The 24 Hours of Le Mans 2019, which is to take place this weekend, is the grand finale to the 2018-2019 Super Season of the World Endurance Championship (WEC).
The name of Spaniard Fernando Alonso stands out among the entry list for this the 87th edition of the legendary French race. The throne of the WEC is at the fingertips of the two-time Formula 1 world champion, who will tackle this challenge once more on board his Toyota TS050.
Besides the LMP1 title, the LMP2, LMGTE-Am and LMGTE-Pro ones are also still to be decided, the latter already narrowed down to the two ‘official’ Porsches. In addition to that, this will also be the farewell race of manufacturers Ford and BMW at the Circuit de la Sarthe.
LMP1: Alonso and Toyota eager to get the crown
After his epic victory of 2018, fans will be watching Alonso very close in this his second time around at 24 Hours of Le Mans 2019. The Spaniard, together with Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima onboard their Toyota TS050 Hybrid #8 have every chance to conquer the Drivers WEC Title in LMP1, the top category of the event.
They currently lead the standings with 160 points, 31 more than second classified, sister car #7 of Mike Conway, José María ‘Pechito’ López and Kamui Kobayashi. With such numbers, Alonso and company need only a seven position to take the title. If there are no surprises and given the proven superiority of the Toyota, the real fight will be between the private LMP1s for the third step of the podium, with Rebellion Racing and SMP Racing as the most likely candidates at 24 Hours of Le Mans 2019.
LMP2: Anything can happen
Contrary to the predictability of the LMP1 category, the silver class of the prototypes, the LMP2, has twenty participants and is rife with action. Under the circumstances it is impossible to speak of favourites. However, the Alpine A470 #36 of the Signatech team starts with a slight, 4-point advantage (143) over the Oreca #38 of the Jackie Chan DC Racing team.
Further down with 117 points, the Oreca #31 of DragonSpeed is in great form after winning the race in Spa. They are strong and are coming out to win, if perhaps not the title, at least the 24 Hours of Le Mans 2019.
LMGTE-Pro: The crown for Porsche and goodbye to Ford and BMW
The two Porsches will come head to head against each other for the LMGTE-Pro championship at the 24 Hours of Le Mans 2019. The crew of the RSR #92 has 140 points, but the Porsche #91 is the only one close enough to snatch the victory from them. In any case, the battle for the win will be a private affair for the Stuttgart firm.
On their farewell to the WEC, Ford hopes to put up a good performance with their four GTs. The Americans are the only real rivals to the German rockets. Before such an occasion their cars have had specially designed liveries inspired by their triumphs at the classic French race. The other manufacturer leaving the competition is BMW with its M8GTE. Aston Martin will be there with the Vantage #95 and #97.
LMGTE-Am: Project 1, the great favourites
The Porsche #56 of the Project 1 team arrives at the 24 Hours of Le Mans 2019 as the most likely candidate to take the title, with its 23-point advantage over the second classified in the standings, the Ferrari #54. Still, nothing is granted so they should not get too comfortable in their position if they want to avoid any surprises.
Other contenders that still stand a chance to take the final win are the Aston Martin ‘Factory’ #98, the Porsche #77 of Dempsey-Proton Racing and the Aston Martin #90 of TF Sport.
Images ’24 Hours of Le Mans 2019 Preview’: Toyota.