Ford Chip Ganassi Team USA has chosen Tony Kanaan for their Le Mans team.
The Indy 500 winner from 2013 drove for the team at Daytona in January for the 24 hours race, but he wasn’t a part of the plans for Ford at Le Mans, since he hasn’t previously raced there.
But when Sebastien Bourdais broke his hip and pelvis in a violent crash in the qualifying for the Indy 500 one and a half weeks ago, the team had to find a replacement.
They hadn’t chosen any test or reserve driver, since they needed 12 drivers for the 4 cars and only 14 drivers have been in the car so far. Which makes Kanaan the obvious choice. Driver number 14, Marino Franchitti, broke up with the team after Le Mans 2016.
The 42 year old Brazilian is a Rookie at Le Mans, and therefore he will be very busy for the Next two and a half weeks. This weekend he will race in two Indycar races in Detroit, so he won’t make the Le Mans test day on Sunday. Then he has one week to get to France and do the mandatory simulator test/education for all Rookies who are going to race at Le Mans.
When the Le Mans week itself starts, he has to do 10 flying laps in practice or qualifying plus laps at night, before he is qualified to participate in the race.
He will be a part of the #68 car alongside defending Le Mans Winners Joey Hand and Dirk Müller.