MANSFIELD, Ohio – Despite strong strategies and judicious driving by all four drivers, the podium remained just out of reach for Ford Chip Ganassi Racing at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, the final stop for the team before the Le Mans 24.
Richard Westbrook clocked the fastest lap of the GTLM category Sunday (1:19.451) in a hard charge to the front of the pack in the No. 67 Ford GT. After a strong starting stint by co-driver Ryan Briscoe, Westbrook strung together a series of laps that put the No. 67 solidly in podium contention. He was fighting for position with 24 minutes to go when he was forced off the racing line into the rough. Westbrook and Briscoe finished fifth.
“I feel like the team, with their strategy, really put me in a strong position,” Westbrook said. “The guys on the stand really deserved the podium today, but it wasn’t to be. I got pushed wide in turn 12 coming onto the front straight and I just had so much pick-up coming off of my tires. Going into turn one, I had nothing. I went all the way through the marbles, but it’s not an excuse. I threw away a podium there, really when the team put me in a strong position. I feel for them and I feel for my teammate, but we’ll come back strong. We were fighting good out there. It gives us more confidence going forward and we still got some good points.”
Dirk Müller and Joey Hand finished fourth in the No. 66 Ford GT.
“That was as hard-fought as qualifying yesterday,” said Müller, who qualified sixth. “I said yesterday we gave it our all and we gave it all today. Joey and the whole crew did a really fantastic job. I thought the car was better in the heat of today so I was able to actually save fuel behind the other cars. We had a good pace in the beginning. We gained a few positions but that was about it. That was max what we could have achieved today. Well done to everyone at Ford Chip Ganassi Racing. We’ll look forward.”
Briscoe started the No. 67 seventh.
The team now heads to the Circuit de la Sarthe for the Le Mans 24 June 16-17, 2018 and resumes IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship competition June 28-July 1, 2018 at Watkins Glen International.