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Ford GT Racers Maintain Lead in WEC Drivers’ Championship

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Ford GT Racers Maintain Lead in WEC Drivers’ Championship

MEXICO CITY (Sept. 3rd, 2017) – Courtesy of Ford Performance – Andy Priaulx and Harry Tincknell finished in fourth place in Sunday’s ‘6 Hours of Mexico’, maintaining a strong eight-point lead in the GT FIA World Endurance Drivers’ Championship. Stefan Mücke and Olivier Pla had to be content with seventh place after a mid-race collision put paid to their podium chance.

“We knew that the 6 Hours of Mexico would be a challenge for us,” said George Howard-Chappell, WEC Team Principal. “We had reasonable pace but not enough to compete for the top spot so to come away still leading the driver’s world championship is a good bit of damage limitation. We’re optimistic about the coming races. The car should be okay at COTA and then if we can repeat last year’s performances at Fuji and Shanghai we will be looking good.”

The race started well for Ford Chip Ganassi Racing with Tincknell and Mücke delivering the perfect formation start and running throughout the first stint in third and fourth places respectively.

Tincknell and Priaulx had to fight hard throughout the race but the British duo kept their focus and refused to back down and took fourth place, despite not having the outright pace of the eventual podium finishers.

“That was a really good weekend for us,” said Priaulx. “To come away from a track that isn’t good for us still leading the championship is a great result. There were moments in the race where we had very little grip and we had to fight hard to keep our competitors behind us. Every race matters in this championship and we have fought every step of the way since Race One so we need to keep on pushing. We’re still leading the championship and we now have it all to fight for in Austin so I’m really happy.

The drama for the sister car hit a short while before the half way mark when Pla in the #66 Ford GT clashed with #51 Ferrari driver James Calado. Both cars dived into the pits for repairs and rejoined the race but the #66 GT was later awarded two drive-through penalties for its part in the collision and then crossing the white line on the way into the pits.

“We were quite happy with our pace today,” said Mücke. “It’s a difficult track for us but our pace was good and we had a good start to the race. We made it up to third place and I think we could have maintained that position. Unfortunately Olivier had an accident with a Ferrari, which damaged the rear track rod and although the team did a brilliant job fixing it very quickly it put us right down the order. If it had all gone our way we could’ve had a podium finish today but now we will look forward to COTA and will push hard to get a good result there.”

The next race for the Ford Chip Ganassi Racing team is at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas in two weeks’ time.