In our penultimate Le Mans 24 Hour preview we take a look at the ultra competitive LMP2 Prototype category. 2018 looks set to be a fascinating year for the LMP2 category at Le Mans this weekend, with significant changes having taken place amongst the main protagonists that could signal a revival in fortunes of both Ligier and Dallara, two renowned and historic manufacturers that will be looking to bridge a performance deficit to Oreca that was so painfully obvious during the 2017 running of the great endurance race. With new aero regulations applied for this edition of Le Mans, and following the opening test running's, it appears that the changes applied to these two manufacturers may well have worked, although it will take more than outright pace to allow Ligier and Dallara to fight on an even keel with the Oreca teams. Helping to bring the fight to the front of the field will be a number of high profile drivers that prove LMP2 is more than just a support category to its big brother Prototype LMP1's, with the 20 strong grid featuring former Grand Prix drivers the likes of Juan Montoya, Paul di Resta, Pastor Maldonado, Jean Eric-Verne, Jan Lammers, Giedo Van der Garde and Felipe Nasr, big name American drivers Tracy Krone and Ricky Taylor, and even a recent outright Le Mans winner in the form of Loic Duval prove that this is most certainly no supporting category. As always due to the close nature of the cars involved, LMP2 usually offers up a fierce race with any number of teams and drivers in the running for class victory. This year should prove to be no different, several cars already proving to be strong in their respective championships. Of particular note should be the United Autosport Ligier entries, the team now famous for giving Fernando Alonso his endurance racing debut at this seasons Daytona 24 hour. The Anglo American outfit are coming to Le Mans with a much bolstered line up of driving talent, both young and experienced. Bringing into the team fold following an impressive start to life with the squad will be Williams reserve and former Force India driver Paul di Resta, the Scotsman joining the #22 alongside the highly rated Phil Hanson and super quick Portuguese Filipe Albuquerque. All three drivers appear to have enough speed and wisdom to help United Autosports overcome the potential handicap of the Ligier chassis, but will they have enough to overcome the challenge that is a 24 hour race at Le Mans? Still within the United Autosports banner, the second car will be headlined by the ever rapid former Indy 500 winner and Formula One race victor Juan Pablo Montoya, the Columbian showing no signs of slowing down as he approaches his 43rd birthday. Making his Le Mans debut this season, Montoya oozes quality and should very quickly be able to bring himself up to speed with the requirements of competing at Le Mans, helped no doubt by the support offered from United's European Le Mans pairing of Will Owen and Hugo de Sadeleer, both solid if slightly unspectacular drivers in their own right. It should be noted that Montoya, thanks to victory in both the Formula One Monaco Grand Prix and Indy 500, joins Fernando Alonso as another driver with designs on securing that ever so elusive motorsport 'Triple Crown' this coming weekend... Despite the wealth of talent on display throughout the field, one will still have to look hard to see a winner outside of the Oreca camp, with Dragonspeed and Signatech Alpine looking like strong candidates should everything fall into place over the full distance. Frankly, much like every other category, it would be a fool who predicts the winner this weekend, anything could happen... Provisional LMP2 Grid #22. United Autosports - Ligier JS P217-Gibson Phil Hanson, Filipe Albuquerque, Paul di Resta #23. Panis Barthez Competition - Ligier JS P217-Gibson Thimothé Buret, Julien Canal, Will Stevens #25. lgarve Pro Racing - Ligier JS P217-Gibson Mark Patterson, Ate de Jong, Tacksung Kim #26. G-Drive Racing - Oreca 07-Gibson Roman Rusinov, Jean-Éric Vergne, Andrea Pizzitola #28. TDS Racing - Oreca 07-Gibson François Perrodo, Matthieu Vaxivière, Loïc Duval #29. Racing Team Nederland - Dallara P217-Gibson Frits van Eerd, Giedo van der Garde, Jan Lammers #31. DragonSpeed - Oreca 07-Gibson Roberto González, Pastor Maldonado, Nathanaël Berthon #32. United Autosports - Ligier JS P217-Gibson Hugo de Sadeleer, Will Owen, Juan Pablo Montoya #33. Jackie Chan DC Racing - Ligier JS P217-Gibson David Cheng, Nicholas Boulle, Pierre Nicolet #34. Jackie Chan DC Racing - Ligier JS P217-Gibson Ricky Taylor, Côme Ledogar, David Heinemeier Hansson #35. SMP Racing - Dallara P217-Gibson Viktor Shaytar, Harrison Newey, Norman Nato #36. Signatech Alpine Matmut - Alpine A470-Gibson Nicolas Lapierre, André Negrão, Pierre Thiriet #37. Jackie Chan DC Racing - Oreca 07-Gibson Jazeman Jaafar, Nabil Jeffr, Weiron Tan #38. Jackie Chan DC Racing - Oreca 07-Gibson Ho-Pin Tung, Gabriel Aubry, Stéphane Richelmi #39. Graff-SO24 - Oreca 07-Gibson Vincent Capillaire, Jonathan Hirschi, Tristan Gommendy #40. G-Drive Racing - Oreca 07-Gibson James Allen, Enzo Guibbert, Jose Gutiérrez #44. Eurasia Motorsport - Ligier JS P217-Gibson Andrea Bertolini, Niclas Jönsson, Tracy Krohn #47. Cetilar Villorba Corse - Dallara P217-Gibson Roberto Lacorte, Giorgio Sernagiotto, Felipe Nasr #48. IDEC Sport - Oreca 07-Gibson Paul Lafargue, Paul-Loup Chatin, Memo Rojas #50. Larbre Compétition - Ligier JS P217-Gibson Erwin Creed, Romano Ricci, Thomas Dagoneau Don't forget to check out our full Le Mans 2018 LIVE STREAM (more details to follow soon) 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! For more news from the motorsport world be sure to check out the Motorsport Sub Forum here at RaceDepartment - Join in the discussion today! Like what you see here at RaceDepartment? Don't forget to like, subscribe and follow us on social media! RaceDepartment YouTube RaceDepartment Twitter RaceDepartment Facebook RaceDepartment Twitch RaceDepartment Instagram Who do you fancy as the winner of LMP2 this weekend? Can a second division team fight for overall honours, as so nearly happened last season? Let us know in the comments section below!