The #67 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing entry of Andy Priaulx and Harry Tincknell took their second consecutive 6 Hours of Shanghai victory last weekend, with the points keeping the duo firmly in contention for the GTE Pro title heading into the final race of the season in Bahrain.
Just six and a half points separate Priaulx and Tincknell from the AF Corse duo of James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi following the result in China, with Porsche GT Team duo Frédéric Makowiecki and Richard Lietz sit between the two teams with just the 6 Hours of Bahrain coming on 18 November.
Despite the result in China, AF Corse secured the manufacturers title for Ferrari, but Dave Pericak, the global director of Ford Performance, says they are going to go all-out to claim the drivers’ crown in Bahrain.
“That was a big win for the team today, not just for this race but for the Championship,” said Pericak. “We are definitely now within striking distance and look forward to closing the deal in Bahrain.
“The competition is strong and we fell short on the Manufacturer’s title but congratulate Ferrari and look forward to competing against them again next year.”
Priaulx felt that the win in China was their ‘most hard-fought’ so far, but the team did everything to perfection to ensure that both himself and his fellow Briton Tincknell remained in championship contention.
“That was probably our most hard-fought win so far and the most rewarding,” said Priaulx. “Every moment was critical. Every lap, every pit stop, it all had to be perfect.
“We really needed this result and we’re back in the fight for the driver’s championship. It’s our fourth win together so we must be doing something right.
“We couldn’t do it without this brilliant team. The car was great, the pit stops were perfect, and the strategy was perfect. All we need to do now is go to Bahrain and win again!”
Tincknell brought the car home on Sunday, and he admitted it was an emotional moment when he crossed the finish line, particularly having waited since the opening race of the season at Silverstone to return to the top step of the podium.
“I was quite emotional on the final lap as this win has been a long time coming,” said Tincknell. “We knew we had a job on our hands starting fourth but we didn’t give up and when we needed to put the hammer down we got the job done.
“I knew I was going to be vulnerable to the Porsche at the end and I had to do everything I could to defend. I managed to keep him behind until the final pit stop when the boys gave me some fresher tyres, which took the heat off me for the final half hour.
“This win was a massive all-round team effort and I’m so happy.”