Talk about a hot streak. The Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT teams have now won the last four IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GT Le Mans class races, as the #67 supercar driven by Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook endured the rough race at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, to cross the finish line first.
It’s just an incredible run we’re having right now… — Richard Westbrook, Ford Chip Ganassi Racing
After qualifying in position two, the #67 supercar was on a tear. Despite suffering rear damage after a dust-up with another car, Ryan and Richard were still able to persevere to take the win and reclaim the season points lead.
Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook overcame adversity to take the win in the #67 Ford GT at Road America and reclaim the GT Le Mans points lead with 241. (Photo Credit: Ford Chip Ganassi Racing)
“It’s just an incredible run we’re having right now,” Richard said. “Confidence is so high. The wins aren’t coming easy by any stretch of the imagination. We have to work for them. This is a track that really suits our car but it was tough at the end. The BMW was fast, but I guess they short-fueled too much. We’re just delighted to get the win. It’s such a great run for the whole program, Ford CGR. It’s a hell of a ride right now and we’re just enjoying every moment of it.”
While the #66 Ford GT claimed pole position in qualifying, it to suffered in-race issues in the form of a wonky right rear toe link. That forced the team to pit for repairs and give up valuable time.
The #66 car was running up front, but had suspension issues, which led to a seventh-place finish. “What a race car,” #66 driver Dirk Müller said. “It was smiling lap by lap. It was probably one of our best cars ever. I was able to really control the lead for a long time in the beginning, but without any warning sign, we had issues. That’s a tough one on our side to swallow. The team did awesome. Good pit stops, good strategy. One of the best cars I’ve ever had, but at the same time our teammates won the fourth in a row. I think that’s the upside. That’s why you’re a team. It’s a big swing in the points for us right now, but we have three races to go. Today was really good for the team.”
“Obviously, it was really bad luck for the 66 guys. It’s four in a row for the team, but this is how it’s been going. One car wins and the other car doesn’t score the points they need,” Ryan said. “We’ve been going back and forth, which hasn’t been ideal, but the fact we’ve been able to compete for wins has been fantastic. As Rik (Richard) said, we always come to Road America with a lot of confidence. It’s a track that suits this car. It was great to lock out the front row with Dirk on pole. We executed today. Rik drove superbly. No mistakes. All day long, great strategy, great pitstops. Got it done.”
The Ford GT teams will look to make it five in a row in a fortnight as the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship returns to action at Virginia International Raceway.