Featured 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans - LMP2 Preview

Discussion in 'Motorsports' started by Paul Jeffrey, Jun 6, 2018.

  1. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief Staff Premium

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    LMP2 Preview - Le Mans 2018.jpg
    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!

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    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!
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018
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  2. Robertinotje

    Robertinotje

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    I have to go for team Holland.;)
     
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  3. gamer19

    gamer19

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    • Beer Beer x 2
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  4. Toonces

    Toonces

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    Sorry, who cares about a bunch of spidery cars that bear no relationship to any road car (now or ever) made by a bunch of manufacturers who have nothing driveable in any showroom (now or ever)? Give me the Blancpain series. Isn't that what Le Mans (and endurance racing in general) was supposed to prove? Who makes the bestest, fastest car you can buy?
     
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  5. samcar304

    samcar304
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    Whilst i like the Oreca 07, the Dallara chassis looks cooler. Rooting for the Dutchies. And anyway i get my 07 fix with the Rebelleion Oreca-TVR's now. Really hope #1 can win it.
     
  6. Ole Marius Myrvold

    Ole Marius Myrvold
    JWB 96-13 Staff

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    Pre-War, yes, kinda. Post-War, basically no. Remember even the original Ford GT ran in Gr.6 Prototypes, which had no requirements for a road legal car being made.
    The Porsche 935 in the 70's was basically a silhouette-style car a bit like DTM these days.
    I'd actually say that there aren't many post-war cars that were "the fastest car you can buy". McLaren in 95 was one, but you'd have to go back to the 60's to make a case of a proper production car before that 95 win.
     
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  7. Hal Burns

    Hal Burns

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    I suspect you would support Jaguar.......
    toonces.jpg
     
  8. airutonpurosuto8912

    airutonpurosuto8912

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    Can't wait to see how Maldonado and Montoya will do at this year's Le Mans.
     
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  9. Brownninja97

    Brownninja97

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    Dallara have a road going car, oreca/alpine were a big part in the development of the a110 and ligier have been making honestly pathetic little road cars for a while. and riley.......we dont talk about them.

    You have no idea what you are on about. lmp2 and blancpain do the same thing, balance the cars and force the drivers and teams to be the deciding factor.

    Lastly le mans is about reliability else porsche and audi would have way fewer victories.
     
  10. James Egan

    James Egan

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    Former Williams reserve*
     
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  11. Sky

    Sky
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    dallara brought out a road car this year:
    [​IMG]

    ligier
    now:

    [​IMG]

    ever:
    [​IMG]

    alpine
    now:
    [​IMG]

    ever:
    [​IMG]
     
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  12. Toonces

    Toonces

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    About as much a road car as Dallara's saucy little FX/17:
    Dallarra FX17.jpg
    Fine, then; let Dallara race their road car. There's a reason why the Blancpain series is thriving and the Automobile Club de l'Ouest is forever teetering on the brink of insolvency.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
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  13. Sky

    Sky
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    no thats not how it works. i proved your dumb statement dumb. so you don't get to move the goalposts. :p
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
  14. 2112

    2112

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    Well...If you are not interested in Le Mans then why even post in this thread other than to call attention to yourself, and your snobbery?

    There are those of us who enjoy the types of cars racing at Le Mans, like the history of the race no matter the cars driven, and have not ensconced ourselves into following one small niche of sports car racing. A niche of racing that features road cars that the majority have no hope of being able to afford unless we sell our children into slavery.

    Talk about racing for the masses, huh?

    Ever wonder what you could have done with the time you spent in this thread? You could have been watching Blancpain re-runs.

    Enjoy the Blancpain races this weekend while you do everything under the sun to avoid watching even one minute of the 24.
     
  15. Toonces

    Toonces

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    I'd watch Le Mans just to see how some of my favs (like Alonso) fare, but the 24-hour's popularity is so impoverished here in the U.S. that it's not even on TV any more (unless you count the 'Velocity' channel...which I don't).
     
  16. RobertGracie

    RobertGracie

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    Just try and remember this, Pastor Maldonado is in this series so brace for colossal crashes and also Jenson Button is there too!
     
  17. 2112

    2112

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    Dunno what to tell you. I watch for the race. I have done so for years and have never found it to not meet my expectations of entertainment.

    You may not count Velocity as a channel but then you would be only harming your only way of watching it on TV. I do count Velocity as a channel and plan on tuning to it to watch the race.

    Not gonna let any biases get in the way of watching a race such as this.
     
  18. Toonces

    Toonces

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    Final thoughts: The ACO is also dissatisfied with the LMP1 & 2 classes, hence its return to hypercars as the top class beginning in 2019/2020. As for me, I'm happy that Kunos is adopting Blancpain exclusively for its forthcoming AC Competitzione. And since Blancpain is virtually unobtainable over here (re-runs chopped up like so much cale), I'd rather be running it--even if only virtually--than watching it. Bring it!
     
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