Works Chevrolet Corvette driver Oliver Gavin believes BMW has an advantage over the rest of the GTE field at Le Mans this year.
BMW suffered a torrid 24 Hours in 2010, but the latest version of the M3 has proved quick this season. After yesterday's first qualifying session, Andy Priaulx's BMW sits on provisional pole with a time of 3m58.426s, over 0.5sec faster than Gianmaria Bruni's AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia and one second quicker than the top Michelin-shod Corvette, driven by Gavin, Richard Westbrook and Jan Magnussen.
Gavin believes the BMWs, which received some performance breaks last season, will be tough to beat.
"It's close between Ferrari, Porsche and us, but the BMWs seem just a bit ahead," he said. "They've got good downforce and are fast through sector one, but they've managed to not lose out in a straight line – they pull away on acceleration," he said.
"I think the size of their rear wing, front splitter, and air restrictor are all having an effect. They've been fitted for a while and now they're maximising it, and the [BMW's] Dunlops are helping, too."
Nevertheless, Gavin believes Chevrolet will be competitive.
"We're very happy with what we've got," he added. "The team is so well prepared and I'm confident I've got the fastest pit crew. This race is so much more about using your head – you've got to look after things. And you need a slice of luck."