Image credit: Ford Motorsport.

The new Ford GT made its qualifying debut at Daytona, with Joey Hand clocking in ninth fastest in the class (15th on the grid) in the #66 car he shares with Dirk Müller & Sébastien Bourdais.

“The conditions were treacherous,” Hand said. “The Bus Stop is usually third or fourth gear, and this was first gear. A lot of guys took it easy.

“Our main goal with this car is not really to throw down the ultimate lap in this first race, it’s to finish 24 hours.

“We went out a little late. We then caught a red flag at the beginning, so we didn’t get our laps in the way we should have or could have.

“The good thing is, I don’t think the car is bad in the rain. I think it’s actually pretty good. We just had to really tip-toe in these conditions and make sure we had a race car come the start of the Rolex 24.”

Ten places behind them on the grid (but directly behind in class) is the sister #67 GT of Richard Westbrook, Ryan Briscoe, Stefan Mücke. Briscoe, who qualified the car only got in one timed lap.

“It was really a challenge. There was a lot of standing water and I was just trying to keep it on the track, to be honest.” he said at the post qualifying interviews.

“We got our timed lap and the car’s in one piece, so we’re ready to go racing and that’s the important thing.”