The Ford Chip Ganassi Racing team will again field a strong team of drivers to defend its 2016 LM GTE Pro class win.
New to the team for 2017 is young Brazilian, Luis Felipe “Pipo” Derani, who will join Andy Priaulx (GB) and Harry Tincknell (GB) in the #67 Ford GT for the FIA World Endurance Championship races at Silverstone, Spa and Le Mans. The 23 year-old came to Ford’s attention in 2016 when he won the Rolex 24 At Daytona and the Sebring 12 Hours on his debut, marking himself as one to watch.
“I am delighted and proud to have been chosen to represent such a successful and respected manufacturer like Ford.” said Derani.
“To compete for a team like Ford Chip Ganassi Racing has been one of my aims since starting in racing and to be recognised and selected by them is a big deal for me. I especially want to thank George-Howard Chappell for his trust and belief in order to give me this opportunity.
“The way that the Ford GT has performed in endurance racing over the last 12 months has been exceptional and I am very much looking forward to working with the team to try and bring more success in the FIA World Endurance Championship and to defend the Le Mans LM GTE Pro title.”
The winners of last weekend’s Rolex 24 At Daytona, Joey Hand (US), Dirk Müller (GER) and Sébastien Bourdais (FRA) will defend their historic 2016 Le Mans victory in the #68 Ford GT. The sublime squad proved with their two 24-hour victories that they are very hard to beat.
The #66 Ford GT will keep the regular rapid line up of Stefan Mücke (GER) and Olivier Pla (FRA) in the FIA WEC, and they will again be joined by Billy Johnson (US) for the Silverstone, Spa and Le Mans races.
In the #69 Ford GT the top squad of Ryan Briscoe (AUS), Richard Westbrook (GB) and Scott Dixon (NZ) will be looking to improve on their third place Le Mans podium finish of 2016.
“We are really looking forward to getting back to Le Mans with the Ford GT this year,” said Chip Ganassi, Ford Chip Ganassi Racing team owner. “Although we came home with the win last year, I think we also learned a great deal about that race, the Ford GT and what it takes to compete for the win. I feel like we will be even better prepared this time around. In addition, we will also once again take four cars and 12 of the best racing drivers in the world so I can’t wait to get back there and defend our title.”