It’s a re-election for almost all drivers at Ford Chip Ganassi Racing in both FIA WEC and the Le Mans race.
When the entry lists were announced yesterday, the two IMSA cars were again present on the list for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
In car 66 we will again see Stefan Mücke and Olivier Pla as the full season pairing in WEC, while Billy Johnson will participate in the first three races of the year. In number 67 car Andy Priaulx and Harry Tincknell will be there all season long, while Pipo Derani will be the 3rd guy up until and including Le Mans.
In the two IMSA cars, we will have Joey Hand, Dirk Müller, and Sebastien Bourdais as the defending winners of the race in car 68, while Ryan Briscoe, Richard Westbrook, and Scott Dixon will one again pilot the 69’er.
In relation to their 2016 line-up, only Marino Franchitti is no longer at part of the team, and now replaced by Pipo Derani. There hasn’t been any official explanation from the team, but the breakup happened immediately after Le Mans 2016, where the FIA WEC changed to a two-driver-only line-up, even when the press releases ahead of the season had mentioned otherwise.
Ford had a very mixed 2016 season. The first two weekends in FIA WEC weren’t the best result wise, but they won the 24 Hours of Le Mans. After that there was a dry period again, until car 67 grabbed two wins in a row at Fuji and Shanghai.
2017 has already given the team the first victory for the car that runs the 68 number in Europe. Hand, Müller, and Bourdais won the 24 Hours of Daytona last weekend. They have the possibility to add another victory ahead of the European start at Silverstone in April, when the 12 Hours of Sebring will be held in March.