Wednesday, January 26, 2022

ROLEX 24: 2022 Prototypes Supporting Classes Highlights

Since Obviously without the other 54 entries from the remaining four Supporting Classes, It would be a Gory boring race!


Having just concluded  this year’s Roar Before the 24this past weekend, (January 21-23) with the Motil 100 Qualifying race being held on Sunday, January 23rd. IMSA’s Weathertech SportsCar Championship's Season Opening 24 Hours of Daytona event commences this weekend, January 29-30.


This year’s 60th Rolex 24 features a massive 61 car count, up ten participants from last year’s 24 Hours of Daytona, which for Mwah, is the “Official” Kickoff of Motor Racing each year, for which Y’all can find the IMSA Entry list in the link below…


And instead of trying to chronicle All of the (remaining) 54 Supporting Classes entries, Yikes! I’ll just try covering a few selections of interest instead.


 (LMP2) Le Mans Prototype 2 Class

Any Diehard sports Car aficionado already knows that the LMP2 category is mandated to run the (WEC) European Spec Gibson GK428 Naturally Aspirated V-8 lump' with teams choosing between either the Uber’ dominant Oreca chassis or it’s Seester’s Ligier mount. Although this year’s 10 car LMP2 field is made up entirely of Oreca chassis.


Naturally I’m most intrigued over how the two IndyCar centric teams fare this year. most notably the DragonSpeed #81 entry with past Andretti Autosport Indy Lights teammates Pato O’Ward and Colton Herta reunited. Along with former Indy Lights competitor and Rookie Andretti Autosport KuhNuck’ Devlin DeFrancesco, and Sports Car Driver Eric Lux filling out it’s Drivers roster.


Whilst I’ve also previously scribbled here on No Fenders ‘bout Ed Carpenter Racing’s (ECR) Rinus VeeKay returning for another crack at securing his first Rolex 24 time-piece, now part of Racing Team Netherland’s #29 All Dutch LMP2 effort.


The Defending LMP2 class winning #18 ERA Motorsports returns intact with the likes of Ryan “Razzle Dazzle” Dalziel as part of it’s winning Drivers roster last year, who’ll definitely have their work cut out to claim back to back Class victories.


While one half of G Drive’s two car entry has some interesting “Characters” behind it’s wheel. As half of the team’s #68 entry has a diverse background. With Rene Rast being a Three-times DTM Champion, whilst Disgraced ex-Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan chauffeur Ed Jones is making his Prototypes Rolex 24 Debut, having previously raced for Scuderia Corsa aboard it’s #63 Ferrari 488 GTE GTD entry with Ryan Briscoe.


(LMP3) Le Mans Prototype 3 Class

According to the scant information gleamed last year, All LMP3 entries must compete with the Spec Nissan VK56VE 5.6-litre V-8 Normally Aspirated engine, which I find very Cornfuzing’ since this would be of larger cubic displacement than it’s Big Brother LMP2 entrants, Righto?


Although I did find somewhere on the Intrawoods’, nee Internet that they’ll be effectively “Detuned” by the Dreaded BoP Balance of Performance measures to Slot-in slightly behind Thar LMP2 Brethren…


This year’s LMP3 Battle is comprised of four Duqueine D-08 vs. five Ligier JS P320 chassis in the nine car LMP3 field. Having found out by Hunting ‘n Pecking on Zed Internets’ that the Duqueine D-08 chassis predecessor was the Norma Mk 30 chassis, before Duqueine Engineering bought out Norma Auto concepts.


Riley Motorsports is the defending LMP3 Class winner, returning with it’s #74 Ligier led by Gar Robinson, son of former SCCA Trans Am racer George Robinson and his 74 Ranch Resort Camaroes.

Robinson is joined by Kay Van Berlo, Michael Cooper and Felipe Fraga in the cockpit.


While I’ll be curious to See how the #36 Andretti Autosport crew does. As Jarrett Andretti, son of the late John Andretti and Australia’s Josh Burton are it’s regular season drivers. With the duo being joined by ex-IndyCar Driver Gabby Chaves and Indy Lights driver Rasmus Lindh at it’s controls.


And that’s just a somewhat brief look at some of the Prototypes Supporting Classes, with No Disrespect intended towards the other Baker’s Dozen entrants. But I simply didn’t have the time or energy to go thru the entire 19 car entry list!