Hand Leads Ford 1-2-3 Qualifying Sweep in GTLM

Photo: Ford Performance

Photo: Ford Performance

Joey Hand led a top-three sweep for Ford Chip Ganassi Racing in GT Le Mans qualifying for the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

The Californian’s benchmark time of 1:43.473 in the No. 66 Ford GT was 0.231 seconds quicker than team-mate Richard Westbrook’s No. 67 car, with Olivier Pla completing the top three in No. 68 Ford, despite a spin at the Horseshoe.

Hand will share driving duties with fellow 24 Hours of Le Mans class winners Dirk Mueller and Sebastien Bourdais, as part of Ford’s four-car effort for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season-opener.

Toni Vilander will start fourth in the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE, ahead of the best-placed of the new Porsche 911 RSRs, the No. 911 driven by Patrick Pilet and Andy Priaulx’s No. 69 Ford.

Defending winners Corvette Racing could not match the pace of the front-running Fords and will start from seventh and ninth in class.

The No. 3 Corvette C7.R of Jan Magnussen was the quickest of the two, eight-tenths off pole, with Oliver Gavin’s No. 4 car a further four tenths behind.

The two BMW M6 GTLMs rounded out the field in tenth and eleventh positions. Bill Auberlen in the No. 19 car and John Edwards’ No. 24 lapped 1.2 and 1.5 seconds respectively slower than Hand.

In GT Daytona, Ferrari 488 GT3s locked out the front row, as the No. 51 Sprit of Race entry driven by Alessandro Pier Guidi edged Scuderia Corsa’s Alessandro Balzan by a mere 0.018 seconds.

Pier Guidi rocketed to a quick time of 1:47.099 in the AF Corse-run Ferrari.

The single Aston Martin Vantage GT3 in the field, driven by FIA World Endurance Championship GT Drivers champion Marco Sorensen was the best of the rest, a full 0.635 seconds slower than Pier Guidi in third.

The Dane will share row two with the Manthey Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R driven by Daytona rookie Matteo Cairoli, with Mirko Bortolotti’s Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini Huracan GT3 fifth and Connor De Phillippi sixth in the Land Motorsport Audi R8 LMS.

Defending GTD winner Andy Lally ensured Acura were the best of the newcomers in seventh, while 3GT Racing’s Scott Pruett was the fastest Lexus RC F GT3 driver in 13th in class.

The Mercedes-AMG teams struggled in qualifying. Boris Said’s SunEnergy1 Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 was quickest of the three cars entered and will start 18th in the 27-car field.

The 55th Rolex 24 at Daytona gets underway Saturday at 2:30 p.m., with live coverage on FOX.

RESULTS: Qualifying

37 Comments

  1. Ryan

    January 26, 2017 at 4:02 pm

    SAAAAANND BAGGING

    • Jake

      January 26, 2017 at 4:11 pm

      On who’s part?

  2. JBV

    January 26, 2017 at 4:03 pm

    Indeed!

  3. jason

    January 26, 2017 at 4:50 pm

    The Fords are good…very very good. Let them have their moment. I love that they brought 4 cars to this race. They look great too.

    I feel GTLM will be close for the 23 hours and in the final hour Ford will up the pace and win it.

    GTD will come down to who is the fastest driver at the end. Which hot shoe will get the job done? Bleekomolen? Van Ginsburgh? Lally? Pier Guidi?

    • Pippylongstocking

      January 26, 2017 at 4:56 pm

      They had their “moment” at Le Mans and sandbagged the hell out of it. AFTER being hit with BOP they still went faster lol. They get an “*” next to their “win”

      • Grant

        January 26, 2017 at 9:24 pm

        The cooler it gets at night, the faster the Fords will go. A 1 yr old race program that’s leading the pack is impressive no matter what you say.

        • Andres

          January 27, 2017 at 11:38 am

          IS NOT ABOUT COOOLER TEMPERATURES, YES IT CAN HELP WITH SOME TENTHS A LAP, BUT NOT 3 OR 4 SECONDS A LAP LIKE THEY HAD IN LE MANS LAST YEAR, TECHNICALLY IS NOT POSSIBLE AT ALL, THEY MOCKED AT EVERYONES FACE WHEN THEY DID IT, REMEMBER THAT GANASSI IS THE BIGGEST SANDBAGGER IN MOTORSPORT HISTORY

      • Trevor

        January 27, 2017 at 1:27 pm

        I’m tired of this loser excuse for the Vettes and Porsches at Le Mans. The ACO set the regulations for boost under different conditions than those under which the race was run. When the atmospheric conditions changed before the race, the naturally aspirated cars (Chevy, Porsche, AM) were left at a disadvantage to the turbo cars (Ford, Ferrari). This year, the ACO has said they will make the changes closer to the race this year.

        • Aussie

          January 27, 2017 at 2:24 pm

          lol, you know damn well they wanted a Ford vs Ferrari rematch from the old days. And that’s exactly what we got served. What a joke of a “race” that was. And the sandbagging by Ford, magically going 5 seconds faster AFTER being hit with BOP penalty.

    • Olly

      January 26, 2017 at 7:22 pm

      What about Karam in the Lexus?

  4. Mark Twain

    January 26, 2017 at 4:57 pm

    Watch Ferrari go and sweep the GT ranks

    • Panoz

      January 26, 2017 at 6:29 pm

      60% of the time it works every time BoP is like SEX Panther

  5. Mike S.

    January 26, 2017 at 5:58 pm

    Yeah at least Mercedes admitted it. SvG will motor that Mercedes around as will Bleekie in the other rig. Will be interesting to see how the GTLM Prosche’s do with new car and Vanthoor also added in.

  6. Ryan

    January 26, 2017 at 6:29 pm

    Ganassi is trying to buy a Daytona victory with 4 cars. Plus they sandbag, just like LeMans.

  7. Panoz

    January 26, 2017 at 6:31 pm

    I love LAMP. I’ve been drinking at DAytona international speedway today. Fubar

    • Tom

      January 26, 2017 at 6:33 pm

      I also LOVE LAMP… hey are you sitting next to me and drinking at daytona

  8. Panoz

    January 26, 2017 at 6:33 pm

    Can’t wait to ride the Ferris wheel Saturday night

  9. Panoz

    January 26, 2017 at 6:36 pm

    Will you ride it with me at 2am

  10. Tom

    January 26, 2017 at 6:36 pm

    I hope it rains saturday night cuz the wicked witch… errrr Fords will melt

  11. Panoz

    January 26, 2017 at 6:39 pm

    Will you go round and round and round and round with me as I sit next to you

  12. Panoz

    January 26, 2017 at 6:41 pm

    Fuck the sand bagging FORDS

  13. Tom

    January 26, 2017 at 6:41 pm

    No… I am.married… leave me alone

  14. Luna

    January 26, 2017 at 7:45 pm

    Everything arranged to have Ford winning in GTLM and Ferrari in GTD.
    Let’s make the Blue Oval happy. And Marchionne too,so Dodge will join Nascar.

  15. Panoz

    January 26, 2017 at 7:53 pm

    Screw that blue oval, burn it to the ground. Go vettes or anyone else that can survive the Rolex 24 in that class. Fuck chip and his dreams

  16. WBrowning

    January 27, 2017 at 12:45 am

    You Chevy guys need to stop crying. If the Fords were sandbagging, Nascar, I mean IMSA, would let you know it. With all the data logging they are doing, I doubt you could get away with much now-a-days. Plus, they are already the heaviest cars in GTLM, by far, and have been limited in boost as well. Those Fords just love high speed tracks.

    By the way, there in absolutely nothing keeping any other manufacturer from bringing as many cars as they want. Would you have the Euro-based Fords stay on the sidelines for another couple months instead of getting out and running? They are still a very young team and need the extra work.

    Oh and by the way, the Mustang GT4s swept the front row for the CTSC race too. Now go cry to your mommies, and bite it bow tie boys.

    • Rev

      January 27, 2017 at 7:47 am

      People hating on Ford aren’t automatically Chevy guys. I know a lot of fans in general lost respect for them after Le Mans last year.

      And don’t kid yourself, there are still ways to sandbag that wouldn’t show on datalog

    • J

      January 27, 2017 at 9:25 am

      Fanboys(see also; blithering idiot, oxygen thief, bottom feeder) from three other GTLM manufacturers camps give plenty of hate to the Fords besides Chevy. Something to keep in mind.
      “Now go cry to your mommies, and bite it bow tie boys”
      Please refer to the above definition of fanboy. It suits you.

      • WBrowning

        January 27, 2017 at 10:25 am

        I’m a Ford fan, and admit it, but I don’t go crying foul every time my car loses or when it gets another big chunk of lead bolted to the floor. Just sayin’.

        Oh, and for the Chevy guys that keep saying their Vettes have to be dialed down in horsepower because they are just so awesome, the Ford GT in street form (yes, they are out there finally) makes 647HP, well over the GTLM competition target, and also has to be dialed back with boost limits.

        • J

          January 27, 2017 at 10:59 am

          That entire second paragraph is unnecessary. Ford doesn’t need you to defend it. All you do with comments like that, and the post before, is fuel the fire of the lunatic fringe. Be better than that.

        • Andres

          January 27, 2017 at 12:05 pm

          YOU TALK ABOUT 647HP LIKE SUCH AN ACCOMPLISHMENT BY FORD, BUT THEY DID WAY BETTER ENGINESIN THE PAST, LIKE THE PREVIOUS GENERATION MUSTANG GT500 ONE, AND LOOK AT THR CORVETTE C6 ZR1 AND C7 ZO6, 650HP FOR BOTH OF THEM, AND WAIT UNTIL NEW ZR1 COMES, SO IS NOT SO BIG NUMBER IF YOU COMPARE IT TO OTHER CARS, EVEN WHEN YOU CANNOT BUY ONE, LIKE YOU CAN DO WITH A CORVETTE, SURE IS A NICE CAR, BUT NO SO BIG

          • WBrowning

            January 27, 2017 at 11:58 pm

            Comparing supercharged 6 liter V8s against a twin turbo 3.5 liter V6? I would hope they would make more power, just sayin’ and Stop yelling already. We get it, you like GM.

    • Andres

      January 27, 2017 at 11:58 am

      KEEP IN MIND THIS, GANASSI IS THE BIGGEST SANDBAGGER IN MOTORSPORT HISTORY, TECHNICALLY THE FORD ENGINE IS MORE ADVANCED THAT THE CHEVY ONE (MAYBE I CAN BE LABELED AS A CHEVY FAN), BUT BUT TECHNICALLY SPEAKING TOO, THE CHEVY ENGINE IS, WITHOUT RESTRITIONS OR BOP, THE MORE POWERFULL OF THE SERIES, AND FOR THIS YEAR, THE CORVETTE GOT SLOWED, THEY USED A 31MM RESTRICTOR LAST YEAR, NOW THEY USE 29.9MM, SO THAT DIFFERENCE IS IN ABOUT 50 OR MORE HP, SO HOW YOU CAN TALK ABOUT A FAIR SYSTEM WHEN THE MOST EXPERIENCED TEAM AND MOST DEVELOPED CAR, AND IM TALKING ABOUT THE CHEVYS, CONTINUES TO BE SLOWED AND KEEPS SMOKING EVERYONE EVEN BEING SCREWED, AND ARE MORE WAYS TO SANDBAG THAT NOT GOING FAST, YOU CAN USE CERTAIN TURBO PRESSURE, BUT IN YOUR ECU YOU CAN PUT THAT YOU USE ANOTHER, SO YOU SCREWED THE DATA LOGGING AND NOBODY NOTICED IT, IS SO EASY TO MANIPULATE THIS, TRUST ME, AND FOR GOSA SAKE, THE HEAVIEST CAR IN THE SERIES IS THE CHEVY, IMSA MANDATES THAT BECAUSE CHEVY USES THE BIGGEST ENGINE DISPLACEMENT POSSIBLE, SO EVERY RACE A CHEVY WINS THEY ADD WEIGHT IN THE CHEVY TO SLOW IT

  17. Luna

    January 27, 2017 at 8:06 am

    Someone should point out the exceptional performance of Lawrence Degeorge with the Clown (Ops Dream) Team Lamborghini. Last at 8 seconds from the pole.

  18. Luna

    January 27, 2017 at 8:32 am

    Clown (Dream) Team should be ashame to let DeGeorge drive. We all know he is the one who pays but they simply do not understand he is dangerous for himself and the others.

  19. Fred

    January 27, 2017 at 9:39 pm

    Hey panoz, fuck yourself

  20. Fred

    January 27, 2017 at 9:44 pm

    You chevy guys are some real characters. Chevy philosophy; take the best of ford designs and use them in developing your products. Chevy ls series engines are basically ford small block design. Don’t believe it, do some research and take it like a man.

    • Fredishisowngrandpa

      January 27, 2017 at 10:03 pm

      Yeah! You tell ’em, with strong words on the interwebz. Your sister-wife must be so proud of you.

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