Ford GT job not done yet, says Pericak

Despite winning last year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, Dave Pericak, Ford Performance’s global director says he is targeting championships with the Ford GT in its sophomore season.

Ford GT job not done yet, says Pericak
Scott Pruett and Tony Kanaan
#69 Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT: Andy Priaulx
#02 Chip Ganassi Racing Riley DP Ford: Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan, Jamie McMurray, Kyle Larson
#69 Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT: Andy Priaulx
#66 Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT: Dirk Müller, Joey Hand, Sébastien Bourdais
#67 Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT: Ryan Briscoe, Richard Westbrook, Scott Dixon
#67 Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT: Ryan Briscoe, Richard Westbrook, Scott Dixon
Dirk Müller
#66 Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT: Dirk Müller, Joey Hand, Sébastien Bourdais
#02 Chip Ganassi Racing Riley DP Ford: Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan, Jamie McMurray, Kyle Larson

This weekend’s 55th Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona will see four of the Chip Ganassi Racing-run Ford GTs in action, as the team boosts its IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship entries with its FIA World Endurance Championship cars.

Between them, the IMSA and WEC Ford squads scored six victories in 2016, adding Laguna Seca, Watkins Glen, Mosport, Fuji and Shanghai to its famous Le Mans 24hr triumph.

Said Pericak: “We’re ready to get this second season started with Ford GT. We walked away from last year happy with what we were able to accomplish, but that doesn’t mean the job’s done.

“The team did a great job preparing in the very short off-season and we believe we’re prepared to compete for championships in 2017.”

Ganassi, who is the only team owner in history to win the Le Mans 24 Hours, Indianapolis 500, Daytona 500, Brickyard 400, Rolex 24 at Daytona and 12 Hours of Sebring, added: “Overall, when you look back at 2016, I would say ‘mission accomplished’ when it came to debuting this program with Ford. We won races, competed for the championship in both IMSA and WEC and of course won in Le Mans.

“Like any new program, you’re going to have some growing pains as we did here in Daytona but we have worked through all of those and finished 2016 strong.

“This year is a totally different scenario. Not only do we have four cars instead of two, we also have a 24-hour win under our belts and a season’s worth of experiences with this car. I can’t wait to see what this year’s race brings.”

Rolex 24 rookie Tincknell encouraged by Ford pace

One of the more intriguing lineups is that of three-time World Touring Car champion Andy Priaulx, Tony Kanaan and Harry Tincknell. While 2004 IndyCar champion and 2013 Indy 500 winner Kanaan won the Rolex 24 Hours overall in 2015, that was in Ganassi’s Ford Prototype, and the Brazilian has no race experience of the GT. Meanwhile Tincknell does have a season of Ford GT under his belt, but this will be his first attempt at the Rolex 24 Hours.

He commented: “I won class honors at Le Mans in 2014 and the 2016 European Le Mans Series title but I’m hungry to add a Daytona victory to my CV.

“Testing there earlier this month with the Ford team went well. We worked through our program while I got up to speed with the track. The Ford GTs were always at the sharp end of the timesheets so that bodes well for this weekend.

“I went to Daytona for the first time last year as a spectator and drove on the famous ‘banked’ track for the first time a couple of weeks ago. It’s the race I've most wanted to do for the last two years. Going there with Ford makes it extra special.

“I’ll be racing for Ford Chip Ganassi Racing again in the FIA World Endurance Championship which gets underway at Silverstone in April so the Daytona event will get the whole team in the groove. Another 24 hour race will help us develop the car for Le Mans and it gets the new guys in the team up to speed with pit stops before our main season starts.”

shares
comments
Robert Wickens gets prepared for first 24-hour race

Previous article

Robert Wickens gets prepared for first 24-hour race

Next article

Jeff Gordon discusses interest in Le Mans ahead of Rolex 24 return

Jeff Gordon discusses interest in Le Mans ahead of Rolex 24 return
Load comments
The significance of the next step in WEC/IMSA convergence Prime

The significance of the next step in WEC/IMSA convergence

Following the latest convergence connection permitting Le Mans Hypercars from the FIA World Endurance Championship to compete against LMDh entries in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship from 2023, it could open up enticing options not only to manufacturers but also for the calendar and race formats

WEC
Jul 13, 2021
Why a Mazda IMSA Prototype title would bring bitter joy Prime

Why a Mazda IMSA Prototype title would bring bitter joy

Can Mazda win this year’s IMSA Prototype championship? Undoubtedly. But it will be the culmination of an achingly hard struggle, after which the brand has decided to quit. David Malsher-Lopez tells the story of a bizarre blend of heartache and positivity.

IMSA
Apr 6, 2021
The GTE dilemma that IMSA has created for the WEC Prime

The GTE dilemma that IMSA has created for the WEC

The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s decision to scrap its GT Le Mans class for 2022 raises the question of whether the FIA World Endurance Championship should phase out GTE cars. But it's a much harder decision than it appears on the surface.

WEC
Feb 3, 2021
Nine things to watch at the 2021 Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona Prime

Nine things to watch at the 2021 Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona

After a 100-minute sprint race to whet the appetite, the 2021 IMSA SportsCar Championship gets underway properly this weekend. With plenty of significant changes during the winter, here are the key points you need to keep an eye on

IMSA
Jan 29, 2021
Why Magnussen is relishing a fresh start in sportscars Prime

Why Magnussen is relishing a fresh start in sportscars

Having gone over seven years without a race win through spells with McLaren, Renault and Haas, Kevin Magnussen's departure from Formula 1 for IMSA with big-hitters Chip Ganassi Racing could give him what he craves most - a chance of success

IMSA
Jan 29, 2021
Oliver Gavin's Corvette Racing highlights Prime

Oliver Gavin's Corvette Racing highlights

Oliver Gavin has stepped down from the full-time Corvette Racing line-up after a stellar career with the team spanning nearly 20 years. He looks back on a stint that encompassed, among other successes, five Le Mans 24 Hours victories.

Le Mans
Jan 28, 2021
How Tandy joined an exclusive club of endurance legends Prime

How Tandy joined an exclusive club of endurance legends

Victory at last year's Spa 24 Hours meant Nick Tandy had completed the unofficial sextuple crown of the world's six biggest endurance races, becoming the first Briton to do so. Ahead of his fresh start with Corvette Racing, he explains how he did it…

Le Mans
Jan 24, 2021
The 12 greatest Sebring 12 Hours ranked Prime

The 12 greatest Sebring 12 Hours ranked

The 2020 edition of the Florida sportscar classic is finally taking place this weekend, eight months after its traditional date in March. That meant there was plenty of time for Motorsport.com to pour over its previous 67 races and select the best.

IMSA
Nov 11, 2020