Ford will start its maiden FIA World Endurance Championship GTE Pro race from third and fifth positions at Silverstone, despite a gearbox issue that hampered one of its cars.

Ford’s #66 Ganassi UK-run car qualified third in the hands of Stefan Mucke and Olivier Pla, despite a lack of running in wet conditions.

Pla suffered a brief off at the end of the session as he tried to improve his time.

“Third position is alright,” said Mucke. “It was difficult conditions, and we’ve seen big differences in laptimes.

“A lot of cars were on different kinds of tyres, and it was a big surprise that Ferrari was so fast.

“The car’s handling is good, but the key thing is to understand the tyres. We haven’t got time to risk anything, so we’re taking the safe options right now.

“We are learning all the time, especially in wet conditions, and I think we can be happy and P3 is fine. If we can keep this until the end, we will be happy again.

“The main point is to have a clean race until the end. A podium would be a good result.”

Problem for Priaulx 

The sister #67 car suffered a gearbox problem, most likely an actuator-related issue. Andy Priaulx pitted on his outlap after the car became stuck in gear, but the car still managed to qualify in fifth position in class despite the drama.

“You go testing, you have nothing – then gear selection issues straight away,” sighed Priaulx. “It went up and then it wouldn’t downshift – the actuator seemed to be working but the gear wasn’t taking the next gear. One of those unlucky situations.

“I know we had gearbox issues in Daytona, but we solved that. I did notice some water coming into the car, so perhaps that could’ve caused it.

“We’ve had snow and rain thrown at us this weekend, all good – we need that experience. Very excited by what we’ve got here.”


Gallery: Ford upbeat over top-three start on GT’s WEC debut