Silverstone, UK, April 17, 2017 – In the 2017 debut FIA event, the No. 67 Ford GT brought home the first win of the World Endurance Championship season. Ford Performance in partnership with Roush Yates Engines powered the Ford Chip Ganassi Racing – UK team to victory circle in the 6 Hours of Silverstone, with the twin turbo Ford V6 EcoBoost race engine.

“What a way to start off the FIA season,” said Doug Yates, President and CEO of Roush Yates Engines. “Congratulations Andy, Harry and Pipo on the win and pole. Winning an endurance race is a big team effort. Through the leadership and vision of Ford Performance we have been sharing information across our various engine programs and teams to ensure success at the race track. We are so proud to be part of the One Ford team.”

Drivers of the No. 67; Andy Priaulx (GB), Harry Tincknell (GB) and newcomer to the trio Pipo Derani (BRA) from Ford Chip Ganassi Racing (FCGR) in the LMGTE Pro class, were able to convert the pole position on Saturday into a victory on Sunday and record the maximum number of points (26 = 25 points race win and 1-point pole).

The team showed patience, managing tires and clean pit stops were key to the six-hour endurance race. The trio took advantage of a full course caution that came late in the race to make a quick driver exchange from Derani to Tincknell and take the lead of the race.

The Ford WEC teams are based in Greatworth, UK – not far from Silverstone, so the teams consider Silverstone their home track. It is a great circuit for the Ford GT with its slow sections, where tire grip is required and high-speed sections with long straights, where the power of the twin-turbo Ford EcoBoost V6 race engine was leveraged. The No. 67 and No. 66 maneuvered the 5.901 kms (3.667 mile) circuit brilliantly to lead the majority of the 1,009 kms (627 miles) race.

Stefan Mücke (GER), Olivier Pla (FRA) and Billy Johnson (US) drivers of the No. 66 sister car also had a stellar race, leading for a portion of the race, but ultimately finished just off the podium in P4.

“That was a fabulous way to start the season,” said WEC Team Principal, George Howard-Chappell. “To come out fighting like this, to take pole position and win the race with the No. 67 car is just amazing and much more than we expected. It was a shame for the No. 66. They were in with a shout before they got messed about a bit with the safety car. I’m not going to complain though as it has been a great kick off to our season. I’m really happy with the work we’ve done over the winter on fine-tuning the car and with the great support we’ve had from Michelin with the tyres.”

All the preparation for the first 2017 World Endurance Championship race paid off. The FCGR teams went the extra mile in preparing, by participating in two IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship events, the Rolex 24 At Daytona and the Six Hours of Sebring with US sister cars. This gave not only the drivers and teams race data to work with, but also the engineers, to find that fraction of difference in speed that paid dividends in winning the race.

New for 2017, the GT teams are now fighting for World Championships, since the FIA gave full World Championship status to the GTE Drivers and Manufacturers titles. In addition, one rule change will make a big difference to the team tire strategy. They will now have less tire allocations, dropping from four sets to three sets in practice and from six sets to four sets for qualifying and the race. These changes are going to make the 2017 season even more exciting.

The Ford GTs will take this momentum and head to Belgium for the WEC 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps on May 6th.