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Ford Dominates GTE-Pro at Fuji

Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Dominates GTE-Pro class at Fuji…

Photo: Drew Gibson/Ford

Photo: Drew Gibson/Ford

Ford Chip Ganassi Racing has dominated the GTE-Pro class in Sunday’s FIA WEC Six Hours of Fuji, controlling the race from start to finish and claiming a 1-2 for the American manufacturer.

The No. 67 Ford GT of Andy Priaulx and Harry Tincknell started the race second on the grid, the latter taking over the lead of the sister No. 66 entry in the hands of Olivier Pla at Turn 1.

From there on there was no stopping the Fords, edging away from the AF Corse Ferraris that were only able to lead the field as the mid-engined cars made its pitstops.

There was a small scare when Tincknell made small contact with Wolf Henzler’s No. 78 KCMG Porsche 911 RSR right before the halfway mark, resulting in minor damage to the nose.

The class pole-sitting No. 66 Ford of Stefan Muecke and Olivier Pla quickly settled into second and never threatened the lead of their teammates.

Pla had a spin at Turn 3 right before his final stop but was able to continue without issues but with a bigger gap to the leaders, adding up to 15 seconds after six hours of racing.

It marked the first win for the Multimatic-run, UK-based CGR squad in WEC, having dominated the entire weekend by leading every session, including a sweep of the front row in qualifying.

AF Corse experienced a quiet race behind the Fords, taking third and fourth with the No. 51 Ferrari 488 GTE of Gianmaria Bruni and James Calado and No. 71 entry of Davide Rigon and Sam Bird, respectively.

Championship leaders Nicki Thiim and Marco Sørensen completed the top-five in class.

Remarkably, all manufacturers in the GTE-Pro class finished in the same order as they qualified.

GTE-Am was dominated by Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy and Mathias Lauda in the No. 98 Aston Martin Vantage GTE, virtually from start to finish.

They crossed the line with a one-lap advantage over the No. 83 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia of championship leaders Francois Perrodo, Emmanuel Collard and Rui Aguas in second.

The No. 78 KCMG Porsche 911 RSR of Christian Ried, Wolf Henzler and Joël Camathias completed the podium in the GTE-Am class.

RESULTS: Six Hours of Fuji

Vincent Wouters (@VinceWouters) is a Belgium-based sports car racing reporter, providing coverage primarily of the Blancpain GT Series.


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