81st 24 Hours of Le Mans: The All-Inclusive Megaguide

This is the big one. This is what we motorsport enthusiasts live for. This is the 24 Hours of Le Mans. 89 years after the first, all eyes turn to the Pays De La Loire region of France for the 81st running of the 24 hour classic that defines endurance motor racing. What more needs be said? Well, quite a lot actually, and this guide's here to help you get acquainted with this year's edition of the legendary event.

The Contenders

Below is a car-by-car look at every single entry in the field by each member of our analyst panel.

Each car's chassis, engine (for LMP entries), driver lineup and tire manufacturer is listed. Below that, we've given predictions as to where we think each car will finish (except Leo Parente, who doesn't do that sort of thing) alongside an overview of each class.

Each driver has been given a rating, from Bronze to Gold, by the FIA that, at least to some extent, represents their abilities and what cars they are able to drive. The guide is as follows:

Bronze: A young inexperienced amateur. Can run LMP2 or GTE-Am, but not GTE-Pro or LMP1.

Silver: A more experienced amateur. Can run in any class desired.

Gold: A "normal" professional who does not have factory experience or experience in the top class of another series.

Platinum: A professional who has factory experience or experience in the top class of another series.

LMP1

The top class of international sports car racing. Intended for all-professional factory organizations like those run by Audi and Toyota.

Porsche9146’s thoughts on the class: Toyota beat Audi a few times during last year’s FIA WEC and even competed for the lead at Le Mans before things started to unravel. However, they don’t seem nearly as close in pace this time around, and for now it looks to be yet another Audi runaway in the top class…

Jeremy Scott’s thoughts on the class: Audi, Audi, Audi. That’s probably your first thought, right? My thought is yes, but however, don’t count out Toyota. They may not be able to be up to a Peugeot level, but in the end, expect them to give Audi all they can handle for at least the first quarter of the race, maybe more.

Leo Parente’s thoughts on the class:This race is actually very simple – Audi Speed vs Toyota Economy. But, it’s all complicated by all the unknown facts that still exist because - Toyota has only raced the 2013 car once [at Spa and it broke], Audi may have been sandbagging vs Toyota at Spa [it may be faster still]. The rules have tipped in Toyota favor for fewer pitstops. Can Audi go fast-ER enough on track to stay ahead?

The weather changes all that math – And everyone expects Rain. Maybe A LOT. Toyota seems to be better on its tire wear. And the final X factor? – Endurance. Audi knows how to finish 24hrs. Rumor is Toyota still has not completed a twice-round-the-clock simulation without problems.

See above. As to specific car? In the Audi camp, this will be THE defining Young Guns vs Old Salt race. Potential 3-straight LM24 for the kids, the 3rd LM24 for McNish. The Team Leadership Baton gets passed OR retained.

One of these teams will crack [it may only be a slight bobble to make the difference]. McNish has crashed in the last 2 LM24. I can’t imagine 3, I can’t imagine anyone wanting this win more.

That said IF Toyota, Car #8 and ‘Ant’ Davidson’s revenge. For last year’s crash and his Peugeot late race mega laps trying to chase down the Audi and make up for the team / tire troubles.

Audi the favorite, Toyota a talented, mercurial underdog.

Shea Holbrook’s thoughts on the class: Despite Toyota Racings strong efforts I believe we’ll be seeing yet again an Audi 1-2 maybe even 1-2-3 domination. The Sebring 12 Hour was as if it was a prelim to the 24 Hours of Le Mans for Audi Sport. Audi’s aggressive program and driver lineups are just going to be difficult to beat. I think we’ll see Audi 1-2 with Mcnish/Kristensen/Duval for the win and possibly a Toyota for third and I’d love to see Prost/Jani/Heidfeld in the Rebellion Racing Lola for a Top 5 finish. To beat Audi it’s going to take staying on the lead lap and just simply hunting them down making one less mistake and/or no mistakes because let’s face it, Audi doesn’t make many. Don’t get me wrong, I like Audi but I’d LOVE to see a scrabble for the finish!

Nobody’s thoughts on the class: LMP1 will obviously be a battle between Toyota and Audi, with the 3 privateer cars hoping for a massive 5-car incident. Toyota should be able to make it 2 laps longer per stint due to their bigger fuel tank and Audi’s increased consumption. Audi has said that they need to be 1.5 seconds per lap faster to make up for the estimated 7 extra pit stops they will have to make. During the third Qualifying session, the only in which Toyota took off their sandbags, the fastest Audi led the fastest Toyota by 3 seconds, but the fastest Toyota was faster than the slowest Audi.

McNewbie’s thoughts on the class: I'm glad that Toyota has made the competition more interesting in LMP1, but Audi are still the kings of endurance racing. Look for a hat trick from the team of Lotterer, Fassler, and Treloyer, followed closely by their teammates in the number 2 car. While I think Toyota's sold and consistent lineups will help them, I'm going to go with an all Audi podium.

1 – Audi Sport Team Joest

81st 24 Hours of Le Mans: The All-Inclusive Megaguide

Andre Lotterer (Platinum) – Marcel Fassler (Platinum) – Benoit Treluyer (Platinum)

Chassis: Audi R18 E-Tron Quattro – Engine: Audi Twin Turbo V6 (Diesel) – Tires: Michelin – Hybrid System: Flywheel (powers front wheels)

Porsche9146’s Prediction: 1st. Hard to deny the winners the last two years around, particularly with the classic Capello/Kristensen/McNish trio now missing one of its members.

Jeremy Scott’s Prediction: 2nd. You’re better off throwing darts at a board than picking a winner in LMP1, its wide open…amongst the three Audi’s.

Shea Holbrook’s Prediction: 2nd. I love to see the similarities and differences between Audi Sport strategies. I don’t see Lotterer/Fassler/Treluyer veering far from what they know works best but will be interesting to see Kristensen/Duval/McNish approach.

Nobody’s Prediction: 2nd

McNewbie’s Prediction: First in class, first overall, and three years in a row, these are the guys to beat.

81st 24 Hours of Le Mans: The All-Inclusive Megaguide

2 – Audi Sport Team Joest

Tom Kristensen (Platinum) – Loic Duval (Platinum) – Allan McNish (Platinum)

Chassis: Audi R18 E-Tron Quattro – Engine: Audi Twin Turbo V6 (Diesel) – Tires: Michelin – Hybrid System: Flywheel (powers front wheels)

Porsche9146’s Prediction: 2nd. Even without Rinaldo Capello, McNish and Kristensen are still Le Mans masters, and Duval’s no slouch himself! However, I’m struggling to imagine this car keeping up with the outright pace of the #1 in the long run.

Jeremy Scott’s Prediction: 1st. TK & McNish know what to do, but I think this will be Loic Duval’s coming out party.

Shea Holbrook’s Prediction: 1st

Nobody’s Prediction: 1st. Tom Kristensen is Mr. Le Mans. How can I pick against that?

McNewbie’s Prediction: An outstanding team, but I will place them second in class and overall.

3 – Audi Sport Team Joest

81st 24 Hours of Le Mans: The All-Inclusive Megaguide

Marc Gene (Platinum) – Lucas Di Grassi (Platinum) – Oliver Jarvis (Platinum)

Chassis: Audi R18 E-Tron Quattro – Engine: Audi Twin Turbo V6 (Diesel) – Tires: Michelin – Hybrid System: Flywheel (powers front wheels)

Porsche9146’s Prediction: 5th. Di Grassi and Jarvis simply aren’t ready to compete with the stronger Audi trios and their positioning as the third car of a three car team will lead to them being thrown to the wolves of experimentation if Toyota is still close by the time night falls.

Jeremy Scott’s Prediction: 4th

Shea Holbrook’s Prediction: 4th

Nobody’s Prediction: 4th. The 3 was slower than the 7 Toyota during Q3, and, like Porsche said, they’ll be the guinea pigs when the rain comes (more on that later).

McNewbie’s Prediction: I have a sweat mustache going as I write this, but I’m going with the third Audi team to round off an all Audi podium at LeMans. I’m just not comfortable with the Toyotas in practice and qualifying so far.

81st 24 Hours of Le Mans: The All-Inclusive Megaguide

7 – Toyota Motorsports Group

Alexander Wurz (Platinum) – Nicolas Lapierre (Platinum) – Kazuki Nakajima (Platinum)

Chassis: Toyota TS030 – Engine: Toyota V8 – Tires: Michelin – Hybrid System: Capacitor (powers rear wheels)

Porsche9146’s Prediction: 3rd. Not only is the driver’s lineup more experienced with the TS030 (having run every race since Le Mans last year versus just three for the drivers of the second car), the #7 car has the advantage of Toyota’s golden son, Kazuki Nakajima, behind the wheel, which will give the car implied #1 car status.

Jeremy Scott’s Prediction: 5th. Even with Wurz & Nakajima, it’s still a close competition for the hybrids.

Shea Holbrook’s Prediction: 3rd

Nobody’s Prediction: 3rd

McNewbie’s Prediction: Fourth in class. If Audi has the slightest misstep, this team will be on the podium in third.

8 – Toyota Motorsports Group

81st 24 Hours of Le Mans: The All-Inclusive Megaguide

Anthony Davidson (Platinum) – Sebastian Buemi (Platinum) – Stephane Sarrazin (Platinum)

Chassis: Toyota TS030 – Engine: Toyota V8 – Tires: Michelin – Hybrid System: Capacitor (powers rear wheels)

Porsche9146’s Prediction: 4th.

Jeremy Scott’s Prediction: 3rd. Buemi has the speed; Davidson and Sarrazin have the drive. If any of the top two Audi’s have issues during the race, expect these guys to be salivating at the mouth for the lead.

Shea Holbrook’s Prediction: 6th

Nobody’s Prediction: 5th

McNewbie’s Prediction: 5th.

12 – Rebellion Racing

81st 24 Hours of Le Mans: The All-Inclusive Megaguide

Nick Heidfeld (Platinum) – Nicholas Prost (Platinum) – Neel Jani (Platinum)

Chassis: Lola B12/60 – Engine: Toyota V8 – Tires: Michelin

Porsche9146’s Prediction: 6th. What a lineup! Too bad private teams simply cannot compete with the factory organizations under today’s rulebook…

Jeremy Scott’s Prediction: 6th. Ladies & Gentlemen, I present to you your petrol LMP1 Champions at Le Mans.

Shea Holbrook’s Prediction: 5th

Nobody’s Prediction: 6th. Better drivers than its teammate, and a better car than Strakka.

McNewbie’s Prediction: What an outstanding lineup and one of my favorite privateer teams. Welcome to the party and enjoy your well-deserved and respectable 6th place finish.

13 – Rebellion Racing

81st 24 Hours of Le Mans: The All-Inclusive Megaguide

Mathias Beche (Platinum) – Andrea Belicchi (Platinum) – Congfu “Frankie” Cheng (Gold)

Chassis: Lola B12/60 – Engine: Toyota V8 – Tires: Michelin

Porsche9146’s Prediction: 7th.

Jeremy Scott’s Prediction: 8th

Shea Holbrook’s Prediction: 7th

Nobody’s Prediction: 7th

McNewbie’s Prediction: 7th

21 – Strakka Racing

81st 24 Hours of Le Mans: The All-Inclusive Megaguide

Danny Watts (Platinum) – Jonny Kane (Platinum) – Nick Leventis (Silver)

Chassis: HPD ARX-03a – Engine: Honda Performance Development V8 – Tires: Michelin

Porsche9146’s Prediction: 8th.

Jeremy Scott’s Prediction: 7th.

hea Holbrook’s Prediction: 8th

Nobody’s Prediction: 8th

McNewbie’s Prediction: 8th

LMP2

The second tier prototype class, designed for cost capped, privately built and owned cars powered by production based engines. Requires at least one Silver or Bronze driver per team.

Porsche9146’s thoughts on the class: 22 entries, most of them strong. What more can you ask for from a sports car class? Anyone who’s got two professionals and an HPD, a Zytek, an Oreca or an OnRoak built Morgan has a shot!

Jeremy Scott’s thoughts on the class: Two words: wide open. But also, let’s hope that the Lotus having their cars seized, then brought back isn’t a distraction to this class.

Leo Parente’s thoughts on the class: If Nissan does not win the class, then my faith in mathematics and the law of averages are suspect. 15 of the 22 cars, 11 of the Top 12 qualifiers.

OAK, Delta-ADR [2013 WEC race winner already], Pecom [really an AF Corse program and they know endurance racing], Alpine Signatech are strong. Greaves is lurking.

Lotus and Level 5 lack experience, the Lolas are old.

Honestly, if the AM drivers don’t screw it up, this class should get a lot of attention and be great racing because it is so close.

You have to go 10 cars deep to get the same 4 second gap between Audi and Toyota in P1.

Shea Holbrook’s thoughts on the class: LMP2 is alive! With a field of 22 entries this class will have a lot of action. OAK Racing isn’t just trying to win the popularity contest this year. OAK has yet to win a WEC and with their impressive lineup (Pla/Heinemeier-Hansson/Brundle) I believe this could be the year for them especially after their solid practice and qualifying. Although, the OAK sister car did encounter tire issues. If Pla/Heinemeier-Hansson/Brundle can stay on the lead lap and maintain a good racecar I absolutely see them taking a win. Although, I’m definitely sadden about Tucker/Franchitti/Briscoe in the Level 5 Motorsports HPD ARX-03b. They are a better team than what they show on paper and one of my personal favorites but since they seem to be lacking the pace needed to run upfront I don’t see a podium in their future. On the other hand, Rusinov/Martin/Conway in the G-Drive Racing Oreca 03-Nissan might give OAK Racing a run. I’m thinking we’re going to see a fight for the top step between these two teams.

Nobody’s thoughts on the class: The LMP2 field takes up 21 of the 56 garages, and of those 21, 15 are powered by Nissan. With so many cars, there should be some really good racing, especially with so many cars running the same engine. There was some drama earlier with the Lotus/Kodewa team, but it looks like that has been resolved enough to let both cars race.

McNewbie’s thoughts on the class: The largest class can be a combination of both exciting and challenging to watch. It is one of my favorite classes to keep track of a few up and coming drivers in. I’m looking forward to watching performances by both Jann Mardenborough, Maxime Martin, and others. If it rains, look for another young master performance by Mad Max on par to his recent stint at the Nurburgring 24.

24 – OAK Racing

81st 24 Hours of Le Mans: The All-Inclusive Megaguide

Olivier Pla (Platinum) – David Heinemeier-Hansson (Silver) – Alex Brundle (Gold)

Chassis: Morgan (OnRoak) – Engine: Nissan V8(Oreca prepared) – Tires: Dunlop

Porsche9146’s Prediction: 3rd. Heinemeier-Hansson is perhaps the best Amateur in the field and OAK’s clearly put most of their hope in this car.

Jeremy Scott’s Prediction: 1st. DHH showed how fast he was last year, going toe-to-toe with the top P1 & P2 racers in ALMS last year, and it appears that his move to the WEC this year was a smart one. Alex Brundle has dad Martin to lean on this year, and Oliver Pla is fast.

Shea Holbrook’s Prediction: 1st

Nobody’s Prediction: 1st. DHH is a pretty good amateur driver and the Morgan chassis has been pretty quick.

McNewbie’s Prediction: 1st in class.

25 – Delta-ADR

81st 24 Hours of Le Mans: The All-Inclusive Megaguide

Tor Graves (Silver) – Shinji Nakano (Platinum) – Archie Hamilton (Silver)

Chassis: Oreca 03 – Engine: Nissan V8 (Oreca prepared) – Tires: Dunlop

Porsche9146’s Prediction: 8th

Jeremy Scott’s Prediction: 15th

Shea Holbrook’s Prediction: 5th

Nobody’s Prediction: 9th

McNewbie’s Prediction: 4th

26 – G-Drive Racing

81st 24 Hours of Le Mans: The All-Inclusive Megaguide

Roman Rusinov (Silver) – John Martin (Platinum) – Mike Conway (Platinum)

Chassis: Oreca 03 – Engine: Nissan V8 (Oreca prepared) – Tires: Dunlop

Porsche9146’s Prediction: 9th

Jeremy Scott’s Prediction: 16th

Shea Holbrook’s Prediction: 2nd

Nobody’s Prediction: 6th

McNewbie’s Prediction: 2nd

28 – Gulf Racing Middle East

81st 24 Hours of Le Mans: The All-Inclusive Megaguide

Fabien Giriox (Silver) – Philippe Haezbrouck (Silver) – Keiko Ihara (Silver)

Chassis: Lola B12/80 – Engine: Nissan V8 (Oreca prepared) – Tires: Dunlop

Porsche9146’s Prediction: 21st. Perhaps the worst team in the FIA WEC last year. Responsible for multiple safety cars in last year’s race. No professionals in the lineup. Don’t expect much pace from this rather good looking entry.

Jeremy Scott’s Prediction: 17th

Shea Holbrook’s Prediction: 19th

Nobody’s Prediction: 19th

McNewbie’s Prediction:20th

30 – HVM Status GP

81st 24 Hours of Le Mans: The All-Inclusive Megaguide

Johnny Mowlem (Platinum) – Tony Burgess (Silver) – Jonathan Hirschi (Silver)

Chassis: Lola B12/80 – Engine: BMW V8 (Judd prepared) – Tires: Dunlop

Porsche9146’s Prediction: 13th

Jeremy Scott’s Prediction: 18th

Shea Holbrook’s Prediction: 20th

Nobody’s Prediction: 12th

McNewbie’s Prediction: 19th

31 – Lotus LMP2 (Kodewa)

81st 24 Hours of Le Mans: The All-Inclusive Megaguide

Kevin Weeda (Bronze) – James Rossiter (Platinum) – Christophe Bouchut (Platinum)

Chassis: Lotus T128 (Addess AG) – Engine: BMW V8 (Judd prepared, Praga branded) – Tires: Dunlop

Porsche9146’s Prediction: 18th. Addess made the T128 for Lotus as a Lotus, so that’s a big improvement on just rebranding a Lola, but it’s still not exactly a proper Lotus program. Of course, Addess and Kodewa are now suing one another, so I guess that’s pretty “Lotus”.

Jeremy Scott’s Prediction: 14th

Shea Holbrook’s Prediction: 17th

Nobody’s Prediction: 8th

McNewbie’s Prediction:

32 – Lotus LMP2 (Kodewa)

81st 24 Hours of Le Mans: The All-Inclusive Megaguide

Thomas Holzer (Silver) – Dominik Kraihamer (Gold) – Jan Charouz (Gold)

Chassis: Lotus T128 (Addess AG) – Engine: BMW V8 (Judd prepared, Praga branded) – Tires: Dunlop

Porsche9146’s Prediction: 17th. No, I don’t know what Praga is either, nor do I know why Jan Charouz seems to have brought them as a sponsor of the engine, nor do I know why Judd lets people buy naming rights to their engines.

Jeremy Scott’s Prediction: 13th

Shea Holbrook’s Prediction: 16th

Nobody’s Prediction: 10th

McNewbie’s Prediction:18th

33 – Level 5 Motorsports

81st 24 Hours of Le Mans: The All-Inclusive Megaguide

Scott Tucker (Silver) – Marino Franchitti (Gold) – Ryan Briscoe (Platinum)

Chassis: HPD ARX-03b – Engine: Honda Performance Development V6 – Tires: Michelin

Porsche9146’s Prediction: 2nd. Level 5 is now the only team to enter last year’s LMP2 winning car, the HPD ARX-03b. Couple that with a winning IndyCar driver in Ryan Briscoe and you’ve got quite the group.

Jeremy Scott’s Prediction: 2nd. INDYCAR’s loss is Sports Car’s gain. Briscoe is quick with a prototype, and Marino is one of the United States’ top prototype racers (yes I know he’s Scottish, but work with me…). Plus, you add Scott Tucker as the Silver driver, who in his own right is about as quick as any pro, and you have the makings for a sure fire bet for the podium. Plus, @jvbraun isn’t too bad as race engineer. Worth a follow.

Shea Holbrook’s Prediction: 15th

Nobody’s Prediction: 3rd

McNewbie’s Prediction:5th

34 – Race Performance

81st 24 Hours of Le Mans: The All-Inclusive Megaguide

Michel Frey (Silver) – Patric Niederhauser (Gold) – Jeroen Bleekemolen (Platinum)

Chassis: Oreca 03 – Engine: BMW V8 (Judd prepared) – Tires: Dunlop

Porsche9146’s Prediction: 12th

Jeremy Scott’s Prediction: 7th

Shea Holbrook’s Prediction: 12th

Nobody’s Prediction: 4th

McNewbie’s Prediction:17th

35 – OAK Racing

81st 24 Hours of Le Mans: The All-Inclusive Megaguide

Bertrand Baguette (Platinum) – Ricardo Gonzalez (Silver) – Martin Plowman (Gold)

Chassis: Morgan (OnRoak) – Engine: Nissan V8 (Oreca prepared) – Tires: Dunlop

Porsche9146’s Prediction: 4th. While not as strong as the #24, this is also a very strong lineup and OAK’s second best shot at the win.

Jeremy Scott’s Prediction: 3rd. Two former INDYCAR racers pair up with Ricardo Gonzalez. Plowey proved he can be quick, and Baguette also can wheel a P2 car around.

Shea Holbrook’s Prediction: 9th

Nobody’s Prediction: 2nd. Same quick car as the 24, but slightly slower drivers.

McNewbie’s Prediction: 3rd

36 – Signatech Alpine

81st 24 Hours of Le Mans: The All-Inclusive Megaguide

Nelson Panciatici (Platinum) – Pierre Ragues (Silver) – Tristan Gommendy (Platinum)

Chassis: Alpine (Oreca 03) – Engine: Nissan V8 (Oreca prepared) – Tires: Michelin

Porsche9146’s Prediction: 7th. It may not be a real Alpine, but it’s still a very real Signatech entry and that’s good enough.

Jeremy Scott’s Prediction: 12th

Shea Holbrook’s Prediction: 6th

Nobody’s Prediction: 7th

McNewbie’s Prediction:10th

38 – Jota Sport

81st 24 Hours of Le Mans: The All-Inclusive Megaguide

Simon Dolan (Silver) – Oliver Turvey (Platinum) – Lucas Luhr (Platinum)

Chassis: Zytek Z11SN – Engine: Nissan V8 (Zytek prepared) – Tires: Dunlop

Porsche9146’s Prediction: 1st. Jota was a strong team last year, and with Lucas Luhr in the lineup they’re stronger than ever. Add in the impressive Zytek chassis and you have a car that certainly looks good, both figuratively and literally.

Jeremy Scott’s Prediction: 6th

Shea Holbrook’s Prediction: 3rd

Nobody’s Prediction: 5th

McNewbie’s Prediction: 6th

39 – DKR Engineering

(no photo available)

Olivier Porta (Silver) – Stephane Raffin (Bronze) – Romain Brandela (Bronze)

Chassis: Lola B11/40 – Engine: BMW V8 (Judd prepared) – Tires: Dunlop

Porsche9146’s Prediction: 19th. Old car, all-amateur lineup and the slowest active engine in the class. Still better than Gulf Racing Middle East and any team that hires Rodin Younessi.

Jeremy Scott’s Prediction: 11th.

Shea Holbrook’s Prediction: 21st

Nobody’s Prediction: 17th

McNewbie’s Prediction: 16th

40 – Boutsen Ginion Racing

81st 24 Hours of Le Mans: The All-Inclusive Megaguide

Matt Downs (Silver) – Thomas Dagoneau (Bronze) – Rodin Younessi (Silver)

Chassis: Oreca 03 – Engine: Nissan V8 (Oreca prepared) – Tires: Dunlop

Porsche9146’s Prediction: 22nd and last. Rodin Younessi is not good at professional racing, and that cannot be stressed enough. He was a danger on track in Firestone Indy Lights and I fear he’ll be a danger on track again this weekend.

Jeremy Scott’s Prediction: 19th

Shea Holbrook’s Prediction: 22nd

Nobody’s Prediction: 21st

McNewbie’s Prediction: 21st

41 – Greaves Motorsport

81st 24 Hours of Le Mans: The All-Inclusive Megaguide

Eric Lux (Silver) – Alexander Rossi (Platinum) – Thomas Kimber-Smith (Gold)

Chassis: Zytek Z11SN – Engine: Nissan V8 (Zytek prepared) – Tires: Dunlop

Porsche9146’s Prediction: 10th. This car takes “automaker putting their name on a car that they have nothing to do with” to a whole new level, as they haven’t rehomologated the entry and, thus, this is still a Zytek Z11SN in every way. Caterham’s GP2 ace Alex Rossi should be a big boon to the program, however.

Jeremy Scott’s Prediction: 4th. Lux & Rossi are quick, and TKS is the defending LMP2 Champion with Starworks. No doubt they’ll be quick, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them on the podium either.

Shea Holbrook’s Prediction: 13th

Nobody’s Prediction: 11th

McNewbie’s Prediction: 11th

42 – Greaves Motorsport

81st 24 Hours of Le Mans: The All-Inclusive Megaguide

Jann Mardenborough (Silver) – Lucas Ordonez (Gold) – Michael Krumm (Platinum)

Chassis: Zytek Z11SN – Engine: Nissan V8 (Zytek prepared) – Tires: Dunlop

Porsche9146’s Prediction: 14th. Amazing that the weak link of this car is not GT Academy graduate Lucas Ordonez but instead veteran Michael Krumm.

Jeremy Scott’s Prediction: 9th

Shea Holbrook’s Prediction: 14th

Nobody’s Prediction: 13th

McNewbie’s Prediction:12th

43 – Morand Racing

81st 24 Hours of Le Mans: The All-Inclusive Megaguide

Natacha Gatchnang (Silver) – Franck Mailleux (Gold) – Oliver Lombard (Silver)

Chassis: Morgan (OnRoak) – Engine: BMW V8 (Judd prepared) – Tires: Dunlop

Porsche9146’s Prediction: 11th. Held back by the Judd powerplant.

Jeremy Scott’s Prediction: 10th

Shea Holbrook’s Prediction: 4th

Nobody’s Prediction: 20th

McNewbie’s Prediction: 13th

45 – OAK Racing

81st 24 Hours of Le Mans: The All-Inclusive Megaguide

Jacques Nicolet (Silver) – Jean-Marc Merlin (Bronze) – Philippe Mondolo (Bronze)

Chassis: Morgan (OnRoak) – Engine BMW V8 (Judd prepared) – Tires: Dunlop

Porsche9146’s Prediction: 16th. Even with an all amateur lineup and Judd power, it’s still an OAK Racing entry.

Jeremy Scott’s Prediction: 9th

Shea Holbrook’s Prediction: 18th

Nobody’s Prediction: 18th. All-gentlemen drivers, but the paint scheme could scare teams out of the way.

McNewbie’s Prediction: 15th

46 – Thiriet by TDS Racing

81st 24 Hours of Le Mans: The All-Inclusive Megaguide

Pierre Thiriet (Silver) – Ludovic Badey (Silver) – Maxime Martin (Platinum)

Chassis: Oreca 03 – Engine: Nissan V8 (Oreca prepared) – Tires: Dunlop

Porsche9146’s Prediction: 15th

Jeremy Scott’s Prediction: 8th

Shea Holbrook’s Prediction: 11th

Nobody’s Prediction: 15th

McNewbie’s Prediction: 8th

47 – KCMG

81st 24 Hours of Le Mans: The All-Inclusive Megaguide

Alexandre Imperatori (Gold) – Ho-Pin Tung (Gold) – Matthew Howson (Silver)

Chassis: Morgan (OnRoak) – Engine: Nissan V8 (Oreca prepared) – Tires: Michelin

Porsche9146’s Prediction: 20th. Fun fact on the tub used by this team: it was supposed to be used by Conquest racing in the full ALMS season, but OnRoak decided they’d rather see it used in Asia for a series that may or may not happen later this year, so it was sold to KCMG. Ho-Pin Tung is the kind of guy that’s bounced around so many series that you’d think he has an AutoGP start or two, but sadly he doesn’t.

Jeremy Scott’s Prediction: 18th

Shea Holbrook’s Prediction: 7th

Nobody’s Prediction: 14th

McNewbie’s Prediction: 14th

48 – Murphy Prototypes

81st 24 Hours of Le Mans: The All-Inclusive Megaguide

Brendan Hartley (Platinum) – Karun Chandok (Platinum) – Mark Patterson (Bronze)

Chassis: Oreca 03 – Engine: Nissan V8 (Oreca prepared) – Tires: Dunlop

Porsche9146’s Prediction: 6th. This time last year I’d have pointed out that Chandok’s F1 record is less-than-stellar, but he was competent in the JRM LMP1 entry last year and should be again this year. Murphy lead last year, so with Chandok not acting as a detriment a solid finish is very much possible.

Jeremy Scott’s Prediction: 5th. Hartley jumped into a DP with Scott Mayer and darn near won his first race at COTA with Starworks. Chandok will be a great compliment to Hartley, and Patterson will keep up the pace. Two Platinums and a Bronze? I like their chances.

Shea Holbrook’s Prediction: 8th

Nobody’s Prediction: 13th

McNewbie’s Prediction: 10th

49 – Pecom Racing

81st 24 Hours of Le Mans: The All-Inclusive Megaguide

Luis Perez-Companc (Silver) – Pierre Kaffer (Platinum) – Nicolas Minassian (Platinum)

Chassis: Oreca 03 – Engine: Nissan V8 (Oreca prepared) – Tires: Michelin

Porsche9146’s Prediction: 5th. Pecom is essentially AF Corse’s LMP2 program and that’s all one really needs to hear to know that they’re going to be in the mix late.

Jeremy Scott’s Prediction: 7th

Shea Holbrook’s Prediction: 10th

Nobody’s Prediction: 16th

McNewbie’s Prediction: 9th

GTE-Pro

The top GT category in sports car racing. Intended for brand new cars run by factory and factory-esque teams with large budgets and all-professional lineups.

Porsche9146’s thoughts on the class: The headline of the 2013 GTE-Pro battle is the struggle of Corvette Racing, who’s been the dominating force in every GT class they’ve contested at one point or another but doesn’t seem to yet have the pace to win. This, alongside struggles for SRT Motorsports, leaves a potential 7 way battle between factory cars from Aston Martin, Porsche and Ferrari.

Jeremy Scott’s thoughts on the class: Viper is back, Auberlen & Dalla Lana are paired with Lamy at Aston Martin, and Porsche has filled their cars to the brim with talent. It’s a who’s who of motorsports in GTE-Pro, and I think we’re looking for a great race for the top of this podium.

Leo Parente’s thoughts on the class: What a sandbagging festival of BS Test Day and Practice have been! Who didn’t suspect Ferrari to still be LM24 quick, Porsche to NOT launch a fast car?

Aston Martin is still in the driver’s seat in this class. For whatever reasons, great 2013 engineering tweaks [love the wide sidepods] or the best BoP in the class…….

Corvette admitted they are a bit lost with “no experience” on the WEC Michelin Tires vs their ALMS work. Maybe they should have taken a page from Mercedes Pirelli and tested? Either way what they lack in speed now, they will find over the race AND are great at race strategy, adaptability of car to conditions. BUT, in recent years they play like the NFL NE Patriots – great but too many little mistakes to win. 50 / 50 they pull off an LM24 win in 2013.

Porsche just flat out scary and check Manthey’s record and 24hr races [eg; Nurburgring?] Let the Porsche / Ferrari / AM dogfight begin.

Viper. Love the GT3 announcement. Hate the current state of the GTE program. This could be a long 24hours of mirror-driving and garage visits.

FYI - WEC 2013 to date - 1 win for Ferrari, 1 win for Aston

Shea Holbrook’s thoughts on the class: In all honestly, I think the GTE-Pro class is going to be an Aston Martin sweep. They’ve proven to be strong all season and with Bell/Makowiecki/Senna piloting I see them being hard to beat. Teammates Turner/Mucke/Dumbreck qualified P2 therefore a 1-2 finish seems to be extremely likely. AF Corse has a dominating lineup with Bruni/Fisichella/Malucelli in the Ferrari 458 Italia although they may not have the overall speed in comparison to the Aston Martins they will absolutely have the pace needed to finish on the podium. I was surprised to see Corvette qualifying outside of the Top 10 but we must not count them out. If they’re flawless for 24 hours we could see a Top 5 from one of the two factory teams.

Nobody’s thoughts on the class: GTE-Pro is the most diverse class, with front-engined V8s and V10s, mid-engined V8s, and rear-engined flat 6s. SRT and factory Porsche are both rookies at Le Mans with new cars, so they probably won’t win. Corvette will try to send the C6.R off in a big way with a win, but they face tough competition from AF Corse and Aston Martin.

McNewbie’s thoughts on the class: My favorite class to watch this year. Look for the battle of the Detroit brands to win hearts and minds. The Vipers in their first full season of competition have performed admirably. They’re not quite at championship level performances, but everyone should watch their backs. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Aston Martins do better than I predict.

51 – AF Corse

81st 24 Hours of Le Mans: The All-Inclusive Megaguide

Gianmaria Bruni (Platinum) – Giancarlo Fisichella (Platinum) – Matteo Malucelli (Gold)

Car: Ferrari 458 GTE – Tires: Michelin

Porsche9146’s Prediction: 1st. When Risi Competizione started to fall apart, AF Corse cemented themselves as the kings of racing Ferraris, and even among their seven car fleet, the 51 stands out as a king of kings. Corvette and SRT struggling in qualifying has made what could potentially be a clear path at victory for the #51.

Jeremy Scott’s Prediction: 9th

Shea Holbrook’s Prediction: 3rd

Nobody’s Prediction: 4th

McNewbie’s Prediction: 9th

53 – SRT Motorsports

81st 24 Hours of Le Mans: The All-Inclusive Megaguide

Ryan Dalziel (Platinum) – Dominik Farnbacher (Gold) – Marc Goosens (Platinum)

Car: SRT Viper GTS-R – Tires: Michelin

Porsche9146’s Prediction: 11th

Jeremy Scott’s Prediction: 4th. Fellow Blackhawks fan, Peter Baron, will assist in calling strategy for the Vipers this weekend. If the Hawks can win Saturday (or Sunday morning in France), expect Baron to steer them to a win. Just don’t expect much from him during the game.

Shea Holbrook’s Prediction: 10th

Nobody’s Prediction: 7th

McNewbie’s Prediction:4th

66 – JMW Motorsports

81st 24 Hours of Le Mans: The All-Inclusive Megaguide

Andrea Bertolini (Platinum) – Abdulaziz Turki Alfaisal (Silver) – Khalid Al Qubaisi (Silver)

Car: Ferrari 458 GTE – Tires: Dunlop

Porsche9146’s Prediction: 12th.This car could easily be a leading GTE-Am entry, but in GTE-Pro it’s a private team with two amateurs fighting all-pro factory juggernauts. Worth noting that Alfaisal is a literal Saudi prince, so the insurance premiums on this car are probably quite high!

Jeremy Scott’s Prediction: 12th

Shea Holbrook’s Prediction: 12th

Nobody’s Prediction: 12th

McNewbie’s Prediction: 12th

71 – AF Corse

81st 24 Hours of Le Mans: The All-Inclusive Megaguide

Kamui Kobayashi (Platinum) – Olivier Beretta (Platinum) – Toni Vilander (Platinum)

Car: Ferrari 458 GTE – Tires: Michelin

Porsche9146’s Prediction: 4th. Olivier Beretta likes to hit other GTE cars and this is only sports car race #3 for Kamui Kobayashi, but it’s still an AF Corse 458.

Jeremy Scott’s Prediction: 1st. Yes, a Ferrari will win GTE-Pro at LeMans this weekend. Enough said.

Shea Holbrook’s Prediction: 6th

Nobody’s Prediction: 2nd

McNewbie’s Prediction:6th

73 – Corvette Racing

81st 24 Hours of Le Mans: The All-Inclusive Megaguide

Jan Magnussen (Platinum) – Antonio Garcia (Platinum) – Jordan Taylor (Gold)

Car: Corvette C6.R ZR1 – Tires: Michelin

Porsche9146’s Prediction: 9th.

Jeremy Scott’s Prediction: 2nd. Magnussen and Garcia have been strong all season in ALMS, and Taylor is coming off of strong past couple of races in the Rolex Series. Momentum will be on the side of these guys this weekend.

Shea Holbrook’s Prediction: 9th

Nobody’s Prediction: 8th

McNewbie’s Prediction: 7th

74 – Corvette Racing

81st 24 Hours of Le Mans: The All-Inclusive Megaguide

Oliver Gavin (Platinum) – Tom Milner (Platinum) – Richard Westbrook (Platinum)

Car: Corvette C6.R ZR1 – Tires: Michelin

Porsche9146’s Prediction: 7th. For their own sake, Corvette Racing better hope they’ve been sandbagging without realizing it all weekend, because their pace has been significantly lacking and the undisputed kings of GT racing at Le Mans has been struggling all week.

Jeremy Scott’s Prediction: 5th. The Vettes love to play at Le Sarthe, but we’ll see if these guys can pounce and be up near the front when it counts.

Shea Holbrook’s Prediction: 8th

Nobody’s Prediction: 3rd

McNewbie’s Prediction: 1st

91 – Porsche AG Team Manthey

81st 24 Hours of Le Mans: The All-Inclusive Megaguide

Jorg Bergmeister (Platinum) – Patrick Pilet (Platinum) – Timo Bernhard (Platinum)

Car: Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (991) – Tires: Michelin

Porsche9146’s Prediction: 2nd. The 991s are finally showing race winning pace, but Manthey will need to get through AMR and AF Corse if they want to take the first ever win for the new generation of Porsche racing cars.

Jeremy Scott’s Prediction: 6th.

Shea Holbrook’s Prediction: 7th

Nobody’s Prediction: 11th

McNewbie’s Prediction:2nd

92 – Porsche AG Team Manthey

81st 24 Hours of Le Mans: The All-Inclusive Megaguide

Marc Lieb (Platinum) – Richard Lietz (Platinum) – Romain Dumas (Platinum)

Car: Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (991) – Tires: Michelin

Porsche9146’s Prediction: 6th

Jeremy Scott’s Prediction: 8th

Shea Holbrook’s Prediction: 5th

Nobody’s Prediction: 6th

McNewbie’s Prediction: 5th

93 – SRT Motorsports

81st 24 Hours of Le Mans: The All-Inclusive Megaguide

Tommy Kendall (Platinum) – Kuno Wittmer (Platinum) – Jonathan Bomarito (Gold)

Car: SRT Viper GTS-R – Tires: Michelin

Porsche9146’s Prediction: 10th. SRT Motorsports has struggled even more than Corvette Racing on their return to the 24 hour classic.

Jeremy Scott’s Prediction: 3rd. Yes, I know this is the first time this generation of GTS-R has run competitively twice-around-the-clock, but the talent that oozes from the driver’s seat will keep this car up near the front.

Shea Holbrook’s Prediction: 11th

Nobody’s Prediction: 10th

McNewbie’s Prediction: 8th

97 – Aston Martin Racing

81st 24 Hours of Le Mans: The All-Inclusive Megaguide

Stefan Mucke (Platinum) – Darren Turner (Platinum) – Peter Dumbreck (Platinum)

Car: Aston Martin V8 Vantage GTE – Tires: Michelin

Porsche9146’s Prediction: 5th

Jeremy Scott’s Prediction: 10th

Shea Holbrook’s Prediction: 2nd

Nobody’s Prediction: 1st

McNewbie’s Prediction: 10th

98 – Aston Martin Racing

81st 24 Hours of Le Mans: The All-Inclusive Megaguide

Paul Dalla Lana (Silver) – Pedro Lamy (Platinum) – Bill Auberlin (Platinum)

Car: Aston Martin V8 Vantage GTE – Tires: Michelin

Porsche9146’s Prediction: 8th. Worth noting that Bill Auberlin is a BMW factory driver on loan to AMR.

Jeremy Scott’s Prediction: 7th

Shea Holbrook’s Prediction: 4th

Nobody’s Prediction: 9th

McNewbie’s Prediction: 11th

99 – Aston Martin Racing

81st 24 Hours of Le Mans: The All-Inclusive Megaguide

Fred Makowiecki (Gold) – Rob Bell (Platinum) – Bruno Senna (Platinum)

Car: Aston Martin V8 Vantage GTE – Tires: Michelin

Porsche9146’s Prediction: 3rd. AMR has the pace, the pole and a hugely under-rated talent in Fred Makowiecki, but they’ve also got a history of struggling to finish big races.

Jeremy Scott’s Prediction: 11th

Shea Holbrook’s Prediction: 1st

Nobody’s Prediction: 5th

McNewbie’s Prediction: 3rd

GTE-Am

A class for mostly amateur lineups using older GTE-Pro cars. Mostly private teams, only one Gold or Platinum driver allowed per lineup.

Porsche9146’s thoughts on the class: The class voted “most likely to cause a retirement for a leading car” three years running! However, it’s also one of the best pro-am classes on earth and this year we’ve got some really exciting names ready to do battle for the final class win available in the 2013 24 Hours of Le Mans. This could possibly be the year GTE-Am redeems itself.

Jeremy Scott’s thoughts on the class: Several quick cars in this field, the top 7 can win this class. Expect it to be a dog fight until the checkers.

Leo Parente’s thoughts on the class: Aston Martin again the strongest in this class, even with the year-old car [as required by the GTE –Am [Amateur, not Aston Martin!] rules].

2 wishes – Please stop talking about Pat Dempsey as our image of a racer [until he OMFFG actually does something]. And please pray the AM cars stay out of the sides of every Toyota and Audi on track!

Shea Holbrook’s thoughts on the class: I’m leaning more towards the GTE-Am class being more unpredictable than the others simply since ACO is requiring teams to have one Gold or Platinum pro in the lineup. Needless to say, I’m stoked about this class! Overall I believe Aston Martin Racing has the strongest driver lineup especially with Simonson/Poulsen/Nygaard. We can’t forget Proton Competition out in their Porsche 911 GT3 RSR for a podium despite their move to a privateer effort program. I think we’ll be watching more battles between the Aston Martins and Porsches than any other manufacturers although Gerber/Griffin/Cioci in the AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia could potentially put up a good fight for a Top 5 against Dempsey/Foster/Long in the Dempsey Del Piero-Proton Porsche 911 GT3 RSR.

Nobody’s thoughts on the class: GTE-Am is basically GTE-Pro with older cars and worse drivers. Like the pro class, Aston and AF Corse come ready to play, but the Am cars could become guinea pigs for the Pro guys when the weather is an issue.

McNewbie’s thoughts on the class: A great class to watch for teams over coming challenges, young drivers, and talented gentleman drivers. I will say that there are those drivers in this class who should practice spatial awareness this year.

50 –Larbre Competition

(not pictured)

Patrick Bornhauser (Silver) – Julien Canal (Silver) – Ricky Taylor (Gold)

Car: Corvette C6.R ZR1 – Tires: Michelin

Porsche9146’s Prediction: 8th. Larbre Competition lost a race last year because they failed inspection. Why did they fail inspection? Their fire suppression system featured an out of date fire extinguisher. Rest assured, the team now has a new extinguisher every week.

Jeremy Scott’s Prediction: 4th. The power of the mullet has not been bestowed upon Ricky Taylor, but with less hair means less weight. This may actually work in his favor…

Shea Holbrook’s Prediction: 12th

Nobody’s Prediction: 1st

McNewbie’s Prediction: 1st

54 – AF Corse

81st 24 Hours of Le Mans: The All-Inclusive Megaguide

Yannick Mallegol (Bronze) – Jean-Marc Bachelier (Bronze) – Howard Blank (Bronze)

Car: Ferrari 458 Italia GTE – Tires: Michelin

Porsche9146’s Prediction: 9th.

Jeremy Scott’s Prediction: 11th.

Shea Holbrook’s Prediction: 13th

Nobody’s Prediction: 14th

McNewbie’s Prediction: 13th

55 – AF Corse

81st 24 Hours of Le Mans: The All-Inclusive Megaguide

Piergiuseppe Pezzarini (Silver) – Lorenzo Case (Silver) – Darryl O’Young (Gold)

Car: Ferrari 458 Italia GTE – Tires: Michelin

Porsche9146’s Prediction: 10th. Assuming Pezzarini doesn’t take out a factory P1 car again, that is.

Jeremy Scott’s Prediction: 14th.

Shea Holbrook’s Prediction: 11th

Nobody’s Prediction: 8th

McNewbie’s Prediction:6th

57 – Krohn Racing

81st 24 Hours of Le Mans: The All-Inclusive Megaguide

Tracy Krohn (Silver) – Nicolas Jonsson (Gold) – Maurizio Mediani (Silver)

Car: Ferrari 458 Italia GTE – Tires: Michelin

Porsche9146’s Prediction: 11th. Krohn Racing’s running a new car for the race after destroying their original entry on the first official day of practice.

Jeremy Scott’s Prediction: 5th. Heavy shunt in practice shouldn’t slow these guys down. Jonsson is quick & Krohn can hold his own.

Shea Holbrook’s Prediction: 14th

Nobody’s Prediction: 13th

McNewbie’s Prediction: 12th

61 – AF Corse

81st 24 Hours of Le Mans: The All-Inclusive Megaguide

Jack Gerber (Bronze) – Matt Griffin (Silver) – Marco Cioci (Gold)

Car: Ferrari 458 Italia GTE – Tires: Michelin

Porsche9146’s Prediction: 7th.

Jeremy Scott’s Prediction: 12th.

Shea Holbrook’s Prediction: 4th

Nobody’s Prediction: 10th

McNewbie’s Prediction: 11th

67 – IMSA Performance Matmut

81st 24 Hours of Le Mans: The All-Inclusive Megaguide

Pascal Gibon (Silver) – Patrice Milesi (Silver) – Wolf Henzler (Platinum)

Car: Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (997/2) – Tires: Michelin

Porsche9146’s Prediction: 6th.

Jeremy Scott’s Prediction: 8th.

Shea Holbrook’s Prediction: 6th

Nobody’s Prediction: 5th

McNewbie’s Prediction: 2nd

70 – Larbre Competition

(not pictured)

Cooper MacNeil (Silver) – Manuel Rodrigues (Bronze) – Phillippe Dumas (Silver)

Car: Corvette C6.R ZR1 – Tires: Michelin

Porsche9146’s Prediction: 12th.

Jeremy Scott’s Prediction: 1st. I’ve had the opportunity to watch Cooper MacNeil come up through the ranks, and this kid is the real deal. Doesn’t hurt when your coach is Randy Pobst. So it should be no surprise to see he, Rodrigues & Dumas take that Vette up to the front and contend for a win.

Shea Holbrook’s Prediction: 9th

Nobody’s Prediction: 9th

McNewbie’s Prediction: 7th

75 – Prospeed Competition

81st 24 Hours of Le Mans: The All-Inclusive Megaguide

Emmanuel Collard (Platinum) – Francois Perrodo (Bronze) – Sebastien Crubile (Bronze)

Car: Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (997/2) – Tires: Michelin

Porsche9146’s Prediction: 13th.

Jeremy Scott’s Prediction: 6th.

Shea Holbrook’s Prediction: 7th

Nobody’s Prediction: 7th

McNewbie’s Prediction: 14th

76 – IMSA Performance Matmut

81st 24 Hours of Le Mans: The All-Inclusive Megaguide

Raymond Narac (Silver) – Christophe Bourret (Silver) – Jean-Karl Vernay (Platinum)

Car: Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (997/2) – Tires: Michelin

Porsche9146’s Prediction: 5th. Jean-Karl Vernay is a name foreign to many, but he’s a Firestone Indy Lights champion and a former reserve driver for Peugeot’s 908 program, definitely someone worth keeping an eye on.

Jeremy Scott’s Prediction: 7th. JK Vernay has been making waves overseas. No surprise that he is quick, he showed his tenacity in Indy Lights.

Shea Holbrook’s Prediction: 8th

Nobody’s Prediction: 6th

McNewbie’s Prediction: 8th

77 – Dempsey Del Piero-Proton

81st 24 Hours of Le Mans: The All-Inclusive Megaguide

Patrick Dempsey (Silver) – Joe Foster (Silver) – Patrick Long (Platinum)

Car: Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (997/2) – Tires: Michelin

Porsche9146’s Prediction: 4th. However, if Dempsey can win this race, it’ll be the headline of the race even if the overall battle comes down to a last lap, last corner pass. Our own Ryan Eversley will be tweeting about the race from this team’s twitter account.

Jeremy Scott’s Prediction: 2nd. Pat Long knows what it takes to win in class here at Le Mans, and Patrick Dempsey has been on the podium for the Rolex 24. With Foster, this is a quick GTE-Am entry, and wouldn’t be surprised to see this trio even step up to the top step of the podium.

Shea Holbrook’s Prediction: 5th

Nobody’s Prediction: 4th

McNewbie’s Prediction: 3rd

81 – 8Star Motorsports

81st 24 Hours of Le Mans: The All-Inclusive Megaguide

Vicente “Enzo” Potolicchio (Silver) – Rui Aguas (Silver) – Jason Bright (Platinum)

Car: Ferrari 458 Italia GTE – Tires: Michelin

Porsche9146’s Prediction: 1st. An AF Corse run program featuring last year’s LMP2 champion and a V8 Supercar veteran who’s already got multiple wins this season? Sounds like a favorite if I’ve ever seen one. Strangely, it’s sponsored by IMSA, the sanctioning body of the ALMS, and USCR, the series that replaces the ALMS next year. Even more strangely, it’s a rather odd shade of orange…

Jeremy Scott’s Prediction: 3rd. Great to see V8 Supercar hotshoe Jason Bright run at Le Mans this year. He’s quick, and Enzo is as well. Add in Rui Aguas, and you have a potent combination for a podium run for this young team.

Shea Holbrook’s Prediction: 10th

Nobody’s Prediction: 2nd

McNewbie’s Prediction: 4th

88 – Proton Competition

81st 24 Hours of Le Mans: The All-Inclusive Megaguide

Christian Ried (Silver) – Gianluca Roda (Silver) – Paolo Ruberti (Gold)

Car: Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (997/2) – Tires: Michelin

Porsche9146’s Prediction: 13th.

Jeremy Scott’s Prediction: 9th.

Shea Holbrook’s Prediction: 3rd

Nobody’s Prediction: 12th

McNewbie’s Prediction: 10th

95 – Aston Martin Racing

81st 24 Hours of Le Mans: The All-Inclusive Megaguide

Christopher Nygaard (Silver) – Kristian Poulsen (Silver) – Allan Simonsen (Gold)

Car: Aston Martin V8 Vantage GTE – Tires: Michelin

Porsche9146’s Prediction: 3rd.

Jeremy Scott’s Prediction: 10th.

Shea Holbrook’s Prediction: 1st

Nobody’s Prediction: 11th

McNewbie’s Prediction: 9th

96 – Aston Martin Racing

81st 24 Hours of Le Mans: The All-Inclusive Megaguide

Jamie Campbell-Walter (Platinum) – Roald Goethe (Silver) – Stuart Hall (Silver)

Car: Aston Martin V8 Vantage GTE – Tires: Michelin

Porsche9146’s Prediction: 2nd.

Jeremy Scott’s Prediction: 13th.

Shea Holbrook’s Prediction: 2nd

Nobody’s Prediction: 3rd

McNewbie’s Prediction: 5th

The Arena

The Circuit De La Sarthe, home of the 24 hour classic, is nearly as legendary as the race itself. The last of an otherwise long since extinct breed, the last grand tour is one of the most beautiful courses on earth. Audi Sport Team Joest's Allan McNish gave a great tour of the circuit in the company's "Truth in 24" documentary, which is above.

The Weather

Nobody: “It always rains at Le Mans.” This year has been no different, and race day should see some showers, too. There’s a low pressure system situated over the UK that is pushing moisture from the north Atlantic into western France. It will likely be wet most of the day Saturday, with the showers clearing out about 8pm local. It should be dry until about noon-ish on Sunday, and rain will threaten from then until the end of the race. Temperatures should be cool, with a high Saturday of about 20C (68F), and an overnight low near 13C (55F).

The Coverage

As it has been for nearly two decades now, tomorrow's race will be aired live on SPEED in the US. Europe will get EuroSport coverage live as well. For the ultimate audio experience, look no further than RadioLeMans.com.

Do you like live blogs? Well too bad, we've got one anyway! Come back tomorrow at 8:30 AM EST (5:30 AM PST, 1:30 PM GMT) for Jalopnik's official Le Mans live blog experience. Unfortunately, our Sebring co-anchor Ryan Eversley won't be able to return for Le Mans due to prior commitments (live tweeting the race for Dempsey-Del Piero Racing here), so I'll be running the coverage alone for most of the event as I did for the 24 Hours of Daytona.

New for this weekend's coverage will be intermittent visits by guests. All of today's panelists may jump in from time to time, as well as NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Parker Kligerman (after he finishes racing his #77 KBM Toyota at Road America, live on ESPN and the WatchESPN app) and bald internet funny man @nascarcasm. One of today's panelists, Jeremy Scott, will anchor the coverage during a 3-4 hour window in which I have a prior engagement.

About The Panel

Leo Parente chose to describe himself in his own words:

The passion for auto racing came not from my Mom or Dad [they were college professors] but from apparently being left on the front porch as an infant exposed to the high-speed traffic of our homefront. Jim Clark, Lorenzo Bandini, and Ford GT at Le Mans finished the indoctrination. From there, autocrossing and OPM got me into 'real racecars' [because I could fit?]. Fast enough to get a nickname ["FrontRow Leo"], rookie enough to not really know HOW to race, older than the young sperm I was racing against, but, doing well enough to keep moving up to eventually Toyota Atlantic [4G's and 175mph], Indy Lights testing, and some sports cars [have to admit to being, at the time, an open wheel snob]. Racing part-time while working full-time at Toyota eventually created the need to race under an alias - Shishi Ryoshin [Japanese for Lion and Parent. Get it?]. But, THAT's a whole other story.

"Retirement" came when a car owner wasn't satisfied with the $ Million plus budget we sold for him, wanted more for me to stay in the seat. I got Italian, took my commission $ and left. Stayed in the business of motorsport marketing. Plus, doing whatever you want to call I do with racing commentary, insight, opinion, and info on www.youtube.com/DRIVE

He is going to be a major part of /DRIVE's 25 hours of 24 hours of Le Mans broadcast tomorrow. I suggest you tune in.

Jeremy Scott also decided to describe himself in his own words:

Announcer/Pit Reporter (still looking for that special voice? Hit me up!) that somehow stumbled into the role of Director of Communications for the Intercontinental Trophy Cup Series presented by Avitus Group. Also a former motorsports show host, but that will change soon. Worked with NBC Sports Network, IMSA, GRAND-AM, INDYCAR, SCCA and NASA. Will announce for food. And a hard card. And free travel with a food allowance. Follow me on twitter @jscottontheair for motorsports and more.

Shea Holbrook is a professional racing driver and owner of three cars in the Pirelli World Challenge series. She is one of just two women to ever win a race in the 28 year history of the series, and the first to do so at Long Beach, World Challenge’s biggest event. She is well known for her charitable efforts, racing to fight Duchennes Muscular Distrophy. She recently drove a DTM car at the Homestead-Miami Speedway infield road course, and soon afterward launched SteelOvaryNation.com, a website celebrating the women that make the world of motorsport go 'round. Holbrook is again contesting the Pirelli World Challenge championship in 2013, and her first race is at COTA this May. You can, and should, follow her on twitter here.

Nobody is a meteorology student from Arizona. He’s one of Jalopnik’s most motorsport savvy commenters, He’s the only person I know that I would describe as a sports hipster (not the “I watch F1 and English Premier league” type of sports hipster who just watches stuff that’s mainstream in other markets, the type that watches two different AFLs: Arena Football League and Australian Football League), he’s one of the few people on earth who knows what a cold front is and the only person in the Jalopnik community that actually understands Rugby. Yes, he goes by Nobody. He isn’t nobody, he’s a person. He just goes by Nobody. No, I don’t get it either. This is the "Praga" thing all over again. You can, and should, follow him on twitter here.

McNewbie is a veteran member of the Jalopnik community known for her long, well thought out comments, often about racing cars. I'm pretty sure she doesn't understand Rugby either. You can follow her on twitter here.

Porsche9146 is a random person on the internet that's not particularly witty or informative. He does, however, have the memory of an elephant that's spent it's whole life watching the NASCAR Nationwide Series in the mid 2000s. That is to say, he never forgets the fact that Stanton Barrett once drove for Roush-Fenway Racing and for some reason he really likes Mike Bliss. He's also horrible at time management, and the result is that this preview is being launched nearly four hours behind schedule. He apologizes for that and hopes you enjoy the results anyway. He'll be anchoring tomorrow's Jalopnik live blog of the 81st 24 Hours of Le Mans, though he's neither particularly good at talking in the third person nor at keeping up an air of seriousness without adding a joke about Stanton Barrett by the end of the page. If for some reason you really want to (and you really enjoy jokes about AutoGP sent out at 2 AM EST), you can follow him on twitter here.

All photos via twitter and facebook pages of each respective team.

If you have any questions about tomorrow's race, or the concurrent Jalopnik live blog, feel free to ask in the comments below. I'll be happy to answer.