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24H Le Mans

Chilton Downplays Ganassi Ford GT 24H Le Mans Hopes

Max Chilton downplays likelihood of being in a Ford GT at 24H Le Mans…

Photo: Nissan

Photo: Nissan

While Max Chilton would, on paper, be a theoretical candidate to fill one of the extra seats for Ford Chip Ganassi Racing at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Englishman is downplaying his chances.

Chilton made his maiden Le Mans start with the ill-fated Nissan GT-R LM NISMO program last year, which served as his lone sports car start after a primarily North American season in Indy Lights.

Chilton shifts to Ganassi’s IndyCar program this year in its fourth car, where he’ll be replacing Sage Karam.

But although he has Le Mans experience, he said Wednesday during a media teleconference he’s not expecting to be nominated as one of its extra drivers.

“Not directly,” Chilton said when asked whether he and Ganassi had discussed the option.

“I think they know I’m a big fan of LMP1 racing, where I went after Formula One, and I’d done it before Formula One as well. Everyone has always said endurance racing suits my style, especially with the record I got in Formula One with never being broken.

“I would look at it. Personally, I don’t really fancy GTs yet because I still feel I’m at an age where I can do well and I can prove myself more in single-seated racing and get victories, maybe championships under my belt, before I jump into a GT car. I’d probably rather go LMP1 before I did that.”

Ganassi has publicly named eight full-season drivers for its dual FIA World Endurance Championship and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship programs, with Sebastien Bourdais set for an expanded endurance role that has not yet been formally announced.

There would still be three spots to fill on the three remaining Ford GTs at Le Mans, provided Bourdais is one of the third drivers.

Tony DiZinno (@tonydizinno) is Sportscar365's North American Editor, focusing on coverage of the IMSA-sanctioned championships as well as Pirelli World Challenge. DiZinno also contributes to and other motorsports outlets. Contact Tony

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