Saturday, October 19, 2013

2013 ALMS Petit LeMans LMP2 preview

This season, the LMP2 class should have been called the Honda P2 Class. With the 2 teams involved using the exact same hardware, it has made the class essentially a spec category. The proper upgrades and bespoke tires, would make these cars as good or better than any LMP2 chassis in Europe (see Starworks Motorsport's 2012 WEC resume). While it's only 2 teams competing, one needs to only look at the resources available to them to realize that this is in fact a battle among 2 stellar competitors.

Extreme Speed Motorsports #02; Ed Brown, Johannes van Overkeek, Rob Bell. We can't remember the last time we saw Rob Bell's name in a prototype entry. More like never. But they must have been really enamored by him during their Ferrari days, when he drove one of their cars. By driving this car during this season, Johannes Van Overbeek has crafted a new repertoire in his racing abilities. Next season he might become a hot commodity if a team elects to run a P2 car instead of a DP and wanted an American driver to complement its lineup.

Level 5 Motorsports #552; Guy Cosmo, Jonny Kane, Peter Dumbreck. This is really the best lineup in LMP2 at Petit LeMans. You will only see such all-pro LMP2 lineups in the ALMS/USCC. The WEC, ELMS and AsLMS wouldn't have accepted such an entry. Get these guys a P1 car and they can run with the big boys. But we ranked them next to last because they will be taking their marching orders from the lead #551 car. Their main role would be to help make sure the lead car occupies one of the top 2 positions. The team owner Scott Tucker has to finish 1rst or 2nd to win the title if the ESM #01 car is running in one of those spots.

Level 5 Motorsports #551. Scott Tucker, Ryan Briscoe, Marino Franchitti. This is the lead car, for Level 5. Scott Tucker might only drive enough to clinch his minimum drive time and then let the pros slug it out.

Extreme Speed Motorsports #01; Scott Sharp, Anthony Lazzaro, David Brabham. This car has a stronger lineup than Level 5's lead car. We would have given the #552 the upper hand but it's not racing for its own gain. Scott Sharp's only memo to his co-drivers should be; don't crash, save fuel and go for the win.