Tuesday, January 26, 2016

ROLEX 24: All eyes focused upon the Shiny, New Factory Gran Tourismo Le Mans class in 2016...

HOLY CATFISH! Even though our mighty Seattle Seahawks are upon the Sidelines now - as I made this prediction prior to their spotting Carolina 31-points in the first half before deciding to show up! As now I'll be chanting Larry, Larry, Larry Fitzgerald along with Thy AZ contingent.. At least I'll get to watch; Err listen to this year's 24hrs of Daytona - Since my Kona Hosts fled to Carnival this year; Aye Karumba! Or whatever Yuhs say in Rio, eh?

As I previously mentioned, since I haven't watched any Sports Car racing for awhile now, especially the B-I-G' DADDY! Nee Rolex 24 - Since I'm typically on Thy B-I-G' ISLAND ensconced in CD Audiobooks instead... Whilst the Sebring 12 Hours has A-L-L but disappeared from "Celestial TV." Hence, I'd totally missed the announcement last year regarding the sweeping rule changes for the GT Classes commencing at this year's 54th running of the Rolex 24.

(GT LM: 11-entries)
Look for eleven entrants in the GT LM class, which now sees competitors running FIA GTE-spec machinery beginning in 2016, which makes total sense regarding the unveiling of the Ford GT and Ferrari 488GTE, as gee Wally! Guess the latter's nomenclature should have given I-T away, eh? As the current GTE rules package runs for three years, i.e.; 2016-18; Hence, we should get to revel in the Ford GT vs. Ferrari 488 GTE Scrum until then!

As have to say, I'm most intrigued by this class out of the four categories contesting the race, especially since it'll feature two Ford GT's vs. two canary yellow Detroit rival GM's BAD ARSE Corvettes, with the new twin-turbo Ferrari going Mano e Mano versus eternal European rival Porsche and its latest trick 911 variant - With BMW crashing the party with its M6 Coupe.

Having already scribbled 'bout Thy Cheepster's' (Chip Ganassi) switchover to "FoMoCo" Works status, which features Ford's return to Le Mans on the 50th Anniversary of its first outright 24 Heurs du Mans victory, now comes word that le Hamburgular', nee Sebastain Bourdais; previous overall Rolex 24 winner will join Chip Ganassi Racing for Endurance event co-driving duties. Although NO word if SeaBass' will be partnering Ryan Briscoe in the No. 67?

Nope! Bourdais reportedly will be in the #66 with Joey Hand  and Dirk Muller; with Stefan Mücke joining the aforementioned Briscoe & Richard Westbrook at the controls of the #67...

Funny how the two most probable class winners have stuck with the tried 'N true normally aspirated lumps', i.e.; Corvette and Porsche. As Chevy retains its small block 5.5-litre V-8 vs. Porsche's iconic flat-six layout, now displacing 4.6-litres - As these legendous' Panzerwagon's are always 'Contenders!

Especially since the Porsche North American "Works" squad's driver's roster features two-thirds of last year's Circuit de la Sarthe Porsche 919's winning trio with Nick Tandy & Co in the No. 911 and Earl Bamber and company at the Keyboard of the Seester' No. 912.

Yet due to the FIA STUPIDLY scheduling the maiden Azerbaijan Grand Prix Formula 1 race on June 19th in direct conflict with le 24 Heurs du Mans; June 18-19, thus the third cog in the winning Porsche 919 entry, Force India's Nico Hulkenberg wont' be able to defend his victory scored last year at Le Mans!

And surely many Stateside will be savoring' over the NARLY Bowtie Brigade to be victorious, even if the LS7 Chevrolet motor doesn't have quite the same deep, throaty, rumblin' resonance 'O previous American Big Block pushrod V-8's.

As Y'all can never count out MAGS' (Jan Magnussen) and Antonio Garcia, now joined by Mike "Rocky" Rockenfeller in the No. 3. While the No. 4 Seester' car will feature "Ollie," aka Oliver Gabin, Tommy Milner and surprisingly, three-times Le Mans winner Marcel Fassler.

Late to thee Party is Risi Competizione and its brand new shiny rosso 488 GTE, as the Texas based squad skipped The Roar Before, Rolex 24 test outing in order to assemble their new Ferrari, as their driver line-up was TBA prior to January's Roar Before test outing.

Yet longtime Risi Competizione chauffeurs "Fishy-fellah," aka Giancarlo Fisichella andToni Vilander will once again contest the full-season with past GP2 and Ferrari F1 test driver Davide Rigon and ex-Corvette Racing Hot-schue' Oliver Beretta co-driving at Daytona.

Meanwhile rival Scuderia Corsa's "A-Team," the No. 68 488 GTE will see France's Alexandre Premat the spicy link sausage between Italian Alessandro Pier Guidi and Brazil's Daniel Serra sandwich, whilst Moscow's SPM Racing will break-in its new 488 GTE with its driver line-up spearheaded by Rooskie' Victor Shaytar.

Last but not least, is Meesh of So Here's What I'm Thinking Blogging fame; ahem! Where are's Yuh Meesh! Err, her favourite team owner "Booby Ruble" (Bobby Rahal) and Company's 2-car Factory    BMW M6 effort. Which along with BAD ARSE drivers John Edwards, Billy Auberlin, etc. Will also feature Thy Graminator, aka Graham Rahal in the #100 doing a little winter driving, since IndyCar's still ASLEEP for another 186-days; Hooah!

Sentimental Picks
1) #67 Chip Ganassi Racing; Ford GT
2) #3 Corvette Racing; Corvette C7R
3) #72 SPM Racing; Ferrari 488 GTE