The 1999 edition of the Le Mans 24 Hours is often looked back upon as a classic year for manufacturer participation. Twenty years on, it's a very similar story - but the difference is that it's not for outright honours.
Just as the World Endurance Championship's LMP1 golden age was coming to an end, a new one was starting in the GTE Pro class. The arrival of the Ford GT in 2016, combined with the entry of the Ferrari 488 GTE, created an unprecedented amount of interest in the third tier at the Circuit de la Sarthe. Since then, the category has only blossomed further.
Porsche came back with a new mid-engined 911 RSR in 2017, and then doubled its GTE Pro presence to four cars the following year. BMW also joined the party with a pair of new M8 GTEs, creating an almighty 17-car scrap in '18 with no fewer than six manufacturers represented. The same number of cars will duke it out this time around in one the best class fields ever assembled at Le Mans. But with Ford already having confirmed the end of its works GT programme, and BMW also bailing after just 18 months in the WEC - although it will continue in the IMSA SportsCar Championship - will '19 be looked back upon as GTE's zenith?