85th Running Of The 24 Hours Of Le Mans, 17-18 June 2017Sports Cars 

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Furinkazen

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Evolution & Revolution.

Two words that can be commonly attributed to motorsports. Also two words that can widely be attributed to the world of Sportscar Racing, and to the Le Mans 24 Hours.

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Firstly run in 1923, the event has become a legend of motorsport. Over 8 miles of roads, mixed with regular french lanes and dedicated racing asphalt have for many years become a unique legend. A legend that has evolved with time. Elements have been neutered, such as the almighty Mulsanne straight, with chicanes in place to halt the increased technical advancements of cars. However in an environment of rulemakers vs designers and engineers, designers and engineers always win.

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The current generation of "Le Mans Prototype 1" or "LMP1" are perhaps the most technologically exciting cars in motorsports worldwide. Combining a standard IC engine with a hybrid energy recovery system, the current generation LMP1 packs over 1200hp under acceleration. 0-200mph is 10 seconds in cars that are literal rocketships.

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However, this years Le Mans shall feel different and perhaps a little strange. For the first time this millennium, the four rings of Audi shall be absent from the Le Mans 24 Hours. Audi's withdrawal, as part of the strategic adjustments of the VAG group, reduce the LMP1 field to two manufacturers. The WEC has survived with two manufacturers before - Audi vs Peugeot - but now they are both gone.

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In there stead, stands the other efficient German battle tank. Porsche, the greatest manufacturer in the history of Le Mans, go for a third victory with the 919 Hybrid, with two cars. Standing in there way is a dignified samurai, the warriors of Japan. with 4 minutes left of the 2016 running, Toyota were poised to finally win the Le Mans 24 Hours. Then part failure lost them the win, in a cruel twist of fate. Toyota's response is to send a third car to the race, a numerical advantage in a titanic duel that shall light up La Sarthe for 2017.

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LMP2 has undergone a revolution. A new spec of car has been introduced, with four approved manufacturers - ORECA, Riley, Ligier, Dallara. These have new spec Gibson V8 engines boasting 600hp, a huge power boost. ORECA numerically dominate a class that has some serious talent and class, with familiar team names and drivers - Alpine, Manor, TDS, G Drive with names such as Rusinov, Senna, Jarvis, Piquet, Petrov, Gommendy. With new spec parts, one of the most competitive classes in sportscars is set for an intense showdown.

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2016 saw a new look GTE class. Big aero, more powerful engines for a class featuring an eclectic mix of machinery. Porsche return with a new mid engine variant of the timeless 911, against turbo-charged opposition from Ferrari and Ford, who's duel in 2016 featured some of the most debatable and clever managing of the regulations in many years.

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Then there is the wailing Aston Martin Vantages, year on year looking more and more dated with it's front-engined layout that still are victory contenders on days when the opposition is on parity. Also joining them is the front-engined rivals of Corvette, one of the greatest teams in GT racing, who have dominated there class in the United States this year. GTE will be as ever, an unparalleled all-out manufacturer war, with older machinery running for honours in a very competitive category for manufacturers.

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So GTPlanet, that's all the introduction you need, if there was any need for this event. I may frequent GTP less myself personally, but I shall be around here for arguably the most spectacular event in world Motorsports.



Welcome, GTPlanet... to Le Mans 2017.

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:gtpflag:

 
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43,489
Australia
Australia
I'm surprised there isn't a "proper" Volkswagen entry. They might've had a shot at winning.
 
9,035
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BasedAckbar
I wonder if the Hybrid cars will have trouble passing the LMP2s at the end of the long straights. McNish noted that while Hybrids have immense get up and go, once they used up their juice they pretty much are flat, whilst the LMP2 car still has some speed left in them.
 
22,532
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HamiltonMP427
Can we just take a moment to talk about @Furinkazen being alive :D

Also I plan to set up a fantasy/prediction thread for this to give away a prize so yeah...should be a fun year for the race with 3 Toyota assault.
 
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5,751
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Paul2007
24h du Mans is my favourite event of the sporting year. Nothing comes remotely close for me.

Hopefully this year, as a Toyota fan, any tears are those of joy unlike last year. I was on Twitter duty for @TGRFans for the final 3h and when the #5 ground to a halt I didn't know what to say. I just sat here motionless and wanting to cry.
 
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Furinkazen

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I wonder if the Hybrid cars will have trouble passing the LMP2s at the end of the long straights. McNish noted that while Hybrids have immense get up and go, once they used up their juice they pretty much are flat, whilst the LMP2 car still has some speed left in them.

Well the Rebellion was fastest last year in speed traps in P1-L, and the CLM (which ran without issue at Spa!) has the old Nissan LMP engine and was fastest through traps at 320kph.
 
5,775
Australia
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GTP_NW48
I may not be excited for the WEC season this year since Audi pulled out, but it's impossible for me to not be excited for Le Mans each year. The pinnacle of world motorsport events. I'll be pulling for Toyota this year after last year's heartbreak, and pulling once again for the Corvette's to take out the GTE classes.
 
2,281
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Moss
hoydeskrekk
24h du Mans is my favourite event of the sporting year. Nothing comes remotely close for me.

Hopefully this year, as a Toyota fan, any tears are those of joy unlike last year. I was on Twitter duty for @TGRFans for the final 3h and when the #5 ground to a halt I didn't know what to say. I just sat here motionless and wanting to cry.

I struggle to think of a racing team that's been snubbed of victory so many times and so harshly like Toyota.
 

Bram Turismo

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As a Toyota fan I really want them to finally win it. But I think Porsche might have the best package for Le Mans. The #9 TS050 with the LM package was nowhere near the rest for the entire race at Spa really...

Having seen the CLM entry in the flesh, it looks absolutely stunning and I will be cheering for them to finish the race.

In the GTE I will be cheering for the Ford GT cars.
 
1,837
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FutureF1
It's going to be very different without Audi there and that leaves me with the struggle of figuring out who to root for in LMP1... Part of me loves an underdog story and wants to support Toyota, but part of me sees Porsche as a new generation of Audi coming to Le Mans and wants to support them... I haven't watched as much WEC because of this dilemma. Hopefully I'll have someone to cheer on by the time the race comes around but as for LMP2 and GTE Pro, I'll be rooting for Mighty 38 and Corvette!
 

Panoz

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Although it's the only one in class, the Riley could be a dark horse for LMP2 honors at Le Mans.

The driver lineup is solid and if the Riley shows the reliability it had at Daytona, the car could be up among the LMP2 front runners throughout the race.
 
9,035
United States
Murica
BasedAckbar
As a Toyota fan I really want them to finally win it. But I think Porsche might have the best package for Le Mans. The #9 TS050 with the LM package was nowhere near the rest for the entire race at Spa really...

Having seen the CLM entry in the flesh, it looks absolutely stunning and I will be cheering for them to finish the race.

In the GTE I will be cheering for the Ford GT cars.

Personally, I think the driving crew of the number 9 just cruised for the most part, and they had issues with tire degradation supposedly.

With 3 cars though, perhaps Toyota can go all out and try to force Porsche into mistakes or breakdowns.
 
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AMPMROCKETFANN

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This should definitely be.... interesting.

Larbre Racing Corvette set to feature art car livery.
As a livery designer, this makes me massively excited. Unfortunately it's not an open competition. That said, I hope it involves an 80's style sunset and quality diecasts of it are available. Especially if it wins.

PS, Go Corvette Racing! And the Corvette B-team, Larbre
 
1,535
United States
United States
Shame we won't see a few more years of genuinely competitive LMP w/ 3+ teams. It's far too often just two big teams and it shows early in the race which will compete. I was hoping after a couple of years, Audi/Porsche/Toyota would have been closer. We'll never know now.

GTLM/GTE will probably be where I pay attention (sorry but LMP2 has never intrigued me, despite loving the look of the cars...I can't get excited about non-manufacturer stuff, just doesn't grab me). I'd like to see someone snub Chip Ganassi's LeMans effort - and I say that as an American.

Chip was an embarrassment last year, trying to penalize their only competition because of some door lights or whatever. I'd like to see a Ferrari or Corvette steal the win in GTLM.
 

MustangManiac

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My favorite race of all time, by far. Even better the past few years spending it here with all you other car nuts at the planet 👍 I would like to see Toyota get a win finally, especially after the heart break last year. Never cared that much for P2, but they have put on some fierce battles in recent years, as long as they do that I don't care who wins. Been a Ferrari & Ford fan for nearly 50 years so I have plenty to root for in both the GT classes.
 
1,433
Germany
Germany
psychoazubi
It's the best weekend of the year. I love all sport but there is something about Le Mans which is just magical. Can't wait!

This year, there is one weekend that is even better (in my opinion :D): The end of may. 24h Nordschleife, F1 in Monaco AND Indy 500.
 

PzR Slim

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This year, there is one weekend that is even better (in my opinion :D): The end of may. 24h Nordschleife, F1 in Monaco AND Indy 500.
That is some weekend. My wife and daughter will be very unhappy :D

However, I can't agree, Le Mans is the daddy of them all for me.
 
1,433
Germany
Germany
psychoazubi
That is some weekend. My wife and daughter will be very unhappy :D

However, I can't agree, Le Mans is the daddy of them all for me.

I can't get too excited for LeMans this year, because Audi is missing. It just doesn't feel right. Since I started watching motor racing, Audi has been a part of LeMans (yes I'm not that old :D)

One more point why I'm so excited for the last weekend of may, is that I will submit my masters thesis on that Friday, on which I'm working since January ;)