MOORESVILLE, NC – June 5, 2018 – When the 2018 Le Mans 24 Hours gets underway next week (June 16-17) the Ford Chip Ganassi Racing team will face its greatest challenge yet. The class in which the Ford GTs compete at Le Mans – ‘GTE Pro’ – now boasts 17 of the world’s best GT cars and 51 of the world’s fastest racing drivers, making it the fiercest competition the team has faced so far.
Now in the third year of its successful Ford GT race programme, which has seen Ford Chip Ganassi Racing win at Le Mans in 2016 and finish as runner-up in 2017, the team is ready to take on all challengers.
“It’s rewarding to see all four cars come together as one team every year at Le Mans,” said Mark Rushbrook, global director of Ford Performance Motorsport. “It shows the scale of the global effort we launched in 2016 and have been building on since.
“Le Mans is always the ultimate challenge but this year it has gone up a level through the sheer size of the opposition. We’re going up against the best that Ferrari, Porsche, Aston Martin, Corvette and BMW have to offer and we can’t wait. This is why we race.”
The Le Mans 24 Hours is always a highlight in Chip Ganassi’s racing calendar and he too is fully committed to shooting for another Ford victory in 2018.
“The Le Mans 24 Hours is one of those races that you have circled on the calendar,” Ganassi said. “It has everything. It’s on an historic track in France, it is an endurance race and it is one of the most spectacular events in the world. When you win a race like Le Mans, you know you have accomplished something. It is multiple drivers, crew members and the right manufacturer all coming together. I can’t wait to get back there to compete for another win.”
The #66 Ford GT crew of Stefan Mücke (GER), Olivier Pla (FRA) and Billy Johnson (USA) took their first victory in the opening round of the FIA World Endurance Championship at Spa in Belgium last month. Le Mans has been hard on them over the last two years, so they hope the Spa win signals a change in their fortunes.
In the #67 Ford GT, IndyCar star Tony Kanaan (BRA) joins last year’s runners-up, Andy Priaulx (GB) and Harry Tincknell (GB), and they all have their eye on the top step of the podium.
Already podium finishers in 2018, the drivers of the #68 Ford GT are the history-makers: the crew that took Ford’s first modern-day Le Mans win in 2016. Joey Hand (USA), Sébastien Bourdais (FRA) and Dirk Müller (GER) would love to do the double.
The drivers of the #69 Ford GT got their 2018 campaign off to the best possible start by winning the Rolex 24 At Daytona. Ryan Briscoe (AUS), Richard Westbrook (GB) and Scott Dixon (NZ) are more than ready for another 24-hour win.
*Courtesy of Ford Performance