Ford reveals full-time WEC driver line-up
By Jamie Klein, News Editor
Ford Chip Ganassi Racing has confirmed that Andy Priaulx, Olivier Pla, Stefan Mucke and Marino Franchitti will form its full-time line-up for the team’s 2016 World Endurance Championship assault.
The Banbury-based operation will field two brand-new Ford GT machines in the GTE Pro class of the series.
“Make no mistake, we are racing to win,” said Ford's Dave Pericak. “To compete at this level you need the best car, the best team and the best drivers, and we have selected Stefan, Olivier, Andy and Marino to drive the Ford GT to take on the best in the world.”
Motorsport.com exclusively revealed last November that Priaulx would be leaving BMW to join the new Ford operation, ending a 13-year association with the Bavarian marque.
The Guernseyman will also be racing in the Daytona 24 Hours this month in a CGR-run Riley-Ford prototype as part of all-star team alongside Alexander Wurz, Lance Stroll and Brendon Hartley.
Franchitti, a seasoned sportscar racer, took the overall win in the 12 Hours of Sebring with Ganassi in 2014. His previous accolades in GT racing include a British GT title in the GTO class and a podium in the American Le Mans Series.
Pla, meanwhile, joins Ford having spent 2015 with the now-defunct Nissan LMP1 squad, while Mucke brings four seasons of GT experience with Aston Martin to the table - albeit missing three of the last four rounds of last year's WEC campaign.
Testing for the Ford WEC programme is set to begin in earnest in February after the Daytona 24 Hours, where the GT will make its race debut, with Mucke running alongside Richard Westbrook and Ryan Briscoe in one of the two entered cars.