Ford confirms Le Mans line-up
Ford confirms Le Mans line-up
IndyCar aces Scott Dixon and Sebastien Bourdais, American Billy Johnson and former Nissan LM P1 ace Harry Tincknell are amongst the all-star line-up confirmed today by Ford Chip Ganassi Racing for this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours.
Born and bred in Le Mans, Bourdais made his debut for the Ford GT program at Daytona and will drive again this week at Sebring joined by reigning IndyCar champ Dixon – both are now locked in for the world’s toughest endurance.
Tincknell (pictured right) will combine his European Le Mans Series efforts with JOTA Sport in LM P2 with a Ford Le Mans assault – joining his 2015 Nissan teammate Olivier Pla.
He is already a Le Mans winner as he took the LMP2 victory in 2014 in what was his fourth ever sports car race. He will join the team for the first two WEC races at Silverstone and Spa before going to Le Mans.
The Brit will be part of an all-UK line-up for car No.67 alongside Marino Franchitti and Andy Priaulx.
“At 24, to be driving a Ford GT car at Le Mans exactly 50 years after the famous 1-2-3 finish for the team is incredibly special for me personally,” said Tincknell.
“Ford has such an incredible history at Le Mans and I think with this car and team we can emulate some of that success. We’ll be resuming that fierce battle with Ferrari but it will be very competitive with all of the manufacturers in the class so we are in for a great fight.
“There is an incredible drive within the team at the moment and everyone is excited to be back. I’m very proud to be a part of it all.”
The #66 Ford GT will be raced by a formidable line-up featuring German, Stefan MÃ¼cke, Frenchman Pla (pictured right) and Johnson.
American ace Johnson is one of the most successful drivers in the IMSA SportsCar Challenge series. Currently racing the Ford Shelby GT350R-C Mustang, Johnson makes his Le Mans debut this year.
“Ford’s history at Le Mans is one of the greatest motorsport stories of all time and this return after 50 years is arguably as meaningful and ambitious,” said Johnson.
“Having won many races behind the wheel of Fords and having been a part of the development of the Ford GT, it’s truly an honour to be competing in the Le Mans 24 Hours on Ford’s historic return to the race. Like the original, the new Ford GT was built to win Le Mans and it’s such a fantastic car to drive.”
The #68 Ford GT line-up of American, Joey Hand and German, Dirk MÃ¼ller will be strengthened by the addition of Frenchman, SÃ©bastien Bourdais at Le Mans, with New Zealander, Scott Dixon joining Englishman, Richard Westbrook and Australian, Ryan Briscoe in the #69 car.
Bourdais (pictured right) tested the Ford GT during its development phase and competed in the #66 IMSA Ford GT at the Rolex 24 with Hand and MÃ¼ller.
“Le Mans is incredibly close to my heart,” said Bourdais.
“I was born there so it is very special to go back as the local boy, as I have done 10 times now. People have not forgotten Ford’s history and heritage at Le Mans, even though it was a long time ago. The excitement around Ford’s return will make Le Mans even more special for us. We have new challenges and new rivalries and we hope the story comes full circle so that we can repeat history.”
Bourdais and Dixon (pictured right) were recently announced as the third and fourth drivers who will complete the line-up for the Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring this week.
“For once I’m the rookie as this will be my first Le Mans,” said Dixon.
“I’m excited to make my Le Mans debut in the Ford GT. I’ve been in the car a few times in testing so I know we have a great race car here. Like any driver it is a dream come true for me to race at Le Mans and I can’t wait to get started. The history of Ford at Le Mans is very well documented and I’m proud to be part of this very special programme.”
Action at Sebring kicks off this Thursday for the 64th running of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.
— Ford Performance (@FordPerformance) March 14, 2016
— Harry Tincknell (@HarryTincknell) March 14, 2016
— Billy Johnson (@BillyJRacing) March 14, 2016
— Scott Dixon (@scottdixon9) March 14, 2016