Ford with eye on two titles at Petit Le Mans

October 5, 2018

Ford with eye on two titles at Petit Le Mans

October 5, 2018

Ford Chip Ganassi Racing has had a mix of highs and lows during the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season.

With five wins, Ford’s pair of GTs have positioned the manufacturer nicely to secure the GT Le Mans class manufacturer’s championship. Ford leads by 10 points over Chevrolet there and will win that championship if they start Motul Petit Le Mans.

However the ebb-and-flow nature of the two GTs season has left them both trailing in the driver’s championship. Bad luck has dogged both the Nos. 66 and 67 cars throughout the year, and leaves only Richard Westbrook and Ryan Briscoe in with a shot at the title.

Westbrook and Briscoe have finished seventh and sixth in the last two races. Clutch and steering issues, respectively, took them out of races at VIR and Monterey. This has knocked the pair back to nine points behind championship leaders Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen of Corvette.

The Westbrook and Briscoe pairing has a class-high three wins this year (Daytona, CTMP, Road America).

They’d need a fourth win to put pressure on Garcia and Magnussen. The No. 67 pairing can overtake the leading Corvette pairing with a win and the No. 3 car fifth or lower. Briscoe and Westbrook can also win with second and the No. 3 car eighth or lower.

Ford has the opportunity to “book-end” the season with wins in both the first and last race of the year. The team went 1-2 to start 2018 back at the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January.

This year’s IndyCar champion Scott Dixon rejoins Westbrook and Briscoe in the No. 67 car this weekend. Additionally, Sebastien Bourdais rejoins Dirk Mueller and Joey Hand in the No. 66 car.

Mueller and Hand’s title aspirations were dashed when they got caught up in a start-line crash in Monterey. While the Ganassi team repaired the No. 66 car, they retired and finished seventh in class.

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