- Jun 5, 2009
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!