04.02.2017 – With a great victory in a breathtaking race, Dirk Müller and his team Ford Chip Ganassi Racing started the new season of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at the 24 hour race in Daytona.
The first of eleven races of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship on the famous Oval track in Florida became a big triumph for Dirk Müller and his team mates Joey Hand and Sebastian Bourdais with their Ford GT. After 24 exciting race hours and over 3600 kilometers raced on the track, the trio crossed the finish line fith overall and as the winner of the GTLM class.
“This was a very special race”, Dirk said. “It was GT racing at the highest level. It was one of the toughest 24 hour races I have ever experienced. The weather conditions with more than ten hours of rain in the evening and additional the cold temperatures at night were extremely difficult and the fight for the lead in the GTLM class was very competitive, but always fair. Big thanks to all my colleagues.”
The success story of the #66 Ford GT started already in qualifying with the pole position of Joey Hand. From the beginning of the race the Ford Chip Ganassi team was able to lead the field for most of the time. Heavy rain and cold weather conditions during the night made it rather difficult and the trio managed it perfectly and stayed always on track. Dirk Müller, Joey Hand and Sebastian Bourdais were able to maintain their position throuout the end of the race with great racing and good overtakings and everybody delivered a perfect and error-free performance like the whole crew did.
“The team gave us a perfect car without any kind of issues,” said Dirk Müller. “Our Ford Chip Ganassi guys worked flawlessly and we had the perfect strategy for the race. I think sitting here and celebrating the victory is a great honor, because we have managed to win a very difficult race. I think the whole team did a fantastic job. Our boss Chip Ganassi said in our pre race meeting, you just need to hand the car over the way you want to have it and that’s what we three did. At the end I got lucky that I did not have to hand over the car anymore, when I passed the Ferrari for the lead in my final stint we came close and I got a small scratch on the right side mirror ,” reported Dirk Müller with a big smile.
This was also the first victory for Dirk Müller and Joey Hand with their Ford GT in the IMSA series. Now with this big success in their bag, the trio goes highly motivated to the 12 hours of Sebring, the next long distance highlight is coming up. (Editorial office byJogi)