It’s also a chance to continue the valuable face-to-face, cross-development the drivers and crew enjoyed at the Rolex 24 At Daytona that ultimately benefits Ford’s effort at the Le Mans 24 Hours.
“We wish we could send all four cars like we did at the Rolex 24 At Daytona, but the WEC cars will already be prepped for The Prologue test at Monza and the first race at Silverstone," said Dave Pericak, global director, Ford Performance. “Even though it’s impossible to bring all of our Ford GTs, we didn’t want to see this important opportunity to continue our cross-development pass us by."
Drivers Stefan MÃ¼cke, Olivier Pla and Billy Johnson will compete in the No. 68 Ford GT as they did at the Rolex 24, to round out the three-car effort that includes the No.s 66 and 67 fulltime IMSA WeatherTech cars. Sébastien Bourdais will continue in the No. 66 with Joey Hand and Dirk MÃ¼ller, and Scott Dixon will again join Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook in the No. 67.
Pla, MÃ¼cke and Johnson, who will join the full-timers at the first FIA World Endurance Championship race of the year, begin the FIA WEC season at The Prologue, the official pre-season test for the series, at Monza the week after the 12 Hours of Sebring, with the first race to follow at Silverstone in April.
The WEC crew who run the car for MÃ¼cke and Pla during the regular season will campaign the No. 68 Ford GT at Sebring.
“This is another great opportunity for our WEC and IMSA teams to work together as the opportunity to data share is invaluable," said Chip Ganassi, owner of Ford Chip Ganassi Racing. “There are not a lot of opportunities for us to get together so when we have the chance we will always try to take advantage of it. Plus, to be able to bring another car to a legendary endurance event like Sebring is something special to all of us."
Ford Chip Ganassi Racing followed a storybook win in GTE Pro at the 2016 Le Mans 24 Hours with a GTLM victory at this year’s Rolex 24 At Daytona.