mardi 2 mai 2017

Ford Chip Ganassi Racing chases GTLM win at COTA


Ford Chip Ganassi Racing has made every podium in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and FIA World Endurance Championship so far this year. First, Hand and co-driver Dirk Müller won the Rolex 24 At Daytona and finished second at the 12 Hours of Sebring with endurance teammate Sébastien Bourdais. Then Richard Westbrook and Ryan Briscoe finished second at Long Beach in the No. 67 Ford GT, while the No. 67 WEC Ford GT of Andy Priaulx, Harry Tincknell and Pipo Derani finished first at Silverstone.

Now they hope a successful test session the team logged at COTA earlier this year positions them perfectly for success.

“Last year we had a good qualifying result (p1, Ryan Briscoe, No. 67 Ford GT), but unfortunately it didn’t result in a good finish in the race,” said team principal Mike O’Gara. “The No. 67 had an incident with another car and the No. 66, it just wasn’t their day. This year, we’ve done extra preparation by testing here a few weeks ago. The No. 66 is still in the points lead for the championship and we’re hoping to maintain that. The No. 67, with its second-place finish at Long Beach, got bumped up quite a bit in points. We want to keep up that momentum and keep up the string of podium finishes we’ve had and look for p1-2 for the team at COTA.”


Briscoe earned his first Ford GT pole at COTA last year. Hand claimed the checkered flag at the track in 2015, the last year Ford Chip Ganassi Racing campaigned the Ford EcoBoost prototype. It was the second consecutive year the team had won the prototype race.

“For me, COTA is a fun race track,” Hand said. “It’s one of those tracks as a driver where you can get a lot out of the track if you know it well. You can push really hard. There’s a lot of run-off and are a lot of great corners in succession. Even so, a lot of what brings success in racing is how you’ve done there before, and we at Ford Chip Ganassi Racing always seem to have a strong starting set-up at COTA. One thing we’ve done really well this year is coming out of the truck fast and that goes a long way. Hopefully we’ll just run out of the trailer quick, do some fine-tuning and keep this championship run rolling.”

The No. 66 Ford GT team have a two-point lead in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship standings after three races. The No. 67 is third, nine points behind the leader. Ford holds a one-point lead in the GTLM manufacturer standings.

Ford Press Release