If the LMP1 class success is a game of chess, where long-term plans and strategies are plotted meticulously, then the GT class is rather much more all-out warfare.

From start-to-finish, the parity in quality and pace from the factory Ferrari, Porsche, Corvette and Aston Martin teams means any of the nine cars entered between them have the credentials to challenge for victory in the GT Pro class.

Last year saw the quartet still duking it out for the lead on track long after the sun had set, with Ferrari eventually coming up trumps with its marginally better reliability.

This year sees fairly few changes to either the cars or the driving line-ups, with all entering two cars under their respective banners, save for Aston Martin, which will once again increase its odds with a third car.

Ferrari go into the race as marginal favourites based on their superior record at Le Mans in recent years, particularly in the hands of Gimmi Bruni and Toni Vilander, who will once again count on the support of former F1 race winner Giancarlo Fisichella in the evergreen #61 AF Corse-prepared 458 Italia.

They are supported by the sister #71 entry driven by Davide Rigon, James Calado and Olivier Beretta, the latter of which has won a staggering 6 Le Mans titles at GT level.

After an indifferent debut with the latest generation 911 RSR last year, Porsche has higher hopes for its Team Manthey-run car this year. The #91 machine will feature Jorg Bergmeister, Richard Lietz and high-rated newcomer Michael Christensen in one car, while Wolf Henzler, Frederic Makowiecki and Patrick Pilet makes up the sister #92 machine.

Though it continues to ply its trade in the US primarily, Corvette Racing cannot resist taking the challenge to its European counterparts at Le Mans and, having debuted the gurgling C7.R last year, stands to do well again this year. Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner and Jordan Taylor will drive the #64 car, while Jan Magnussen, Antonio Garcia and Ryan Briscoe make up the #63 entry.

Finally, Aston Martin's quest will be entrusted to thee entries, with long-time partners Darren Turner and Stefan Mucke welcoming back Robert Bell to the team, while it will be supported by the all-Danish line-up of Marco Sorensen, Nicki Thiim and Christoffer Nygaard, the latter pair stepping up to 'Pro' having dominated the GT Am category in 2014, as well as the #99 entry of Alex MacDowell, Fernando Rees and highly-tipped Richie Stanway.

If the GT Pro class sees little change year-on-year, the GT Am category - which features a mix of professional and 'gentleman' drivers - offers a little more variety, with the usual bevy of Porsches, Ferraris and Aston Martins bolstered by the arrival of a Corvette and a Dodge Viper.

Long-serving French team Larbre Competition will run the Corvette C7R with Kristian Poulsen, Gianluca Roda and Paolo Ruberti, while Riley Motorsports is a welcome returnee to the GT ranks with the always-popular Viper, this year driven by Jeroen Bleekemolen, Ben Keating and Marc Miller.

Elsewhere, six Ferrari 458 Italias will participate, three of which come from the AF Corse stable, plus entries from SMP Racing, JMW and Scuderia Corsa, plus four Porsche 911s entrusted to the Taiwanse Team AAI and Proton Racing outfits.

However, Aston Martin remains arguably the manufacturer to beat having dominated over the last 12 months, most notably the #98 car, which counts former LMP1 podium winner Pedro Lamy as its professional leader alongside ex-DTM racer Mathias Lauda as its silver designated driver and the accomplished Paul Dalla Lana as its gentleman entry.



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