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Toyota Favored at Le Mans

The world’s most famous endurance car race begins this Saturday with the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The Porsche 919 Hybrid has won the last two years. But it’s Toyota Gazoo Racing who will be the favorite this year. Toyota will have three TS050 Hybrids in the race. Porsche will field its usual two-car entry.

The No. 8 Toyota is the slight favorite over its No. 7 sister car. Much of that has to do with the No. 8 car leading the World Endurance Championship’s LMP1 class. But Le Mans is a double-points race, making it possible for a team to make up big ground in one race. Odds on the No. 8 car are 7-to-4, with the No. 7 at 5-to-2.

The No. 2 Porsche is the third choice at 4-to-1. It’s a bit surprising that the No. 2 car is favored over the No. 1 car. Brendon Hartley, one of the three drivers of the No. 2 car, is the only Porsche driver in the race without a Le Mans victory. But the No. 1 car is the defending WEC class champion. Despite a bit of a slow start to the season, the team figures to be in the hunt at the end.

The LMP1 class was the only one of the four classes that has odds posted this early. It’s not unusual to see the other classes have odds released a day or two before the race. This allows for the four-hour free practice session to take place. And oddsmakers may want to wait until after Thursday’s qualifying.

It will be a dogfight in the LMP2 class where either the No. 26 G-Drive Racing or No. 37 Jackie Chan Racing entries will be the likely favorite.

In GTE Pro, the Corvette Racing team will get plenty of attention. While the Chip Ganassi Ford teams have to be considered. The No. 64 Corvette C7.R led the official Test Day but was hit by Balance of Performance adjustments to slow it down a bit.

The GTE Am likely favorite will be the No. 98 Austin Martin team in its Vantage V8. Larbre Competition has upgraded to a C7.R for its lone race and may be a solid dark horse.

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