The #69 Ford GT of Ryan Briscoe, Richard Westbrook and Scott Dixon, who were trying for a rare 24 hour double after their victory in the Rolex 24 at Daytona earlier this year, was running sixth at the 24 Hours of Le Mans with two hours to go before being hit with gearbox issues. The team repaired the car to allow it to finish the race.
“I think we battled hard. We certainly just seemed to lack a little bit of the pace through the night,” said Briscoe. “I think with our set-up and the combination of losing a little bit of track position, that hit us twice as hard when you lose the safety car lines.
“We lost touch with the leaders, but we were racing hard and hanging in there. We were going to have a great battle right until the end with the Corvette.
“I had an entertaining race. It just love driving on this race track. It’s so intense. It’s such a competitive field, literally pushing you out there to drive as hard as you can for 24 hours.”
Although not a victory, Mark Rushbrook, global director, Ford Performance Motorsports, was impressed with the whole team’s effort.
“You want to win every race you compete in, but to come here, the world’s hardest sports car race, and see the effort that Ford Chip Ganassi Racing put in was great,” said Rushbrook.
“It’s unfortunate that most of the GTE Pro field got caught out by that early safety car because it changed the dynamic of the race. But we have to be proud of what the teams did.”
Team boss Chip Ganassi added, “We got separated from the pace car on one occasion and then held back in a few of the slow zones, and that was costly.
“The leaders didn’t have to deal with that, and they benefited from the situation. I was a little disappointed with that, but that’s the way it goes here. Le Mans picks its winner. And it just didn’t pick us this year.”