The Silverstone race traditionally draws the biggest crowd for the WEC outside of the Le Mans 24 Hours and with 23 British drivers to cheer on, the spectators will be spoilt for choice.
"This is an exciting moment," said Ford Performance global director Dave Pericak. "Ford Chip Ganassi Racing has been competing in the U.S. since January but now we start our global effort here at Silverstone. Our WEC team looks strong and I believe the combination of the Ford GT, the drivers we have chosen and the team that we have put together will be a force to be reckoned with. We expect fierce competition from Aston Martin, Ferrari and Porsche but make no mistake, we're ready to race!"
|L-R: Billy Johnson, Olivier Pla & Stefan Mucke|
Frenchman Olivier Pla races the #66 Ford GT with Stefan Mucke of Germany and U.S. racer Billy Johnson.
"I want to be fighting at the front at Silverstone,'" said Pla. "This is a new program with a new car and a new team and we are working hard to be competitive and reliable so that we can take the maximum points possible. Silverstone is one of my top three circuits, alongside Sebring and Macau. We haven't tested there yet so we need to find the right balance but we're working together very easily. We all have the same driving style, give the same feedback and we know where we want to go. We all want to win and if we have the chance we will take it."
|L-R: Andy Priaulx, Harry Tincknell & Marino Franchitti|
Guernsey-born Andy Priaulx started his racing career at Silverstone and is keen to get the new season off to a good start. He shares the #67 Ford GT with Marino Franchitti and Harry Tincknell.
"It's great to have our first race at Silverstone," commented Priaulx. "It's a rejuvenation for me as I started there in F3. The first race as a team will be high pressure. We are the rookies but we're ambitious rookies and we will be learning with everyone watching! The three of us are gelling well as a driving squad and we are going out there to be strong contenders; a podium finish would be a great result."
Since his recent signing to Ford Chip Ganassi Racing, Harry Tincknell has been getting acquainted with the Ford GT and he's eager to take the car onto his favorite racing circuit.
"Silverstone is probably one of my favorite tracks in the world," said Tincknell. "There are lots of high speed corners, in fact a really good mixture with lots of overtaking opportunities. I think the Ford GT is going to like it as you need a car that is a good all-rounder to do well there. The Ford GT is a great car to drive as it is very receptive to driver input. This gives you the confidence to push. A podium finish would be fantastic but we go to Silverstone to learn as much as we can. We already have healthy competition within the team and we're feeling very motivated."
The action gets underway at Silverstone at 12:15* on Friday, April 15, when the WEC cars take to the track for the first free practice session. GTE Qualifying takes place on Saturday, April 16, at 11:50 and the 6 Hours of Silverstone – and indeed the 2016 WEC season – will get the green light at 12:00 on Sunday, April 17. For fans traveling to Silverstone, Andy Priaulx advises viewing from the entry to Becketts to see the Ford GT at its very best!
*All times local (BST)