Andy Priaulx says he and Ford would have won in GTE-Pro at the Six Hours of Silverstone if they hadn’t lost position by pitting just before a Full Course Yellow.
Ford Chip Ganassi Racing looked set for a strong result after having the fastest car in Free Practice and qualifying but Priaulx and Harry Tincknell could only finish third following an unlucky strategy call.
“I’m happy that we got the podium but we could have won that race,” Priaulx told Sportscar365.
“I had a really good first two stints that put us in the lead. Then the safety car kind of neutralized that gap.
“We pitted, which was OK, but then the Full Course Yellow came just after that safety car so they got a free pit stop and we lost around 20 or 30 seconds there.
“So it should have, could have, would have been a win, but we ended up third. It’s a little bit our season here – Spa we were fighting for the win.
“At Le Mans we had a very good race. It is what it is. Today was a good show I think, good racing.”
He drew a comparison with last year’s race at the British circuit, in which the No. 67 Ford GT lost time with its door coming open, but on that occasion the timing of the safety car helped him and Tincknell to recover and win their home race.
“Last year we benefited from a safety car,” he said. “The door was open while I was leading and then we obviously got it back with the safety car.
“This year, the Full Course Yellows went against us. Ferrari really did benefit from that today. But it’s easy to look back.
“That Full Course Yellow could have not come and we could have won the race. I don’t blame anyone for that, but that’s just the way it is.
“That’s racing. I’ve driven some not so good races and won but today I had three really strong stints and didn’t win. That’s just the way it goes I suppose.”
Stefan Muecke, driver of the sister No. 66 Ford, had a similar response to the situation his teammates faced.
Muecke and polesitter Olivier Pla had an even more unfortunate race with the Frenchman dropping to the back of the field in avoidance of a crash on the first lap, before a door issue cost them a lap in the pits.
“Some things, you can’t change,” the German told Sportscar365. “You can’t change the Full Course Yellow coming and other cars having luck for that.
He was frustrated with the result of his own race, joking “I can’t say the words I want to say!”
“We made it to the end, took some points, and Harry went to P3 and took some points from the Porsche,” he said.
“At the end it was good for us from the championship point of view, but not a good weekend.
“We will still fight for the championship and there’s still five more races to come and a long season ahead.
“It’s not over yet, it’s just a shame we couldn’t take the maximum out of the weekend.”