IMSA Spotlight: Dirk Mueller
Driver: No. 66 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT
Now that it has been a few days since your big win at Le Mans. What are your thoughts on the historic nature of your achievement?
“I realize that it is a huge victory. Two days later its still a little surreal. You ask yourself if it’s really real or if it’s just a dream, but it’s real!
“What’s standing out is the whole one-team, family atmosphere. I counted two weeks that we spent there at Le Mans. Everybody was working together and I’m really proud to have achieved this.”
Where does this win rank in your career achievements?
“Definitely, absolutely, it’s the highlight. Just going to Le Mans is already like makes you really, really proud. And then driving for Ford Chip Ganassi Racing stands out, and honestly to have the celebration of the 50 years since the Ford GT’s first win exactly on the day that we repeated 50 years later is unbelievable.
“This 19th of June is going to be a big day in my life, that’s for sure. I can’t thank everyone in the whole program enough.
“First of all to be picked [to drive for the team], secondly to have all of the ingredients. From day one when I decided to join Chip Ganassi and his program, everyone made it simple.
“It felt like I’d been there forever all ready. Multimatic, the Roush guys with the engine, Ford engineers, Chip Ganassi engineers, the whole crew, they are just working hand in hand, and here we are.”
It was an interesting race because you were locked into a battle with Ferrari, and not just any Ferrari but Risi Competizione who you compete against in IMSA. Did it seem like an extension of an IMSA race?
“Yeah it looked like it. They were really strong all weekend. They were right there. They had a good run in qualifying. I managed to time it perfectly with my pole lap on the really last lap of the first qualifying, but they tried it as well.
“It looks like the IMSA guys are on it! It was a strong show. 50 years ago it was the rivalry of Ford against Ferrari and it was the same here. Just unbelievable.”
What kind of momentum does this give you going into Watkins Glen?
“It’s a big push. The win for the sister car at Laguna Seca was already a big push. Everybody was smiling. We finally knew we were able to win. Joey and myself, we were leading the race and then the sister car won.”
You don’t get to rest on your laurels with a busy few weeks now leading up to the next IMSA race at Watkins Glen, right?
“We’re about to rest for a little bit to let it sink in, but I’ve already booked our flights to Goodwood. I’m representing Ford Chip Ganassi Racing at Goodwood this year so I’ll be going up the hill in a Ford GT, so it’s going to be huge again.
“Then I’m flying to Watkins Glen where we tested, and that track with the new surface. They’ve made the track even nicer. It’s going to be a hell of a race, so it’s the next highlight.”