Ford GT Gets Pole Position at Le Mans, Sets Up Showdown with Ferrari
The mission for the new Ford GT race car, from conception to fruition, has been to be the first to finish the 2016 Le Mans 24 Hours race, honor the legacy of the legendary 1-2-3 finish in 1966, and establish the new Ford Performance arm as a force to be reckoned with in motorsport for years to come. By virtue of the No. 68 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT claiming the fastest qualifying lap for the LM GTE Pro class on Wednesday night, Ford is now one huge step closer to making that ambition a reality.
Dirk Müller pulled down a 3-minute, 51.185-second lap time on Wednesday night, proving faster than the rest of the LM GTE Pro field and putting the No. 68 Ford GT in pole position for Saturday’s race. The No. 69 Ford GT will start second thanks to Ryan Briscoe’s 3m 51.497s lap, the No. 67 with start fourth after a 3m 51.590s lap from Harry Tincknell, and the No. 66 will start fifth with a 3m 52.038s lap from Oliver Pla.
“It was a cool lap and it was one for the Ford Chip Ganassi Racing boys,” said Müller. “I’m really proud of everybody. Just being here is a big honour for all of us. To compete in the Ford GT for Ford Chip Ganassi Racing on this important anniversary is a privilege.”
Sitting right behind the two Fords in the front row is the No. 51 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE, which Gianmaria Bruni piloted into third with a 3m 51.568s lap. Two other Ferraris, the No. 71 AF Corse 488 and the No. 82 Risi Completizione 488, grabbed the sixth and seventh spots, suggesting that the race for LM GTE Pro glory could very well come down to the historical battle of Ferrari and Ford.
Surely, Ford wouldn’t have it any other way.
“We know the greatest task is still ahead of us and speed isn’t the only thing you need at Le Mans,” said Raj Nair, executive vice president, Global Product Development and chief technical officer. “As one team with one goal, we will race with commitment and passion and we will race for every member of the extended Ford family across the globe.”
The 84th Le Mans 24 Hours starts Saturday morning at 10 am EDT. Get ready.