For the second year in a row, a Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT took the checkered flag at the Rolex 24 Hour endurance race held at historic Daytona International Raceway — giving the modern Ford GT its 11th race win. Not only did drivers Ryan Briscoe, Richard Westbrook and Scott Dixon take top honors at the grueling race in the #67 car, but their teammates Joey Hand, Dirk Müller and Sebastien Bourdais finished hot on their heels in the second position in car #66.
Ford debuted a new Ford GT livery in Daytona and it must have been good luck, as the #67 and #66 racers finished in first and second place, respectively, at the historic endurance race.
“It was just an amazing 24-hour race,” Richard said. “Racing with our teammates, they’re our friends, and racing that hard for 24 hours, there was just nothing in it. It felt like ages we were just one second apart. It was just incredible and was so intense. I thought we put on a really good show. To come away with the 200th win for Chip and have Dan Gurney on our car made it ever so sweet.”
“To get to drive a Ford GT is just a dream come true and to win the Rolex 24 is just awesome,” Ryan added.
Ryan Briscoe, Richard Westbrook and Scott Dixon drove the #67 Ford GT to victory at the 2018 edition of the Rolex 24 at Daytona International Raceway. All the Ford GT entries wore a special tribute decal dedicated to Dan Gurney, but the serial number on the winning Ford EcoBoost engine was, fittingly, “GT40.”
As it turned out, the Ford GTs were really competing with themselves as they battled for the first position over the course of the race. In the end, a missed gear in the waning hours of the race put the #66 GT, which had qualified in the second spot, on pit lane long enough to surrender the lead to its teammate
“This is quite the start to the 2018 season for Ford, winning the WRC rally at Monte Carlo earlier today and now having our teams go 1-2 here in the Rolex 24 At Daytona,” said Mark Rushbrook, Global Director, Ford Performance Motorsports. “There’s been so much technical work that has gone on in the off-season by so many people to prepare for an event like this, and to have this kind of success gives our program momentum for the year. We are proud to help bring Ganassi its 200th win, but just as happy this gives us a good start to one of our goals for 2018 - which is to win the IMSA season championship.”
Not only was it a historic win, but it was fitting that all the Ford GT racers were adorned with Dan Gurney tribute decal that Ford debuted at the North American International Auto Show.
An extended pit stop toward the end of the 24-hour race cost the #66 car the win, but the drivers still managed to cross the finish line in second place.
“It’s really a tribute to our Ford GT team and drivers that we’ve been able to win the Rolex 24 here at Daytona two years in a row, and to have three 24-hour wins within the first couple of years of this program,” said Raj Nair, Executive Vice President and President, Ford North America. “These races are so tough to win and it says a lot about our car, our Ford EcoBoost engine, as well as the engineering and technology we have put into the Ford GT. This race win is special, not just because we helped bring Chip Ganassi his 200th win, but also because we had a chance to honor our friend Dan Gurney and his legacy today.”
The Ford Chip Ganassi Racing teams will look to keep honoring that legacy with the Ford GT as the IMSA Weathertech Sports Car Championship rolls into Sebring, Florida, for the 12 Hours of Sebring run from March 14-17, 2018.