24h Le Mans
29/06/2019 - 17:01

The 2019 24 Hours of Le Mans for Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK and USA (LMGTE Pro)

43 teams (fielding 61 cars) competed in the 87th 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Super Finale of the FIA WEC 2018-19 World Endurance Championship. There were winners, of course, but also mechanical glitches, track incidents and early retirements. Joy for some, disappointment for others... Here’s a summary of the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK and USA teams, which ran in the LMGTE Pro class.
The 2019 24 Hours of Le Mans for Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK and USA (LMGTE Pro)

Team: Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK

Class: LMGTE Pro

Car: #66 Ford GT

Drivers:

  • Stefan Mücke (13th participation)
  • Olivier Pla (12th participation)
  • Billy Johnson (3rd participation)

This car boasted a livery reminiscent of the Ford GT40 shared by 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans winners Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon. The car qualified in 37th position with a time of 3:49.511 clocked by Stefan Mücke during the third session. Though the #66 Ford GT had difficulty reaching the proper pace early in the race, the drivers and mechanics rallied, and the car crossed the finish line in 25th place overall and sixth in the LMGTE Pro class. "The guys worked hard and made the car faster so we could climb in the classification. They never gave up and worked together," explained Billy Johnson.

Car: #67 Ford GT

Drivers:

  • Andy Priaulx (6th participation)
  • Harry Tincknell (6th participation)
  • Jonathan Bomarito (2nd participation)

The red livery of this car brought to mind the winning GT40 shared by Dan Gurney and A.J. Foyt in 1967. British driver Harry Tincknell qualified the #67 Ford GT in 30th position with a time of 3:48.112. Unlucky with the safety car deployments, Andy Priaulx, Harry Tincknell and Jonathan Bomarito finished the race in 23rd place overall and fourth in LMGTE Pro. "Harry did outstanding stints and we were at the forefront of our class throughout the race. However, we didn't have the pace to be able to win, and it's disappointing especially given that the team worked so hard," commented Andy Priaulx

Team: Ford Chip Ganassi Team USA

Class: LMGTE Pro

Car: #88 Ford GT 

Drivers:

  • Joey Hand (5th participation)
  • Dirk Müller (8th participation)
  • Sébastien Bourdais (13th participation)

This car won the LMGTE Pro class at the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans. Dirk Müller qualified the American GT in 34th position with a time of 3:49.116 during the third session. In the race, Joey Hand, Dirk Müller and Sébastien Bourdais did solid stints, without any problems, and made it to the chequered flag in 23rd place overall and fourth in the class. Unfortunately, during the post-race technical checks, the race stewards officially disqualified the car for breach of fuel tank capacity regulations.

Car: #69 Ford GT 

Drivers:

  • Ryan Briscoe (5th participation)
  • Richard Westbrook (9th participation)
  • Scott Dixon (4th participation)

The livery of this car was inspired by the design of the Ford GT40 that finished second in a hat trick for the American marque at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans. Ryan Briscoe qualified the #69 Ford GT in 38th position with a time of 3:49.546. Other than a spin out for Richard Westbrook at the Dunlop chicane, the car had a smooth race, finishing 24th overall and sixth in the LMGTE Pro class. "The configuration of our car was excellent. We were able to double the tyres and find a great pace. I was happy with my driving. The team and driver line-up did remarkable work and I'm proud of the effort," commented Briscoe.

PHOTO: LE MANS (SARTHE, FRANCE), CIRCUIT DES 24 HEURES DU MANS, WEDNESDAY 12 JUNE 2019, FREE PRACTICE. The #66 Ford GT of Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK driven by Stephan Mücke, Olivier Pla and Billy Johnson.