The No. 67 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT took a third-place podium finish at the 1000 Miles of Sebring, the sixth round of the 2018-19 FIA World Endurance Championship. The No. 66 Ford GT experienced a technical issue in the early stages of the race which put paid to its attack on the top positions, finishing in 11th place.
Harry Tincknell was behind the wheel of the No. 67 Ford GT for the start of the eight-hour race and battled with the leading Porsche throughout the opening hour. When the first pit stops came around, Andy Priaulx jumped in, joining the race in the lead after passing the Porsche in the pits. A great stint by Priaulx was followed up with a great stint from Jonathan Bomarito, who joined the No. 67 crew at Sebring.
For hour after hour the drivers put in metronomic performances, turning in lap after lap of mistake-free driving around the notoriously bumpy Sebring track. After leading the majority of the race, the No. 67 crew spent the closing stages fighting for a podium position, and when the rain came down with just 20 minutes to go Priaulx held on for third place.
“We did the absolute maximum today so we’re happy to get a podium place,” said Tincknell. “The only difference between coming third and winning was the Safety Car as we lost 30 seconds but that’s how it goes in this game. The race was a gutsy effort from the whole team and to grab the lead when we did was great as it was down to the guys’ efforts in the pits. It’s great to be back on the podium. We had the pace to win but as always you need a bit of luck to go your way too.”
Stefan Mücke, Olivier Pla and Billy Johnson had a hard time in the No. 66 Ford GT after it lost nine laps with an alternator problem, which occurred just over an hour into the race. Mücke started the race from third position and enjoyed some thrilling battles with a Corvette and the BMWs so it was a tough blow to then spend the rest of the race playing catch up.
“I’m very proud of the way the team performed today,” said WEC Team Principal, George Howard-Chappell. “We came here and tested thoroughly and managed to prepare a team and drivers that was able to challenge for the lead. We lost the great lead that Andy (Priaulx) built under the first Safety Car but we stayed in contention until the end when the rain came down. We’re happy to come away with a podium but it’s very much a story of what might have been. We were obviously extremely disappointed with the failure of the alternator on the No. 66 as that car had good pace but sometimes it just doesn’t go your way.”