Ford in fight for teams’ ti­tle at WEC Sea­son fi­nale

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

The Ford Chip Ganassi Racing team is in the King­dom of Bahrain this week for the final round of the 2016 FIA World En­durance Cham­pi­onship.

Af­ter two wins in a row for the #67 Ford GT, the GTE Pro teams’ ti­tle is within reach, al­though the lat­est Bal­ance of Per­for­mance changes will make it a chal­leng­ing tar­get. Andy Pri­aulx (GB) and Harry Tinck­nell (GB) need to fin­ish ahead of the cur­rent leader (#95 As­ton Martin) to snatch the ti­tle. Any­thing could hap­pen though, as the Fer­raris are still in the hunt as is the sis­ter #66 Ford GT crew of Ste­fan M¸cke (GER) and Olivier Pla (FRA) who will be push­ing hard for their first win of the sea­son.

“Who would have thought that in our de­but World En­durance Cham­pi­onship sea­son we would be head­ing into the final race with a long shot at the teams’ ti­tle?” said Dave Per­i­cak, Ford Per­for­mance global di­rec­tor. “The last two races have been in­cred­i­ble for the team. The Fuji track suited us but the win in Shang­hai was even sweeter as we had to work harder for it. We now have a very ex­cit­ing fi­nale to look for­ward to in Bahrain.”

It was the #67 Ford GT crew of Andy Pri­aulx and Harry Tinck­nell who took the wins in Fuji and Shang­hai so they are hop­ing for a hat trick in Bahrain, as Tinck­nell ex­plains.

“Con­fi­dence is re­ally high in the camp, es­pe­cially on the #67 side of the garage where we’ve had two wins in a row,” Tinck­nell said. “The me­chan­ics have worked so hard on the car and im­prov­ing their pit stops, while the car is get­ting faster with ev­ery race. I said go­ing into Fuji that I wanted three podi­ums from the last three races so to have won the last two is re­ally in­cred­i­ble. I want to reach that tar­get and it will be ex­tra hard now with the per­for­mance ad­just­ments but go­ing for a hat trick of wins would be a fan­tas­tic achieve­ment for a team reach­ing the end of its first year in the World Cham­pi­onship.

“If we can take the ti­tle for the team it will be a huge tes­ta­ment to ev­ery sin­gle per­son who has worked on the pro­gramme this year,” he con­tin­ued. “Once the race starts Andy and I will be push­ing 100 per cent to achieve just that.”

Bahrain is ex­pected to be a hot and hu­mid race where tyre degra­da­tion will once again be key. It’s a high-speed cir­cuit with some long straights, fast cor­ners and big stops, which should suit the Ford GT.

Ste­fan M¸cke and Olivier Pla are highly mo­ti­vated to grab their first win of the sea­son in Bahrain.

“We’re feel­ing good go­ing into the last race of the sea­son,” M¸cke said. “I re­ally like the Bahrain cir­cuit; it has an in­ter­est­ing lay­out and I have al­ways had good pace there. Bahrain is a spe­cial race as we run into the night, which can make tyre choice a real chal­lenge as the tem­per­a­ture can drop quickly. We are more than ready for this and can’t want to get into the bat­tle.”

The final pole po­si­tion of the WEC sea­son will be de­cided dur­ing a 20-minute qual­i­fy­ing ses­sion on Fri­day at 17:00 lo­cal time (15:00 CET). The Bapco 6 Hours of Bahrain gets un­der­way on Satur­day at 16:00 (14:00 CET).

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kuwait

© PressReader. All rights reserved.