Hardest to pick a winner in this class. Larbre Competition won last year at Le Mans and the class wins in two WEC rounds have thus far been split between Felbermayr-Proton (Sebring) and the non-WEC entered Imsa Performance Matmut (Spa). So, several possible contenders.
LARBRE – Jack Leconte's team finished 1-2 in class a year ago with a Corvette and a Porsche, and is set to defend with an improved driver lineup and uniformity in cars. Ex-Peugeot driver Pedro Lamy replaces Gabriele Gardel alongside Julien Canal and Patrick Bornhauser. The No. 70 Corvette has the same lineup that finished second a year ago, except the car changes.
KROHN – Tracy Krohn has scored several Le Mans podiums in joint Risi/Krohn entries in the main GT2 class before it was split into Pro and Am last year. The team now runs the 2011-spec Ferrari 458 this year instead of the year-old 430, and combined with Nic Jonsson and Michele Rugolo, this is one of the best-prepped American teams in endurance racing.
IMSA – Spa GTE Am class winners, the Imsa Performance Matmut team did not receive an entry with its GTE Pro class car, so instead relies solely on this Porsche this year. Of the drivers, team principal Raymond Narac is a former Le Mans winner and Nicolas Armindo and Anthony Pons should provide capable support.
FELBERMAYR – Sebring GTE Am winners, the “R squad” of Christian Ried, Gianluca Roda and Paolo Ruberti are overall a good squad for the team's Porsche, and should remain in contention provided reliability issues don't arise.
FLYING LIZARD – Flying Lizard has a better chance in GTE Am than Pro for its elusive first Le Mans win, as the team has been able to maximize the lineup for the “pro-am-am” nature of the class. Spencer Pumpelly is only rated a Silver driver despite his success in Grand-Am and ALMS GT racing over the years, so is eligible to race alongside fellow pro Patrick Pilet – a last-minute replacement for Darren Law –and team principal Seth Neiman.
ASTON MARTIN – AMR's second Vantage has one of the better driver lineups in class, with former GT2 runner-up Allan Simonsen and P2 class winner Kristian Poulsen on board. Another in the, “Will have speed, but needs reliability” camp, though, for a full 24 hours.
JWA-AVILA – No superstars in the first-year team's Porsche, although Markus Palttala has the potential to surprise. Finishing is the goal for Paul Daniels' squad.
LUXURY – Gunnar Jeannette is the youngest driver to finish Le Mans, and combined with Frankie Montecalvo and Pierre Ehret are a capable lineup in the team's Ferrari. Montecalvo's never raced at Le Mans and will have a steep learning curve within the field's slowest class.
AF CORSE – Neither the AF Corse-Waltrip or sole AF Corse 458s have the caliber of drivers or experience levels as its GTE Pro class counterparts. Key for both squads – particularly the No. 61 car that includes NASCAR's Brian Vickers and MWR co-partner Rob Kauffman in his second Le Mans – is staying out of the way when being lapped.
PROSPEED – This car should be a pole contender in the hands of one of the fastest drivers in class, Sean Edwards. However, the reliability and endurance factor with Edwards joined by Abdulaziz Al Faisal and Bret Curtis will probably see this car outside the contending realm.
JMB – Far from an inspiring driver lineup in the team's Ferrari 458, but if they keep it running long enough they could get a result out of this year's race.