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Ford Drivers Aiming for Daytona, Le Mans Sweep

Ford CGR drivers Westbrook, Briscoe, and Dixon aiming to add Le Mans win to Daytona triumph…

Photo: MPS Agency

The Ford Chip Ganassi Racing lineup of Ryan Briscoe, Richard Westbrook, and Scott Dixon are aiming to add a 24 Hours of Le Mans class win to their Rolex 24 at Daytona triumph they achieved nearly six months ago.

After combining with their sister car to score a dominant 1-2 for Ford in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season-opener in January, the drivers of the No. 69 Ford GT head into Le Mans brimming with confidence that they can add a second 24-hour race win to their tally this weekend.

No same driver trio has claimed class wins in the two races in the same year since 2000, when Olivier Beretta, Karl Wendlinger and Dominique Dupuy took their ORECA Dodge Viper GTS-R to overall honors at Daytona, and also the GTS class win at Le Mans.

“We won the 24 Hours of Daytona this year and we’d love to repeat and get the 24 Hours of Le Mans,” Briscoe told Sportscar365. “That would trump anything. We’re feeling good.

“We’ve had the same driver lineup for three years now and we had a great podium [at Le Mans] two years ago.

“Last year was a tough one because we didn’t have the pace, but we’re hoping to be competitive this year and competing for the win.”

Westbrook agreed, adding that the Daytona win left him with even more motivation to share a win with his friends and colleagues.

“Sharing that victory with them is definitely one of the highlights of my career,” he told Sportscar365. “You want to share it with teammates you really get on with.

“They’re friends, it’s really good atmosphere with me, Ryan and Scott. We get on very well and that was a sweet one at Daytona so to do it at this one would be unbelievable.

“That’s what we’re going for. The car was good here, we know that. Everyone knows that. Let’s give it a big swing and see where we end up on Sunday at 3 o’clock.”

Westbrook and Briscoe are the current IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GT Le Mans points leaders while Dixon has slotted into the lineup seamlessly for endurance races over the past two-and-a-half years.

Longtime Chip Ganassi Racing driver Briscoe said the camaraderie the three drivers have developed in that time is an advantage come race day.

The trio will roll off from seventh on the GTE-Pro class grid this afternoon, in the stacked 17-car all-factory category.

“It helps for sure,” he said. “Every little bit of comfort you have helps.

“We’re very familiar with each others’ needs and driving styles and I think we really compliment each other. It’s part of the reason we are put together to begin with.

“I couldn’t ask for better teammates than Westbrook and Dixon. We’re very easy going, but we get on it when the helmets are on.”

Westbrook said having a win at the Rolex 24 in their back pockets already this season only adds to their bullish outlook at Le Mans.

“I think it just gives you confidence that you can do it over 24 hours,” said Westbrook. “We had never really truly had a trouble-free 24-hour run but we had that in Daytona.

“That gives us sort of confidence that when we have a problem-free run, we can do it. We can close the deal.”

Jake Kilshaw contributed to this report

Ryan Myrehn is an Indianapolis-based broadcaster and reporter. In addition to his work covering primarily domestic sports car racing for Sportscar365, he is the lead announcer for SRO America's TV coverage as well as a pit reporter for IndyCar Radio. Myrehn, a graduate of DePauw University, is also the host of Sportscar365's “Double Stint” Podcast.

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