Andy Priaulx feels Ford Chip Ganassi Racing have a chance of victory in this weekend’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, but the Porsche GT Team will be hard to beat.
The Briton shares the #67 Ford with countryman Harry Tincknell and Brazilian Tony Kanaan, with the car set to start eleventh in the GTE Pro class, and he feels the team will need to have a perfect twenty four hours if they are to claim the win.
Priaulx feels there is not a single weak link in the seventeen-car, six manufacturer GTE Pro field, and as a result it will be difficult to take the win, particularly as Porsche starred during practice and Qualifying.
“I think we’re in the game, but I think Porsche are up the road,” said Priaulx to The Checkered Flag. “They’ve just got more pace than us.
“I think we’ve got a chance, but I think it’s going to be no different to last year where second for us was like a win because we just didn’t have the pace to Aston [Martin]. It’s not going to be easy, but anything is possible, it’s a 24-hour race.
“It’s going be like last year [that] every lap matters, every pit stop matters. Seventeen cars, fifty pro drivers, there’s not a single weak link in there. We’re just going to need to be the best we can be, and that needs to be perfect.”
Ford were one of the teams to have an adjustment to their Balance of Performance (BoP) post-Qualifying, with the majority aimed at reducing the advantage Porsche has, and Priaulx admits they would need some help in that regard to be in contention.
“In 2016 we got ‘BoP’ed after the test and we weren’t the quickest,” said Priaulx. “I think we showed everybody what we can do, that’s the car. We need a bit of help.
“These things are scientific and racing drivers can be quite emotional about it, it’s better to talk to an engineer about that who knows what the data says.”
Priaulx had the misfortune to crash the #67 Ford during Qualifying, losing control of the car going into Tertre Rouge, but he praised his mechanics for a swift repair job that saw the team lose minimal time.
“The car is 100%, it’s fine,” said the Briton. “I just touched the grass on the turn in unfortunately and had an off.
“It was repaired very quickly, the team did a great job. Get that out the way.”