Ford Chip Ganassi Racing has assembled a team of racing drivers from across the globe, ready for its return to the Le Mans 24 Hours, 50 years on from taking outright victory at the world’s greatest endurance race.
Each of the four Ford GTs will have a team of three drivers to take on the demands of the Le Mans 24 Hours, which takes place on June 18-19.
“We are pleased to have a very strong driver line-up for our return to the Le Mans 24 Hours,” commented Raj Nair, Ford executive vice president and chief technical officer, Global Product Development. “We’ve assembled a talented and experienced team on all fronts and we are all focused on creating a new chapter in Ford’s history at Le Mans.”
The #66 Ford GT will be raced by a formidable line-up featuring German, Stefan Mücke, Frenchman, Olivier Pla and American, Billy Johnson, while Scot, Marino Franchitti, Guernsey-based, Andy Priaulx and Englishman, Harry Tincknell form a very strong squad in the #67 Ford GT.
Tincknell 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.
“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.”
Johnson is one of the most successful drivers in the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge. 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 Müller will be strengthened by the addition of Frenchman, Sébastien Bourdais at Le Mans, with New Zealander, Scott Dixon joining Englishman, Richard Westbrook and Australian, Ryan Briscoe in the #69 car.