an 8th straight loss here in January), but that all could be turning around soon as well, starting with LSU baseball next month.

In addition to college baseball, Andy and I have been talking some other fun things coming up, such as the Canadian curling championships, the World Baseball Classic, March Madness and more.

This site is sort of a mess, but we'll see if we can make it a little more presentable as soon as I have time, even if mainly for archive purposes. I guess it's really just the tag filter links, which may not be too difficult to fix. At the very least, it'd be fun to be able to do full Blogathons here again in the future.

For this weekend, I'll be around, at least checking in on the race between working on music and some podcast stuff.

I did at least stock up on some essentials:










I haven't been drinking much beer lately, but there are some leftover Christmas Abitas in the fridge that I may break out to celebrate. You know, I think someone should throw a Christmas Ale into their Navage and just really go for it! That sounds like a Blogathon party to me!

A Quick Check in With Some Critical Blogathon Information

 As many of you will remember from Blogathons past, there are some extremely important items that we've neglected to report on yet.......

Our Snack Lineup:

And My Beer Lineup:

As you can tell, everybody was extremely ready for the green flag to drop (which is the instant that the snacks are allowed to be opened):

Happy Race Day, everybody!

We Are Green At Daytona!

 The green flag has dropped and the #8 Tower LMP2 car (known as "the one with Josef Newgarden and Scott McLaughlin in it") has already stopped on track, causing the first full course yellow. But now we're back green again! I'll be ducking away here for a bit, but check back in here and there for our continuing coverage!

2023 Daytona 24 Hours - GTP Class Preview

We made it! Getting in just under the wire with our last class preview, the extremely tastefully named GTP. I came along as a new racing fan in 1991, when the IMSA GTP class had a wide variety of chassis, engines and manufacturers (Nissan, Chevrolet, Toyota, Jaguar, Mazda, and Porsche, plus Buick, Acura and Ferrari in the Camel Lights class), so a return to that nomenclature and hopefully the number of involved manufacturers of three decades ago is a welcome change. With the introduction of "something old" (the GTP name) also comes "something new", a brand new hybrid system that works with every powertrain from every manufacturer. No word on if anything "borrowed" or "blue" is also on the way. In any given year, a new set of cars or engines would bring a heightened chance for the dreaded "new car blues", but bringing in a whole new set of technology increases the chance for reliability catastrophe by several orders of magnitude. This year's GTP class win may very well come down to whichever car can stay out of the garage the best. So, what that said, who's likely to take home the Rolexes?

The Pack

#24 BMW M Team RLL BMW M Hybrid V8 - The Bimmers have seemed to be just a tick off of front running pace, winding up 7th and 8th in qualifying, ahead of only the #6 Penske Porsche that crashed in the bus stop chicane late in the session (although, this being said, both BMWs were less than a second off of the pole time, so they're not miles off of the pace). I've got to assume that reliability (or the lack thereof) is essentially about the same for all four manufacturers, so I'm going to go off of pace for chances to win. Odds - 10 to 1.


#25 BMW M Team RLL BMW M Hybrid V8 - See above, same goes for the #25. Odds - 10 to 1.


#6 Porsche Penske Motorsport Porsche 963 - An even further throwback to the previous GTP era, Porsche has named their new car the 963, the spiritual successor to the dominant 962 of old. In the hands of the dominant Penske squad, the 963 will be sure to win dozens of races......someday. But will tomorrow be the day of that first win? Odds - 9 to 1.


#7 Porsche Penske Motorsport Porsche 963 - See above comments for the #6. Odds - 9 to 1.


#31 Whelen Engineering Racing Cadillac V-LMDh - The multi-time Daytona 24 Hours winning team Action Express brings a single Caddy LMDh car to this year's race, with Alexander Sims and Jack Aitken joining previous driver Pipo Derani. I'm sure that they're working with the Ganassi Cadillac team to gather data on the new car, but they're the only one car team in the GTP class this year. Will this work for them or against them once the green flag drops? Odds - 9 to 1.


#01 Ganassi Cadillac Racing Cadillac V-LMDh - On the other hand, the Ganassi team has twice as many cars, twice as many crewmembers and, I suppose, twice as many chances to win. Add in the might of their organization and engineering, and I'll give them a slight edge over the #31 Whelen car. Odds - 7 to 1.


#02 Ganassi Cadillac Racing Cadillac V-LMDh - Same goes for the #02. Odds - 7 to 1.


#60 Meyer Shank Racing w/ Curb Agajanian Acura ARX-06 - Again, based straight up on pace, the Acuras have definitely had an edge on the other cars through testing and qualifying (the #60 is on the pole, in the hands of Tom Blomqvist), although the other teams appear to be closing the gap through the last two days of practice. Have the Acuras been working through other parts of their program the last couple of days, and we'll see an advantage again in the race? Odds - 7 to 1.


#10 Wayne Taylor Racing Konica Minolta Acura ARX-06 - Look, the Wayne Taylor Racing guys had a three race Daytona 24 winning streak going, until the Meyer Shank guys beat them by a whopping three seconds at last year's race. A four race run of 1st or 2nd means that I've got to pick you as the favorite, even if it's only by a tiny edge. Odds - 6 to 1.



We made it! With like four hours to spare! Tune back in later today for further coverage of the 24 Hours!

2023 Daytona 24 Hours - LMP2 Class Preview

And now we hit the portion of the class previews where we could be talking about not just class winners, but overall winners. Due to the new hybrid technology and all-new cars found in the GTP class (the class formerly known as DPi, but tastefully renamed to throw things back to the nomenclature of the era when I fell in love with IMSA racing), an LMP2 car could come through a pile of smoking, sparking top class cars to win this thing outright. Which of the LMP2s is most likely to do just that?

The Solid......Pack

#55 Proton Competition ORECA LMP2 07 - Honestly, there are no tail enders in this class, and basically every car looks roughly as capable as any other to make the podium or even win. However, the #55 Proton car is both starting last in class, and only completed three laps in the final Friday practice session. The #55 could be starting behind the 8-ball. Odds - 15 to 1.


#20 High Class Racing ORECA LMP2 07 - There's going to be a lot of similar sounding previews here....but the #20 car has been mid-pack-ish in pace, in both qualifying (when it wound up 7th), and in last practice (when it wound up 5th, but actually set the same lap time as 4th, and was only 0.031 second behind 3rd). There'll be other, more likely cars to win. Odds - 12 to 1.


#51 Rick Ware Racing ORECA LMP2 07 - Like the #20, the #51 Rick Ware Racing car has been down on speed, qualifying 6th in class, and wrapping up the last Friday practice 9th in class. Not a great set of signs, but anything can (and usually does) happen in this class. Odds - 11 to 1.


#04 Crowdstrike Racing by APR ORECA LMP2 07 - Another car that could easily compete for a podium or even a win, given just a break or two. Odds - 11 to 1.


#8 Tower Motorsports ORECA LMP2 07 - A slight "hot take" here, putting a car with IndyCar superstars Josef Newgarden and Scott McLaughlin this far down the pecking order, but neither has run 1) any race in a prototype car, 2) any race with multiple classes of cars on the track, and 3) a single 24 hour race. While this car might show flashes of extreme pace, I'd frankly be pretty shocked if they can keep it on the track and out of trouble for all 24 hours. Odds - 10 to 1.


#88 AF Corse ORECA LMP2 07 - A ringer team from Europe, I fully expect this car to be up around the top-5 or even top-3 for the majority of the race. It wouldn't be a stretch to imagine these guys taking the expensive watches back across the pond when this is all over on Sunday. Odds - 9 to 1.


 #35 TDS Racing ORECA LMP2 07 - Another ringer Euro team, with young American Josh Pierson on the driving roster. The TDS cars have been fast all month, and should absolutely compete for the win. Odds - 7 to 1.


#11 TDS Racing ORECA LMP2 07 - See above, but this car is loaded with guys who've run Daytona multiple times. A near shoo-in for a podium. Odds - 7 to 1.


#52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA LMP2 07 - The class pole sitter. Nicolas Lapierre will likely have driving duties down the stretch as the clock dwindles to the 24 hour mark, and few guys are as quick in an LMP2 car. If they're in the hunt, they'll be hard to beat. Odds - 7 to 1.

#18 Era Motorsport ORECA LMP2 07 - The 2021 LMP2 class winners of the Daytona 24 Hours, they've brought arguably their best ever driver lineup, a roster including platinum Oliver Jarvis, gold Ryan Dalziel, and "sneaky silver" Christian Rasmussen. If I had to give a single car in this class the edge over the others, it'd be this one. Odds - 6 to 1.



And then there was one! Come on back tomorrow for the conclusion of our class previews, followed by our coverage of the actual Daytona 24 Hours!

Friday, January 27, 2023

2023 Daytona 24 Hours - GTD Class Preview

We now move to the larger (and therefore "more interesting [to me]") GT class, GTD. As time grows short between now and tomorrow's green flag (about 15 1/2 hours as I start to type this), some of these previews might be kind of short...but we're giving it a go!

The Tail Enders

#57 Winward Racing Mercedes AMG GT3 - This car would have been one of the obvious favorites, if not THE favorite.....until a practice crash by Lucas Auer wrote the pole sitting Mercedes off, requiring the team to build up an entire new car essentially overnight (plus surgery for Auer; get well soon, Lucas). With this being the case, the team will be lucky to get a single lap before the race to see if they have any immediate things that need to be fixed before the race...otherwise, they'll be at high risk to have an early problem and fall laps down right out of the gate. Yikes. Odds - 80 to 1.


#42 NTE Sport Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO2 - An all silver/bronze a last second driver shuffle, to make sure that there are drivers who have clearance to drive at night. Super yikes. Odds - 75 to 1.



The Super Longshots

#83 Iron Dames Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO2 - A perfectly capable team....that's making its debut on American soil. What are the odds they can beat 22 other good-to-excellent GTD teams? Odds - 50 to 1.


 #91 Kellymoss with Riley Porsche 911 GT3-R (992) - By all accounts, the GTD Porsches have a catastrophically bad Balance of Performance this year, with the BEST 911 winding up 14th in class in qualifying. For whatever reason, they did not get any help from IMSA with a post-qualy performance boost, so they remain down at the bottom of the timesheets. Could a Porsche win GTD on reliability? Sure. But that depends on every car from every other manufacturer having serious issues. Not likely. Odds - 40 to 1.


#92 Kellymoss with Riley Porsche 911 GT3-R (992) - See above. Odds - 40 to 1.

#80 AO Racing Porsche 911 GT3-R (992) - Like a broken record, see above. Odds - 40 to 1.


#77 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3-R (992) - Yes, the same even applies for a team like Wright Motorsports. Odds - 40 to 1.


#16 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3-R (992) - Same goes for the #16. Odds - 40 to 1.


 #023 Triarsi Competizione Ferrari 296 GT3 - Like the #62 Risi Ferrari that I mentioned in the GTD-Pro preview, the GTD Ferraris are liable to battle the "new car blues". I'd be pretty shocked to see one in contention come Sunday morning, much less Sunday afternoon. Odds - 30 to 1.


#21 AF Corse Ferrari 296 GT3 - See above. Odds - 30 to 1.


#47 Cetilar Racing Ferrari 296 GT3 - One more time, see above. Odds - 30 to 1.



The Solid Mid-Pack

#70 Inception Racing McLaren 720S GT3 - The sole US-based McLaren in top level IMSA has had its moments of running at the front of the class, but still has yet to win their first race. It'd be a little hard to imagine that breakthrough coming in the biggest race of the season......but it certainly wouldn't be impossible. Odds - 25 to 1.


#78 Forte Racing Powered by USRT Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO2 - This Lambo team has been around and about in the middle of the pack on the timesheets. And here they are, right about in the middle of this rundown of odds. Odds - 25 to 1.


#19 Iron Lynx Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO2 - Another totally capable team with plenty of driving talent that's been looking for speed. Odds - 22 to 1.


#93 Racers Edge Motorsports with WTR Acura NSX GT3 - A team making its Daytona 24 Hours debut. Solid car, solid drivers, but....there are other teams who have "been here, done this" before. Odds - 20 to 1.


#96 Turner Motorsport BMW M4 GT3 - The Bimmers haven't been quite at the pointiest bit of the pointy end of the field, so it's hard to rank them much further up this list. The "Pro/Am" Turner car should be a contender for a top-5, though, if not a class win. Odds - 18 to 1.


 #1 Paul Miller Racing BMW M4 GT3 - The same must be said for the #1 BMW as the #96 BMW, although the Paul Miller squad has had tons of success that shows that they can regularly compete for wins. They get the nod in the "Battle of the Bimmers", but it's a tough call to see them in the five most likely cars to win the class. Odds - 17 to 1.


#44 Magnus Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT3 - The Clown Princes of American Professional Sports Car Racing! And they're fast this year! They seem to be clicking with their Aston, and the addition of Aston Martin factory driver Nicki Thiim sure didn't hurt their cause. They're a SUPER strong contender for the podium this year. Odds - 15 to 1.


#12 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC-F GT3 - The "Pro" side of the Vasser Sullivan team showed that they can close the deal on an endurance race at Petit Le Mans last year. Can the "Pro/Am" side of the garage shake off the horrific luck that dogged them at every turn in 2022 and do the same this weekend? Odds - 15 to 1.


#66 Gradient Racing Acura NSX GT3 - Sheena Monk steps up from the lower series of IMSA to make her debut in the top series, joining GT stars Marc Miller, Katherine Legge and Mario Farnbacher. A top-10 feels assured, and a podium is extremely possible, with a clean run. Odds - 14 to 1.



The Front Runners

#27 Heart of Racing Team Aston Martin Vantage GT3 - The #23 car was quick just about everywhere in 2022, and their form looks to be about the same at Daytona this year. They've got to be gunning for the win in both of the GTD classes this weekend. Odds - 11 to 1.


#32 Team Korthoff Motorsports Mercedes AMG GT3 - But meanwhile, the Mercs have looked like absolute rocket ships this month, qualifying on the pole in GTD-Pro and making a 1-2-3 sweep in GTD qualifying (although the #57 Winward Mercedes will be starting from the back of the pack after its crash). At the moment, it seems to be a question of which Mercedes can keep it all together the best for 24 hours..... Odds - 10 to 1.


#75 Sun Energy 1 Mercedes AMG GT3 - See above. The Mercs have to be the favorites to win this year. Odds - 10 to 1.



Just two classes to go! Check back shortly for the top two prototype class previews!

2023 Daytona 24 Hours - GTD-Pro Class Preview

Having gotten through the first of our five class previews for this year's Daytona 24 Hours, let's move on to the next class in my hierarchy of "least interesting (to me)" to "most interesting (to me)". The fourth most interesting class (to me) (aka "the second least interesting class") this year? GTD-Pro. Why is this, you (my theoretical and not entirely fictional reader) ask? Well, put simply, GTD-Pro has two strikes against is. 1) A GTD car of any kind won't win overall this year (too many GTP and LMP2 cars for that), and 2) GTD has WAY more cars in it than GTD-Pro (a margin of 23 to ten, as of a couple days ago, with the #53 MDK Motorsports Porsche switching to GTD-Pro). Game, set. And match, I guess. Anyway, our GTD-Pro class preview:

The Extreme Long Shots

#53 MDK Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3-R (992) - The aforementioned MDK Porsche switched from GTD to GTD-Pro this week, for....reasons, I guess? According to their statement, it's because they're planning on running the rest of the season in Pro, so they want to get a head start on that, seems like maybe they want to try to run platinum driver Jan Magnussen more and run their bronze and silver drivers less (all drivers are required to run four hours in GTD, but that requirement is only two hours per driver in GTD-Pro). Anyway, it'd be a true shock for two silvers and a bronze (plus Magnussen) to beat all of the factory backed, gold- and platinum-laden lineups on most of the rest of the teams. Odds - 40 to 1.


The Extremely Unlikelys

#62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 296 GT3 - This placement comes down to literally three words: "new car blues". Risi is an extremely capable team, and the driver lineup is four Ferrari factory platinums, but the car is 100% new (and superduper gorgeous, I'll add). Against a field of tried and true machinery.....I just can't see it winning. Odds - 20 to 1.


#64 TGM/TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage GT3 - Like the #53 Porsche, a driver lineup filled with bronzes and silvers (two of each). Although all four guys are quite capable, factory driver speed they're not. Could they keep their heads down and find themselves on the podium after 24 hours? Yeah.....but the top step? Only if all the other nine cars falter. Not likely. Odds - 20 to 1.


The Solid Mid-Pack

#63 Iron Lynx Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO2 - The only GTD-Pro Lambo only qualified 6th and has seemed to struggle a bit for pace, although they were only 0.038 seconds off the pace of the top time in class in the Thursday practice session yesterday. Will it be quick enough to hang with the leaders and be able to chase down or hold off one of the other cars in class if it comes down to a late race shootout on Sunday afternoon? Odds - 12 to 1.


#95 Turner Motorsports BMW M4 GT3 - Another team that swapped over from the GTD class, likely in order to lean harder on gold/platinum BMW factory drivers Bill Auberlen, Bruno Spengler and John Edwards. Not a bad strategy, that one. The drivers are all more than capable of bringing home the expensive watches, but is the M4 fast enough to run with the quickest cars in class? Odds - 10 to 1.


#9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3-R (992) - It feels utterly absurd to put the defending Daytona 24 Hours and series champ GTD-Pro this far down the list of teams and their capability to win, but the Porsches are reportedly at a 10+ MPH disadvantage in a straight line to the next slowest car in class. With this being the case, unless all of the other teams hit problems, it's hard to imagine a Porsche being able to win either GTD class. Odds - 10 to 1. 


#3 Corvette Racing Corvette C8.R GTD - Still running the C8.R that was converted from GTLM spec to GTD (until next year, when they'll get to use the version that was designed specifically for GTD/GT3), the Corvette guys are liable to execute a near-perfect race, but will the car have the outright pace for the end of race duel that the GTD classes always seem to come down to? Odds - 8 to 1.

The Front Runners

#14 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC-F GT3 - The perpetually enduro-snakebitten Lexuses finally got their first endurance race win at Petit Le Mans in the fall. They seem to have pretty solid pace again this year at Daytona, qualifying 3rd in class, just a couple tenths of a second off of the pole. They'll be in the mix all day/night/day, for sure. Odds - 6 to 1.


#23  Heart of Racing Team Aston Martin Vantage GT3 - The Vantage has been knocking on the door of winning its first Daytona 24 for what feels like forever, and now seems to have the speed (qualifying 2nd in class) and the driving talent (a lineup filled with Aston factory rated golds) to get the job done. I fully expect these guys to be on the podium on Sunday afternoon, but will it be the top step? Odds - 5 to 1.

#79 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes AMG GT3 -The GTD-Pro class polesitting car (if only by 0.041 second over the #23 Aston), they have to be considered a slight favorite to win GTD-Pro. Team owner Cooper MacNeil will likely get his couple of hours of driving out of the way fairly early, so that he can hand off to his three Mercedes factory driver teammates, who are all #1 pace drivers. It's not a lock that the #79 Merc will win, but the AMG GT3s have looked awfully strong in the lead up to the race. Odds - 4 to 1.



Another class in the books! Tune in shortly for more previews, and, in a little under 24 hours, the actual race!  

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

2023 Daytona 24 Hours - LMP3 Class Preview

Welcome back to Furious Wedge, the Original Home of Blogathon! We.........lost our domain name, but we're still here! Things didn't work out fantastically with Blogathon last year, due to what I called at the time "A Lot of Things Going On". But we're back to give it another shot this year.


I'm getting a slightly earlier start in the pre-Daytona 24 Hours week than I did last year, so I'll tackle the obligatory class previews individually (as opposed to last year, when I crammed all the prototype classes into one preview....and then everything fell apart completely), but as I'm getting a little later start than I'd have liked (again, there are A Lot of Things Going On yet again this year), it may not be entire in-depth paragraphs for each car. BUT, my always inaccurate odds for each car will be present and accounted for. As usual, I'll take things on in order of "least interesting class (to me)" to "most interesting class (to me)". This year's "least interesting class" is, unsurprisingly, due to its 1) lack of engine and chassis diversity and 2) being the slowest of the three prototype classes, LMP3.

The Field Fillers

#87 Fast MDRacing Duqueine D08 - An "all silver" rated driver lineup, driving for a team making its Daytona 24 Hours debut. That's......not a recipe for a class winner. Odds - 20 to 1.


#43 MRS GT-Racing Ligier JS P320 - Another team making its Daytona 24 Hours debut....and with three drivers aged 21 and under. I don't think so. Odds - 20 to 1.



The Solid Mid-Pack


#38 Performance Tech Motorsports Ligier JS P320 - A longtime LMP2/LMP3 entrant that seems to usually be in the hunt, but with three silvers and one bronze driver in the lineup, this feels like one of the longer shots to win. Odds - 13 to 1.


#17 AWA Duqueine D08 - A team that has the advantage of a gold rated driver to go to for late race heroics, but also has two bronzes in the lineup. Another longer-ish shot. Odds - 12 to 1.


#13 AWA Duqueine D08 - The other side of the AWA garage sports a similar setup, with one gold rated driver, but two silvers and one bronze (as opposed to the #17's one silver and two bronzes). The more likely of the two to find top-in-class success. Odds - 10 to 1.


#33 Sean Creech Motorsport Ligier JS P320 - With multiple overall Daytona 24 champ Joao Barbosa on the driving roster, we are truly headed toward the pointy end of the field. I'd expect the #33 car to be in the thick of things deep into the race, and could easily see it on the podium come Sunday afternoon. Odds - 9 to 1.



The Front Runners


#85 JDC Miller MotorSports Duqueine D08 - Longtime prototype team JDC Miller Motorsports (well known for their "Banana Boat" LMP2 giant killer of a few seasons ago) is entered with a gold, two under-30 silvers and one bronze driver, longtime GT contestant Til Bechtolsheimer. This is easily one of the top-3 combos in the class, and it'd be a disappointment not to have them in the running for a class win. Odds - 6 to 1.


#74 Riley Motorsport Ligier JS P320 - A bunch of guys who have "been here and done that" before, as the two time defending LMP3 class winners. Shouldn't they be the favorites this year? Maybe so..... Odds - 5 to 1.


#36 Andretti Autosport Ligier JS P320 - .....except that the Andretti Autosport team has to be hungry to get their first Daytona 24 class win, and they came with an absolutely STACKED driver lineup (gold driver Gabby Chaves, two super talented under-30 silvers in Dakota Dickerson and Rasmus Lindh, and kinda-sorta-silver Jarrett Andretti). Can they improve their 2nd place in qualifying at the Roar Before to a class win come Sunday afternoon? Odds - 3 to 1.



And with that, we've got our first class preview in the books! Come on back later today/tonight/sometime soon for the rest of the classes!