001 2016 Ford GT GTLM Rolex 24 Qualifies
John Gilbert Staff Editor
January 29, 2016

Even the competition will tell you the new Ford GT GTLM is “crazy fast.” Here are some notes and quotes from Ford Performance at IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at Daytona International Speedway after qualifying for the Rolex 24.

Note: Field will be reset by category (Prototype/PC/GTLM/GTD) for the Rolex 24 At Daytona after rain scattered the field in qualifying.

GT Le Mans (GTLM)
Ford GT starting positions (overall/class)
P15/9 66 Ford GT (*Joey Hand, Dirk Müller, Sébastien Bourdais) – 2:06.758
P25/10 67 Ford GT (*Ryan Briscoe, Richard Westbrook, Stefan Mücke) – 2:08.440
* Driver qualified.

No. 66 Ford GT (Joey Hand, Dirk Müller, Sébastien Bourdais)

Joey Hand: “The conditions were treacherous. I’m actually surprised we were qualifying in those conditions. You couldn’t even get through the Bus Stop. The Bus Stop is usually third or fourth gear, and this was first gear. There are a lot of places that were just not good and I thought we could’ve wrote off some cars. A lot of guys took it easy. Our main goal with this car is not really to throw down the ultimate lap in this first race it’s to finish 24 hours. We hate to get in a situation and get the car in the fence and have the guys have to work all night to just get a pieced together car to go race 24 hours, so our main thing when we left pit lane was to get it back in one piece and that’s what we did. We went out a little late. We then caught a red flag at the beginning, so we didn’t get our laps in the way we should have or could have. The good thing is, I don’t think the car is bad in the rain. I think it’s actually pretty good. We just had to really tip-toe in these conditions and make sure we had a race car come the start of the Rolex 24.”

No. 67 Ford GT (Richard Westbrook, Ryan Briscoe, Stefan Mücke)

Ryan Briscoe: “We only did one timed lap, so it was really a challenge. There was a lot of standing water and I was just trying to keep it on the track, to be honest. We got our timed lap and the car’s in one piece, so we’re ready to go racing and that’s the important thing.”

Ford EcoBoost Riley starting positions (overall/class)
P26/5 01 Claritin/Target Ford Riley (*Alex Wurz, Lance Stroll, Brendon Hartley, Andy Priaulx) – 2:08.639
P32/7 02 Target/Claritin Ford Riley (*Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan, Kyle Larson, Jamie McMurray) – 2:10.094
* Driver qualified.

No. 02 Target/Claritin Ford EcoBoost Riley (Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan, Kyle Larson, Jamie McMurray)

DIXON: “We changed our strategy quite a bit. When the track was on its best early on, we couldn’t get the front to turn, then with a couple of minutes to go we got that wind, and we couldn’t really do anything. Then when I came into pit road, I think I was just in third gear slowing down, and there was a massive puddle and it went. Then I got stuck in the grass. I was John Deere-ing it a little.”

No. 01 Claritin/Target Ford EcoBoost Riley (Alex Wurz, Brendon Hartley, Lance Stroll, Andy Priaulx)

ALEX WURZ: “I came to the Sunshine State expecting sunshine, but it rained for qualifying, which I usually really like. I had zero timed laps before qualifying; I didn’t know where to break in Turn 1, so, I started qualifying and realized there was low grip and tried to get comfortable. In the end, I didn’t think I did too bad for a rookie. Main thing is, the car is in one piece, so the guys can get on with doing their job now.”