After a tough fight at Le Mans, the Ford Chip Ganassi Racing team is expecting the GTE Pro opposition to come out fighting at round 3 of the FIA World Endurance Championship at Silverstone this weekend – just a few miles from Greatworth Park where the team is based.
The number 66 Ford GT of Stefan Mücke, Olivier Pla and Billy Johnson finished 6th in class at Le Mans, giving the team third place in the WEC standings. With a win in the opening round at Spa, Mücke and Pla are now in second place in the Driver’s Championship battle, just eight points behind the leaders.
“The competition in GTE Pro is exceptionally strong – we saw that at Spa and Le Mans,” said team principal George Howard-Chappell.
“The guys with the new cars are sure to be improving and we already know how competitive Porsche and Ferrari are. We booked a test a month before the race and were joined by two of the other manufacturers, so at least three of us have an idea of what to expect given the new track surface. Ideally we would like to continue the winning streak that our sister team in the USA have been having but let’s see. We will be going flat out for sure and I’m confident the track layout suits our car.”
WIth thew biggest race of the season done and dusted, both the number 66 and 67 Fords will drop to the usual two-driver crews for the next few races.
“It was important for us to take as many points as possible at Le Mans,” Mücke said. “The competition was very strong, especially from Porsche. Our target is to win the championship so we need to keep scoring maximum points and a win at Silverstone would be particularly special for the team as it is the home race.
“Silverstone has always been the first round in the past so it’s good to go and race there in the summer this time. We tested there a few weeks ago and the circuit has new asphalt, which is going to make it very interesting. Everything you learnt about the track in the past, forget it! There is a lot more grip, which is a good thing, but it is also very aggressive asphalt so tyre management will be crucial this weekend if we want to stay in the game.”
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