The Corvette and Ford Chip Ganassi Racing teams have two very different approaches to achieving the same goal at Petit Le Mans. While both are out to win the race and claim the team and drivers championships, with a 9-point advantage in the standings, Corvette has a decidedly upper hand in the championship race.
On the other hand, the manufacturers championship is something of a formality as the No. 67 Ford GT or its sister No. 66 car of Joey Hand, Dirk Muller and Sebastien Bourdais just need to take the green flag for Ford to claim the title.
“We only need to start the race for Ford clinch the manufacturers championship,” says Mike Hull, managing director of CGR. “Obviously that’s a big deal for Ford and for us. As far as the team and drivers championships go, our number one priority is to get both cars to the finish. The Corvettes will be strong here and the only way we can beat them for the team and drivers championships is to win and hope the Antonio Garcia/Jan Magnussen/Marcel Fassler Corvette finishes fifth or worse, or finish second and then hope the No. 3 Corvette finishes eighth.”
With the return of the Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE for its first race since Sebring, the GTLM field consists of just nine cars: the two Corvettes, two Fords, two Porsches and two BMWs. Thus in addition to needing a P1 and P2 for its cars, the Ford Chip Ganassi Racing team is hoping all of the other GTLM competitors — at least the Ferrari, Porsches and BMWs, that is — go the distance…and wishing the IMSA schedule did not conflict with a World Endurance Championship schedule that has the two WEC Ford GTs racing this weekend at Fuji.
“It would be nice if we had the ‘Star Trek’ technology to teleport the WEC Ford GTs to Road Atlanta this weekend,” Hull smiles. “Unfortunately, that’s not likely to happen.”