As has become almost the standard in GT racing in the World Endurance Championship, Balance of Performance (BoP) is a big talking point in this class. As the 24 Hours of Le Mans has its own rules for BoP and how it is calculated, some teams are affected more by BoP in this race than others. Ford Chip Ganassi feel they have been hit with BoP too hard for the 24-hour endurance race and believe it could be enough to take them out of contention for the win.
Current GT World Endurance Driver’s Championship leader Andy Priaulx stated that he did not feel Ford was the quickest on track in the Pro field for this race, something that has not been the case in the first two races of the season, because of the heavy BoP that Ford has been handed. He also commented that Ferrari, the fastest Pro cars in the test, were not even going as fast as the fastest Fords last year which seemed odd to him.
In terms of the Championship standings, it does make sense that Priaulx would be worried about a BoP deficit, especially to the AF Corse Ferraris that sit second and third in the championship. With double points on offer for this race event it could make all the difference to the championship winner at the end of the year.
The 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans saw Ford on top and looking unbeatable. Unfortunately for the WEC-running Team UK Ford GTs, it was the Team USA Fords that had all the luck and ended on the podium.
Five extra Pro cars join the field for this race, with all of the extra entrants coming over from American racing. Joey Hand and Dirk Müller return to try and take their second class win at Le Mans after winning last year. They come back in the #69 Ford Chip Ganassi Team USA car.
After his qualifying accident at the Indy500 that saw him suffer injuries to his hip and pelvis, Sebastien Bourdais has been forced to step out of the Ford due to his recovery. He will be unable to try and repeat his win from last year, but hands over the responsibility to fellow IndyCar competitor Tony Kanaan. Kanaan takes to the Circuit de la Sarthe for the first time ever in the practice session later on this evening.