The Ford Chip Ganassi Racing team travels to Shanghai in China this week for the penultimate round of the 2016 FIA Word Endurance Championship.
Located in China’s commercial and financial capital, the Shanghai International Circuit is a modern race track, shaped to mimic the Chinese character ‘shang’, which means ‘above’ (‘hai’ means ‘sea’, hence the name of the city). The demanding, technical track features tricky, twisting turns connected by high-speed straights.
“We were very pleased to take the first WEC team win at Fuji,” said George Howard-Chappell, WEC Team Principal. “Every member of the team delivered and it got us the result we wanted. We go to Shanghai hopeful of another good showing. The circuit in Fuji really suited our car and the Michelin tyres worked very well on the Fuji surface. It remains to be seen if we will be quite as well off in Shanghai but we will be exploiting every bit of the Ford GT’s performance to try to get another great result.”
Andy Priaulx and newly crowned European Le Mans Series LMP2 Champion Harry Tincknell took the #67 Ford GT to victory last time out. The Shanghai track is new to them, but so was Fuji and that didn’t slow them down!
“I haven’t been to Shanghai before so it’s new territory for me,” Priaulx said. “Having said that, Fuji was a new one for me and I was quickest in the first free practice session so the fact it is a new track for me won’t hold me back. I’ll do some simulator work, along with Harry, before we go to China and hopefully we will be able to build on the performance we had in Fuji. We’re feeling positive and looking forward to getting on track in Shanghai. If we can repeat our performance from Fuji and nail all those pit stops again I think we will be competitive.”
Olivier Pla was the fastest man in GTE qualifying at Fuji. Pole position and second place in the race for him and his teammate, Stefan Mücke, has fired up the Frenchman for Shanghai.
“I’ve raced in Shanghai on three occasions and I won there in 2014 while racing in the LMP2 class,” Pla said. “I really like the circuit as it has a good mixture of fast and technical corners and I think it will be a good track for the Ford GT. Our goal is to continue on the same dynamic as Fuji as the result there was very important for Ford and the people inside the team who work so hard. We all feel very confident and we are going to go for it 100 per cent.”
Qualifying is on Saturday at 13:30 (06:30 CET) and the lights go green for the 6 Hours of Shanghai at 11:00 (04:00 CET) on Sunday, Nov. 6.