Ford really made sure to take every aspect of the new LMGTE regulations in their favor with their new Ford GT, and to be in condition to fight for a class win, two machines will race the whole FIA World Endurance Championship while two reinforcement units will come to aid at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Cars ready for the season ahead, there was also another matter to deal with: drivers, twelve of them. Ford not only worked well to get some interesting names from other manufacturers, but also got the strongest lineups of the class, with experiences ranging into open wheel, touring cars, GTs and even prototypes.
FIA WEC cars:
The No. 66 machine, to be driven by Stefan Mücke and Olivier Pla, coming from Aston Martin and Nissan respectively, will get the company of Billy Johnson at Le Mans, who was one of the guys who drove the Ford GT during its tests. The No. 67 one will have a British trio, with Marino Franchitti and ex-BMW driver Andy Priaulx welcome the former Nissan driver Harry Tincknell to their car at La Sarthe.
Le Mans-only cars:
The extra pair of cars that Ford will bring to Le Mans are exactly the ones which will race in the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship this season. The No. 68 machine will have Joey Hand and Dirk Müller, both with past ties with BMW, along with IndyCar racer and triple Le Mans runner-up Sébastien Bourdais. The No. 69 car will have Ryan Briscoe, Richard Westbrook and the current IndyCar champion Scott Dixon.
Out of these twelve guys, only Billy Johnson and Scott Dixon never made the trip to La Sarthe to race in the French endurance classic, but Johnson has lots of experience with GT machinery and Dixon always does his appearances with Chip Ganassi Racing in American sportscar racing. And despite the number of super stars in the team, only one man, Harry Tincknell, has a class win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, while Bourdais, Müller and Hand have podium finishes in France. Also, class wins at the 12 Hours of Sebring are included in some CVs out there.
PHOTO: Ford Performance