American Joey Hand, Frenchman Sébastien Bourdais and German Dirk Müller, drivers of the #68 Ford Chip Ganassi Team USA Ford GT, returned to the podium with a robust third-place finish in the 86th running of the world’s toughest endurance sports car race.
The trio battled for the top spot early in the race against the winning #92 Porsche 911 RSR. But, an ill-timed safety car caught the #68 and the other leaders in the pits, causing the rest of the GTE Pro field to be nearly a lap down for the rest of the race.
The crew then settled in for some thrilling door-to-door action, as it fought hard against its German rival.
“It was great to be back at Le Mans”, said Le Mans local Bourdais, who missed the race with injuries last year. “It was a tough race, but we maximised everything as a team, and for that, I am super proud of everyone at Ford Chip Ganassi Racing.
“We did all we could and finished third, so that is the cards we were dealt. We’ll take them and move on.”.
“A good day at the office I would call it,” said Müller. “Being on the podium at Le Mans is almost like winning because this race is so special and unique. Third I know, but I am still smiling. For the 68 Ford GT, a victory in 2016 and a third place today means a lot.
“I look forward to coming back next year and going back up two more spots. It was great for all the boys who did an excellent job, and for our WEC boys, I am glad they got good points today.”
“We maximised our potential,” said Hand. “We always work to have a really good race car. It takes having an excellent race car to win here, and we did. We have no damage to our car at all.
“We just got caught out a couple of times there with safety cars, and that hurt us, and we couldn’t make it up. I have been here four times and been on the podium three of them, so that’s pretty cool.”