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!

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