Ford Chip Ganassi Racing today revealed that Marino Franchitti, Stefan Mücke, Olivier Pla and Andy Priaulx have been selected to race in the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) at the wheel of the all-new Ford GT.
This announcement follows on from the US announcement that Richard Westbrook, Dirk Müller, Joey Hand and Ryan Briscoe will race the all-new Ford GT in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Ford is running two cars in the FIA World Endurance Championship and two in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The intention is for the two teams to come together in June for a four-car effort at arguably the most famous endurance race in the world, the Le Mans 24 Hours, fifty years after its historic 1-2-3 finish.
“Make no mistake, we are racing to win,” said Dave Pericak, Ford Performance global director. “To compete at this level you need the best car, the best team and the best drivers, and we have selected Stefan, Olivier, Andy and Marino to drive the Ford GT to take on the best in the world.”
“I’m excited to be at team HQ in the UK to launch the WEC team,” said Chip Ganassi, owner of Ford Chip Ganassi Racing. “Just like when we announced the Ford GT drivers for the Weathertech Sportscar Championship last month, we’ve again chosen drivers with heart, speed and proven endurance racing credentials. It’s a global team running in two championships and I can’t wait for the racing to begin.”
Briton Marino Franchitti is an endurance-specialist and has raced at Le Mans no less than five times. Stefan Mücke, from Germany, has multiple WEC victories under his belt and knows what it takes to make it onto the podium at Le Mans. Frenchman, Olivier Pla, also has first-hand experience of the fierce competition in WEC. Briton Andy Priaulx is a three-time FIA World Touring Car Champion who has also won one of the world’s toughest endurance races — the Nürburgring 24 Hours — and stood on the podium at Le Mans.
WEC Ford Chip Ganassi Racing team principal — Multimatic’s George Howard-Chappell — has already led a team to victory at Le Mans on three occasions.
“It doesn’t get any more competitive than the Le Mans 24 Hours but that is what makes winning it so special,” said Howard-Chappell. “Everything has to be perfect and even then you still need luck on your side to cross the line first. The Ford GT has been built to return to Le Mans and these four drivers all know what it takes to compete against the toughest competition in the world.”
Mücke will get behind the wheel of the Ford GT very soon as he joins the IMSA Ford Chip Ganassi Racing squad for the Roar Before the Rolex 24 at Daytona, Jan. 8-10. Mücke will become the third driver in the No. 67 Ford GT entry at the Rolex 24 at Daytona, which takes place on Jan. 30-31 alongside Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook.
It was also revealed today that Sébastien Bourdais will join Dirk Müller and Joey Hand in the No. 66 Ford GT entry at the Rolex 24 at Daytona.
The all-new Ford GT is the pinnacle of Ford innovation in aerodynamics and lightweight carbon fibre construction. It is powered by a new twin-turbo Ford EcoBoost V6 engine, the most powerful EcoBoost production engine ever.
Is there any news of who the third drivers will be in each car at Le Mans?
It’s good to see you can’t keep a good Hill Climber down.
Not yet no. We will possibly find out on February 5th at the ACO press conference which usually includes entry lists for WEC, Le Mans and ELMS, although it may not include third drivers for Le Mans, Ford may decide to announce that closer to Le Mans. However with Bourdais added as part of the entry for Daytona. I’d be surprised if he wasn’t retained for his (literally) home race at Le Mans, given the experience he has racing at La Sarthe, in addition to the NAEC races in the US, should no clashes exist with other potential programmes. Ford… Read more »