The most successful team in Daytona Prototype history is poised for a radical switch to a new engine partner for 2014.
Multiple industry sources have confirmed to Sportscar365 that Chip Ganassi Racing is preparing to run Ford’s new EcoBoost powerplants in next year’s TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.
Details of the arrangement have not yet been made clear but the likely deal to move to the Blue Oval is believed to have been up to two months in the making.
When reached, a Ganassi spokesperson said they are still working on 2014 plans and do not have anything to announce at this time.
A spokesperson from Ford issued the following statement: “As of today, we have nothing to announce. We are very excited about our EcoBoost sports car racing program for 2014, including the kick-off record run at Daytona of more than 222 mph with Michael Shank Racing a couple of weeks back.”
Ganassi, which notched its seventh DP teams’ championship in 2013, ran Dinan-tuned BMW engines for the last four seasons, including its new 4.5-liter V8, which debuted at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in August.
The team had been in the center of the rumor mill of a possible switch to Honda power, potentially even with HPD’s ARX-03b P2 car, but CGR general manager Mike Hull told Racer.com earlier this week they’ll remain with DP machinery for 2014.
Many had expected a move to Corvette DPs for next year, due to the team’s new alliance with Chevy in the IndyCar Series next year, which has strengthened its existing relationship with GM which began in NASCAR.
Ford debuted its new EcoBoost DP engine last month at Daytona, when Colin Braun drove the 3.5-liter V6 twin-turbo-powered Michael Shank Racing Riley to a new track record of 222.971 mph.
With its new engine and bodywork package, the American manufacturer has been actively pursuing additional teams for 2014 to join longtime supporter Michael Shank Racing.
It’s unclear if Ganassi will step up to a two-car full-season effort next year, although an effort was believed to have been in the works for an expanded program in 2014.