Ford storms to Rolex 24 pole

January 26, 2017

Ford storms to Rolex 24 pole

January 26, 2017


Ford dominated GTLM qualifying at the Rolex 24 at Daytona with Joey Hand taking the top spot aboard the No.66 Ford GT.

Hand stopped the clocks at 1:43.473 to topple teammates Richard Westbook and Olivier Pla to score a Ford 1-2-3.

Toni Vilander was the “best of the best” for Risi Competizione aboard the Ferrari 488 GTE.

The pole was Ford’s sixth in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship since making its debut here at Daytona 12 months ago.

“We’ve made a lot of progress since last year,” Hand said.

“Last year here it was the car’s first race and we didn’t know what to expect and we were just trying to turn some laps and make the thing go the distance.

“We’ve had time with it now, we’ve won a 24-hour race (in the GTE Pro category at the Le Mans 24). We know the car will go the distance and we’ve been able to spend time on performance, making the car quicker.

“Today we made a small change (between practice and qualifying) and just went for it, and I felt like we had something, but you just never know.”

After night practice, the teams will have one final practice session tomorrow before the race kicks off on Saturday at 2:30pm.

lm24_2016_podium_42It was a dominant day for Ford which is running both it’s US and European-based squads this weekend. Both day time practice sessions before qualifying were also topped by Ford.

Last June, Hand, with co-drivers Dirk Müller and Sébastien Bourdais, won the GTE Pro title at the Le Mans 24 Hours on the 50th anniversary of Ford’s storied win against Ferrari in 1966.

Ford’s history with the 24 Hours At Daytona is special as well. The same year Ford earned its first win at Le Mans, drivers Ken Miles and Lloyd Ruby won the first event at Daytona in its current 24-hour format.

While Corvette Racing finished last year’s race 1-2, the two yellow machines could only qualify seventh (Jan Magnussen in the No.3) and ninth (Oliver Gavin in No.4).



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