Ford sweats on fourth Le Mans GT entry being accepted

Ford will find out on Thursday if it will be able to race all four of its GT entries as planned in the Le Mans 24 Hours, as it bids to repeat its GTE Pro victory of 2016.

Ford sweats on fourth Le Mans GT entry being accepted
#67 Ford Performance Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT: Ryan Briscoe, Richard Westbrook, Scott Dixon, #912 Porsche Team North America Porsche 911 RSR: Kevin Estre, Laurens Vanthoor, Richard Lietz, #4 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R: Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner, Marcel Fässler
#66 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT: Olivier Pla, Stefan Mücke, Billy Johnson
The new Ford GT
#51 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE: Gianmaria Bruni, James Calado, Alessandro Pier Guidi, #66 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT: Olivier Pla, Stefan Mücke, Billy Johnson
#66 Ford Performance Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT: Joey Hand, Dirk Müller, Sébastien Bourdais
#68 Ford Performance Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT: Billy Johnson, Stefan Mücke, Olivier Pla, #69 Ford Performance Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT: Andy Priaulx, Harry Tincknell, Tony Kanaan, #911 Porsche Team North America Porsche 911 RSR: Patrick Pilet, Dirk Werner, Frédéric Makowiecki
#67 Ford Performance Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT: Ryan Briscoe, Richard Westbrook, Scott Dixon, pit action

The Blue Oval claimed another showpiece endurance event last weekend when it won the GTLM class at the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona.

Three of its cars are automatic entries for Le Mans, but the second IMSA WeatherTech Championship car is not guaranteed a place on the entry list – which is revealed in France tomorrow.

“That is our plan,” said Ford's racing chief Dave Pericak of its four-car entry hopes. “I’m boarding an airplane to go to the announcement, and I’m hopeful. Three of them will definitely be there, the winning car [from 2016] and the two WEC cars, so it’s whether or not they invite the fourth car back.

“One way or another I don’t know yet. I met with some of the heads of the FIA [WEC] and ACO at Daytona, but I’m hopeful.”

When asked if these four-car assaults would continue in the blue riband events going forward, he replied: “The ability is there.

"It costs a lot of money to have these cars, especially to bring the WEC cars over here or our cars over there.

“The more we have the guys working together, it continues to build that teamwork and camaraderie. For Daytona, our European team came over and worked right out of our Ganassi shop in Indianapolis.

“To have them working side by side like that is beneficial to the overall programme, and it would be nice to bring that anytime we have a big race, and we’ll try to do that – but no promises. There’s a lot involved.”

On the subject of Ford’s Sebring 12 Hours entry being four cars again, he added: “It’s possible, nothing has been confirmed. Nothing really in the works for that, but it would be possible.”

You can watch the 2017 Le Mans 24 Hours entry list reveal streamed live on Motorsport.com on Thursday, starting from 1500 GMT.

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2017 Le Mans 24 Hours - 14 teams invited
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