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The Ford GT gets its first win at Laguna Seca
Victory is a huge boost for the team with Le Mans on the horizon
Ford have overcome the disappointment of missing out on a podium at the WEC’s Six Hours of Silverstone last month by claiming their first win in the fifth round of the 2016 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
No. 67 drivers Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook narrowly missed out on pole in the GTLM category, but claimed the chequered flag with an ambitious strategy in the two-hour race at Laguna Seca.
Squeezing every last drop of fuel economy out of the car, Briscoe and Westbrook pitted just once as rivals made at least two stops.
“It’s something we didn’t expect,” said Westbrook after the race. “Although the crew thoroughly deserved it after three months of slugging away, getting us to where we are now. That’s for them. It really is.”
Dave Pericak, global director of Ford Performance, was equally thrilled with the victory, saying: “We’ve been waiting for this win for a long time. I think it’s great that it came as a fuel economy win. It hasn’t sunk in yet.
“It’s great for Ford EcoBoost, because that’s what it’s all about, but this is really a boost for the team going into Le Mans. We’ve been working up to this point to showcase the car’s durability and I think this is what the team needed.”
The No. 67 car beat the Ferrari 488 GTE of Alessandro Pier Guidi and Daniel Serra into second place, while the other Ford GT finished down the field in sixth.
Is this evidence that Ford can prevail at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June? We’ll have a much better idea after the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps this weekend…