Wednesday, January 25, 2017

ROLEX 24: Can anybody in GT Le Mans Stop Cheepsters' Steamroller?

Will anybody be able to put these NASTY Ford GT's in their rear view mirrors en route to the chequered flag? (Source: Images)
Cheep' Doubles-Down in his effort to obtain another Rolex timepiece for his vast collection...

While a total of nine current IndyCar drivers are contesting this year's Rolex 24, with three in GTD (Daytona) and three in the B-I-G' BOY DPi (Daytona Prototype International) class, the biggest IndyCar Stars are part of Ford Chip Ganassi's fleet of Ford GT's, where two past Indy 500 winners will deputize at three endurance events apiece this season, i.e.; Daytona, Sebring and Petit Le Mans.

(2) BMW Team RLL
Chassis: BMW M6 GTLM
Engine: 4.4-litre V-8 turbo
#19) Bill Auberlen, Alexander Sims, Bruno Spengler and Augusto Farfus.
#24) John Edwards, Martin Tomczyk, Kuno Wittmer and Nick Catsburg

Have already chronicled Bobby Rahal, Dave Letterman and Mike Lanigan's BMW No. 19 Canvas-mobile' in my long running nod to BmW's Artistic impressions. As I'd be tickled pink; Err Orange, green, Blue; Oh Never Mind! If they're victorious.

While Y'all can read what Jonathan Edwards, the racing driver had to say 'bout testing one of the potent DTM Touren Wagons' in the second half of that previous story. Where he checked out fellow co-driver Martin Tomczyk's daily ride...

(2) Ford Chip Ganassi Racing
Chassis: Ford GT
Engine: 3.5-litre V-6 turbo
#66) Joey Hand, Dirk Muller and Sebastian Bourdais
#67) Ryan Briscoe, Richard Westbrook and Scott Dixon

(2) Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Team UK
Chassis: Ford GT
Engine: 3.5-litre V-6 turbo
#68) Olivier Pla, Stefan Mucke and Billy Johnson
#69) Andy Priaulx, Harry Tincknell and Tony Kanaan

All eyes will be upon Cheeps' magnificent quartet 'O Ford GT's, looking to dethrone those pesky 'N perpetually winning Bowtie Brigade, nee Dearborn's rival Corvette Racing, as Ganassi brings the majority of its two Seester' squad's Driver lineups to Daytona unchanged, including four IndyCar drivers - with the IMSA squads intact.

As last year's No. 66 Le Mans class winning trio returns, while the Seester'  #67 features the two quickest Roar Before 24 Pilotes.

While the World Endurance Championship (WEC) No's 68-69 chassis are virtually identical with the substitution of TK' Follow-your-Schnoz! Kanaan for Dario's 'lil Bro Marino Franchitti.

As pleasantly, I-T was ex-Penske, Ganassi IndyCar Star Ryan Briscoe heading current Ganassi IndyCar chauffer's Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan respectively at the top of the Roar Before Time Sheets.

(2) Corvette Racing
Chassis: Corvette C7R
Engine: 5.5-litre normally aspirated V-8
#3) Jan Magnussen, Antonio Garcia and Mike Rockenfeller
#4) Oliver Gabin, Tommy Milner and Marcel Fassler

The "Fly Yellow" Stingray Vettes' kept a relatively low profile during the Roar, with the exception of the No. 4 catching on fire during one practice session - Ooh la la! But both Vettes' will be back ready to Rock 'N Roll when the green flag flies.

As they retain last year's driver lineups which includes MAGS', aka Jan Magnussen, past Penske IndyCar pilot whose son Kevin Bacon" Magnussen will race for Americres' Team, nee Haas F1 this season.

Former 24 Heurs du Mans winner's Marcel Fassler and Mike "Rocky" Rockenfeller fill-in for the endurance events.

Whilst don't forget I-T was "Ollie" (Oliver Gabin v Antonio Garcia Mano e Mano just inches apart over the last 10-laps to decide who'd win ahead of his team-mate for Corvette's astounding 1-2 class finish last year, with the margin 'O victory being 0.034-second!

(2) Porsche GT Team Porsche
Chassis: Porsche 911 RSR
Engine: 4.0-litre normally aspirated Flat-six
#911) Dirk Werner, Richard Lietz and Patrick Pilet
#912) Kevin Estre, Laurens Vanthoor and Frederic Makowiecki

The only two names that sound familiar are Herr Werner and Lietz, while the Driver lineup is Chock-Oh-Block 'O "Frenchie's," with a total of three, with Belgium's Laurens being the meat in le Ménage Twah between Estre,
 and Makowiecki; Hya!

Porsche has just released the latest variant of its venerable 911 Panzerwagon, with Weissach debuting its first ever mid-engine 911 variant; excluding the Porsche GT1 which won Le Mans overall. As the 2017 Porsche 911 RSR's mid-engine layout is intended to keep up with its competition Ja Volt!

(1) Risi Competizione
Chassis: Ferrari 488 GTE
Engine: 3.9-litre V-8 turbo
#62) Giancarlo Fisichella, Toni Vilander and James Calado

Maranello's represented by the lone entry of its latest Prancing Horse, campaigned by Houston's Risi Competizione, whom I'm fairly certain have won Rolex 24 class honours before.

As how can I not root for "Fishyfellah," nee ex-Formula 1 Ace Fisichella to win aboard la Scuderia! As Vilander's simply a BAD ARSE behind the wheel, as I recall him being the Driver bangin' wheels 'N fenders literally! With the losing Porsche drivers complaining bitterly... While the Finn' was en route to a last lap victory in one of Sports Cars B-I-G' Races, for which I can no longer remember where I-T was?

Since I can only ascertain that Vilander has twice won the GTE Pro' category at Circuit de la Sarthe, albeit for fellow Ferrari runner AF Corse, with Fisichella and ex-Minardi F1 racer Gianmaria Bruni as co-drivers in 2012 and 2014.

Meanwhile, the third cog in the driver rotation for the No. 62, nee James Calado is unknown to Mwah...