Ford Chip Ganassi Racing wins GTLM in the 2017 Rolex 24 at Daytona

Ford and Chip Ganassi Racing have won the GT Le Mans class at the 55th annual Rolex 24 at Daytona, the opening round of the 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

The winning #66 Ford GT was shared by Dirk Müller, Joey Hand and Sébastien Bourdais. They started from pole position.

The GTLM race was a thrilling one all-event long with multiple changes for the class lead. Ford, Corvette, Porsche and Ferrari entries were all competive, while BMW struggled and wasn't able to fight for the top spots.

The final hour featured two great battles for the class win. First between the Risi Competizione Ferrari of James Calado and the Ford GT of  Dirk Müller. The latter made the decisive move with thirty minutes to go.

Then, in the very closing stages, Dirk Müller was challenged by Porsche's Patrick Pilet for class supremacy. The two drivers had a breathtaking duel to the finish. Dirk Müller resisted to all Patrick Pilet's assaults and crossed the line first.

Patrick Pilet, second, shared the #911 Porsche RSR with team-mates Frédéric Makowiecki and Dirk Werner. A great debut for the brand new racer from Porsche GT Team.

James Calado, Toni Vilander and Giancarlo Fisichella completed the GTLM podium driving the Risi Competizione-run #62 Ferrari 488 GTE.

More to follow.

Photo: Ford / Porsche / Ferrari