Ford’s Chip Ganassi Racing team came third place in the GT3 class at this year’s Le Mans 24-hour race. It’s the third straight podium position for the team, which has used Ford GTs since 2016. The drivers of the #68 car – Joey Hand, Sébastien Bourdais and Dirk Muller – returned to the podium after winning the race two years ago.
All four Fords finished the race. The #67 car of Harry Tincknell, Andy Priaulx and Tony Kanaan ended the race in 4th place and both other cars finished strongly too. The 3rd and 4th placed cars both covered 343 laps of the circuit during the 24-hour period, while the other two covered 340 and 311 respectively.
Le Mans is the world’s toughest endurance race, highlighting the achievement of Ford’s drivers and teams. An early safety car mix-up allowed two GTE Porsches to streak into the lead, and they led the pack to the chequered flag at the end of the race. An incident between the #66 car and a prototype car caused quite substantial damage to the Ford, which spent a lot of time in the garage as a result.
Last year Bourdais missed the race with injury, so he was excited to be back racing at his home circuit.
“It was great to be back at Le Mans,” he said. “It was a tough race, but we maximised everything as a team. And for that, I am super proud of everyone [in the team].”
“Being on the podium at Le Mans is almost like winning because this race is so special and unique,” Muller added. “For the #68 Ford GT, a victory in 2016 and a third place today means a lot. I look forward to coming back next year and going back up two more spots.
The result is good news for the WEC Championship, which the Chip Ganassi team is competing in. It consists of a number of endurance races held on circuits across the globe, and the points from Le Mans have added to the team’s haul for the season.