WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. - Ford Chip Ganassi Racing has been more successful at Watkins Glen International than anywhere else since the Ford GT’s debut on the IMSA circuit in 2016.
Ford CGR has started on the pole every year for the last three years and they’ve won the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen twice. Call it a mixture of hard work, design and strategy.
The defending event winners, Joey Hand and Dirk Müller, are happy to return to the Finger Lakes after the final Le Mans 24 Hours for the four-year Ford GT factory program.
“Le Mans is always such a grind,” Hand said. “We love Watkins Glen and it’s been good to us, so it’s a good one to come back to.”
In 2016, the No. 67 started on pole and won the race. The No. 66 finished second. In 2017, it was time for the No. 66 to start on pole, while the No. 67 had the best finishing position as the race runner-up. In 2018, the pole went back to the No. 67 team, but it was the No. 66 who played the winning strategy with a perfectly timed short pitstop.
Ford CGR will hope to once again keep the pole and GTLM race win in the family this weekend.
“We had a really great race there last year,” Müller said. “It was a really hard six hours. Joey and I gave it our all and a very stellar call from (team principal) Mike O’Gara made it happen at the end. I hope that we are able to fight for a podium. We are trying our best. We are well prepared. Joey and I like this place. In the end, I hope everything comes together and we are able to fight for that victory again.”
Hand and Müller, who were reunited at Le Mans after Hand was sidelined with illness earlier this year, are now fifth and 13th in the IMSA WeatherTech Series championship points, respectively, while Richard Westbrook and Ryan Briscoe, drivers of the No. 67 Ford GT, are sixth.
“Watkins Glen has been kind to us,” Briscoe said. “We could use a break in the points so it’s a good time for this race to come around again. It’s a track we all really enjoy, so we’re happy to be back.”