Friday, March 17, 2006

Final Picks and Predictions

Picks have changed. The Sebring 12 hours is Saturday at 10:30 (10:43) AM ET. Here for live streaming radio. Also, live on SPEED Chanel all 12 hours. Will be a great race. Interesting how starting weight / fuel on-board at start strategies will play out if we get a quick yellow. Good luck and safety to all.

LMP1: The #2 Audi, then the #16 Lola, then the #1 Audi, then the #20 Lola. I think the Lola's are running more fuel at the start, which would slow their qualifying times to put them where they are, behind the Audi's in qualifying.

LMP2: The #7 Porsche, then the #6 Porsche, then the #37 Lola, then the #33 Courage. Even though the #37 got penalized and shoved to the back of the grid, if their car can handle a few slight bumps working through the slower cars off the start they are strong enough to take a podium.

GT1: The #4 Corvette, then the 009 Aston Martin, then the #3 Vette, then the 007 Aston. The Corvettes seem to be running heavier on fuel at the start, then they could pull ahead during the first major pit stop. If they can keep the Aston's in view, they're in a good position.

GT2: Um.... The #50 Panoz, then the #62 Ferrari, then the #45 Porsche, then the #51 Panoz. I balked at picking a non-Porsche, American (Ford) powered, American body with an Open-Wheel driver as the winner, but them and the Ferrari have been best. The 45 has been doing well, but the 23 and 31 have a great shot as well. Could get a surprise podium from the #21 BMW as well. Wide open, as always, this category will have great racing.

Overall: The #2 Audi, then the #7 Porsche, then the #16 Lola, then the #1 Audi. The #20, #6, and #37 - if it makes it through the pack - all have good shots at a podium. I think the Audi's will take it, but the battle for P2 & P3 will be intense.

Prediction: Massive carnage. The new Lolas, Audis, and Porsches will be out for the win at all costs. With the #37 at the back, it'll want to get up front real quick to take down a Porsche, and it could shake things up as it passes through. There is a 30 second difference between the Pole 1:45.828 and the last qualifyer at 2:15.173, and GT2 has 16 of the 35 cars in the race, the fastest GT2 car was 18 seconds slower per lap during qualifying - that is a lot of traffic for the faster cars to manage.

No comments: