Ford GT set for first cross-continent weekend of 2018

April 30, 2018

Ford GT set for first cross-continent weekend of 2018

April 30, 2018

Ford Chip Ganassi Racing has its first all-car weekend of the sports car racing season this weekend, at both the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps.

Both race weekends are important as the final dress rehearsal races before the 24 Hours of Le Mans. All four Ford GTs race this weekend in the two different events, while all four will race under one team umbrella at Le Mans in June.


Ford leads the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship points standings heading into the Acura Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio.

Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook hold a seven-point lead in the driver’s championship and Ford holds a four-point lead in the manufacturer’s championship. Briscoe and Westbrook look for their second win of the year in the No. 67 Ford GT.

Teammates Joey Hand and Dirk Mueller look to break through for the first time this year in the No. 66 Ford GT. They’ve had two podiums, and rank third in the drivers’ championship, 11 points behind their teammates.

Hand’s memorable barrel roll at Mid-Ohio in 2006 is famous for all the wrong reasons.

“I’m pretty famous around Mid-Ohio (laughing),” Hand said. “People say I’m infamous for that wreck in 2006. Every weekend I get fans asking me about it. It gave me a name because of that, but the cool part I love about Mid-Ohio,

“I love it as a race track. It’s that old-school American race track, built on the topography of the land. There’s risks and rewards – a lot of them. There’s a lot of hometown advantage if you know the track. If you place the car in certain places on the track, you’ll be faster than the guy behind you who doesn’t.”

The IMSA race at Mid-Ohio airs live, Sunday, at 1 p.m. ET on FS2.


Ford opened its 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship season with a win at Silverstone, with Andy Priaulx and Harry Tincknell behind the wheel of the No. 67 Ford GT.

They’ll try to emulate that for the start of the 2018-’19 campaign at Spa, a track where Ford has a second and a third place finish on its scorecard, but not a win yet.

Priaulx and Tincknell are back again for a third year, with Tincknell having to miss the IMSA race at Mid-Ohio where he drives for Mazda Team Joest.

Stefan Mucke and Olivier Pla (above) again share the No. 66 Ford GT. Billy Johnson (No. 66) and Tony Kanaan (No. 67) join as third drivers at Spa and Le Mans.

Ford has focused on tire testing of a new Michelin tire over the preseason, particularly during last month’s Prologue at Paul Ricard.

Mucke outlined the task ahead for Ford, in pursuit of its first FIA WEC title, in what is expected to be a deep GTE-Pro class field.

“It’s going to be a tough season with tough racing but that’s exactly what we want,” he said. “We know the Ford GT well now; every bolt and every detail. We’ve been very busy over the winter especially with tire testing and making sure every detail of the car is perfect. I think we are stronger than ever, better prepared than ever, and that’s why I think we have a very good chance this year.”

The FIA WEC race airs live, Saturday, at 7 a.m. ET and 12:30 p.m. ET on Velocity.

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