- Ford CGR claims double-podium in Wisconsin (U.S.) as No.’s 66, 67 finish first and third
- Win is the team’s first since the FIA WEC season-opener and third of the year
- 67 Ford GT earns fourth DEKRA Green Racing award in a row
ELKHART LAKE, Wisc. – Joey Hand and Dirk Müller refused to be denied at Road America, winning the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GTLM race after qualifying on pole.
Hand fought off both the No. 912 Porsche and No. 67 Ford GT in the closing laps to claim the duo’s second win of the year (Rolex 24) and first for Ford Chip Ganassi Racing since the FIA World Endurance Championship season-opener in Silverstone in April.
It was a double-podium for the team, as Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook finished third after starting on the front row (p2) with the No. 66.
“If people didn’t enjoy that race, they probably don’t like racing, because it was just good racing there at the end,” Hand said. “From the start of the weekend, we knew the Ford CGR guys rolled us out of the trailer really good. We had a few tough races in a row and this one we were confident with. Dirk and I love this place. We always have. This team is historically good here. We let a couple get away the last few years so we really wanted to get this one.”
Müller put the No. 66 up front for the second year in a row, a position the team held for much of the race.
“Starting from pole and really being able to manage this race is what you need to do,” Hand said. “GTLM is a tough category. There are a bunch of good drivers, a bunch of good cars and teams, so you, if you can, want to stay out front. You don’t want to get stuck in the back. That’s what we did, until that one restart. I was shuffled a little bit and got into a dogfight, ended up in the grass, but caught that quick yellow again and I was able to capitalize on it and get back out front. This is a good one for us. We had a few bad races and we’re coming up to the last run to the championship, so this is just what we needed.”
The No. 67 claimed its fourth DEKRA Green Racing award in a row for being the cleanest, fastest and most efficient car in the GTLM class. The series now heads to Virginia International Raceway Aug. 25-27, 2017.
“You never really know what to expect during this race but we had a nice, clean start and that gave me some room,” Müller said. “I probably walked five miles the last hour. I couldn’t watch it. It was so nail-biting, with all the yellows at the end, but thanks Joey. It was a helluva job there. It’s a good points day for the No. 66 but it’s a good points day for Ford CGR. I’m really delighted and happy to be here.”