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Featured Le Mans 2017: GTE PRO Preview

Discussion in 'Motorsports' started by Paul Jeffrey, Jun 15, 2017.

  1. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    RaceDepartment News Editor Staff Premium

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    Le Mans 24 Hours 2017 - GTE PRO.jpg
    GT racing synonymous with Le Mans, and the powerful closed top machines of LM GTE Pro looks likely to be another hard fought and close affair.

    Le Mans and GT cars usually attract some of the finest GT drivers in the world, and with the World Endurance Championship featuring an every growing number of works manufacturer supported teams and professional drivers it is looking like 2017 could boast one of the strongest collections of talent seen in LM GTE Pro for several seasons.

    Back for 2017 come defending champions Ford with their stunning GT GTE, however due to injury Frenchman Sebastien Bourdais will not be on duty this weekend, instead finding his car piloted by Brazilian IndyCar driver Tony Kannan, taking his seat alongside LM24 2016 race winning team mates Joey Hand and Dirk Muller. Unfortunately for Ford the 2017 car doesn't appear to hold anywhere near the same advantage as last year, with all four cars running well off the leading pace so far during this event.

    Chevrolet return again in a works capacity with the trusty C7.R, and this season it looks as though both cars have found a little something extra over a single lap and look to be firmly in contention for a shot at winning the race in the hands of both the #63 of Jan Magnussen, Antonio Garcia and Jordan Taylor plus the #64 yellow machine of Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner and Audi LMP1 refugee Marcel Fassler. Both should be strong during the race and it will be particularly fascinating to see how Fassler adapts to racing in the GTE class following several years in prototype cars.

    Of course both Aston Martin, Ferrari and Porsche remain well represented this season, including a Le Mans debut for the potent Porsche 911 RSR cars of the works Porsche GT team, both of which should be close to or setting the pace in class despite the relative youth of the model in GT endurance racing.

    Ones to watch throughout qualification and the race itself could be ex F1 driver Giancarlo Fisichella in his Ferrari 488 GTE, backed up by the exceptionally talented duo of Toni Vilander and ex Audo man Pierre Kaffer, that car should also find itself within striking distance of a good result come race end on Sunday afternoon.

    Although only 13 cars will be taking part in the race, it is not beyond the realms of possibility that anything up to eight of those cars could be considered serious contenders for a run at the win in Le Mans this weekend.

    LM GTE PRO Spotter Guide

    Don't forget to check out our full Le Mans 2017 LIVE STREAM coverage of the big race. Join in and discuss the big event, share the experience with your fellow fans and sit back and relax for 24 hours of endurance sprint racing fun!

    Who do you fancy for the win in LM GTE Pro? Any favourite drivers or teams you will be supporting during the event? Let us know in the comments section below!
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2017
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  2. samcar304

    samcar304
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    Hoping for wins from Nicki Thiim, Darren Turner or Scott Dixon... Although those pesky horses might put a stop to that...
     
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  3. Epistolarius

    Epistolarius
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    I guess the text was written before Q1-3 and means the Le Mans test day times - doesn't apply to the qualifying really. The whole GTE Pro field qualified within 1.756 seconds over the 13.6km track, Ford are right in the mix and are on pace with their times from last year. All four Fords had the biggest improvements in pace compared to the test day over any other GTE cars (around six seconds). Seems like a well balanced and competitive GTE field this year, no matter what Ford were saying.
     
  4. Akra

    Akra
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    Ford were just playing funny buggers with the old sand bags. They spent all week complaining that they were no where near the pace after the boost reductions, and even had 2 of their cars down in the GTE-Am field, 3-4 seconds off the pace. After it became clear that the ACO weren't going to give them some free time, the Ford mechanics built a beach in the paddock out of the amount of sand they removed from the cars, and suddenly they were right on the pace. Every manufacturer in GTE-Pro has a car within a second of the pole time now. That's pretty close.

    I'm hoping for a Corvette win, but I can see AF Corse pulling this one off.
     
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  5. 4 8 15 16 23 42 108

    4 8 15 16 23 42 108
    Only the 5th-most famous race driver from Kerpen Premium

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    I really hope this LM-GTP does not win anything this year. I can't stand their attitude.
     
  6. snyperal

    snyperal
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    Ford are going to win, because of tactics. I want the Astons to win.
     
  7. samcar304

    samcar304
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    You sure you don't wan't Porsche to win? Your Profile pic will get sad :(
     
  8. Azure Flare

    Azure Flare
    Forever a backmarker Premium

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    At least it's more of a road car than the 911 RSR that totally isn't a prototype. Oh, and Ford did win at Daytona and Silverstone this year, so critical research failure on your end.
     
  9. samcar304

    samcar304
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    When it boils down to it, the Porsche is more illegal than the Ford. At least Ford has the GT in production. A mid engined 911 will never hit the streets in the next 5 years