L&T Motorsport

Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Dominates GTE Pro in Fuji

 Carrying on their dominant form from qualifying and practice, Ford Chip Ganassi Racing controlled GTE Pro. The pole sitter, the No.66 car of Oliver Pla, got a good start but the sister car, the No.67 car in the hands of Tincknell, had an even better start, inheriting first place at Turn 1. The No.66 car settled into second and never really challenged the No.67 car.

The No.67 car, which was being driven by Harry Tincknell, had a omens early on in which he collided with the No.78 Porsche being driven by Wolf Henzler, he temporarily lost the lead because of the incident but quickly recovered.

In second was the sister Ford, the No.66 car, driven by Andy Priaulx, who was running three seconds behind.

At the halfway mark it was still all Ford in GTE Pro, the Ford GT’s where controlling the race, with the No.67 and No.66 cars running away from the rest of the field and holding an ever increasing 30 second lead. The next closest car was the No.51 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE which was being driven by Gianmaria Bruno. They looked set to take victory at Fuji.

Henry Tincknell was not the only one to have a mishap during the six hours of Fuji, Pla had a moment at turn 3 resulting in a spin just before his final stop, he carried on without any issues but lost 15 seconds to the leaders.

As predicted early on, Ford Chip Gamassi racing dominated the remainder of the race and won in spectacular fashion, it marked the first victory for the UK branch of the team in the aWEC this season, leading every session in the build up.

With the Fords streaking ahead AF Corse had a quiet race, with the No.51 of OF Gianmaria Bruni and James Calado and the No.71 of Davide Rigon and Sam Bird taking third and fourth respectively.

The Championship leaders Aston Martin also had a relatively quiet race, with Nicki Thiim and Marco Sørensen starting and finishing in fifth in the No.96 Aston Martin Racing Vantage GTE, occasionally switching places with Ferrari in the pit stop stages.

Remarkably, all manufacturers in GTE Pro finished the race in the positions on which they qualified.

(image: sportscar365.com)

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