The final 30 minutes of the 55th annual Rolex 24 race proved to be intense and precarious, keeping those in the stands on the edges of their seats. But the nail-biting half hour proved to be gratifying in the end for Joey Hand, Dirk Müller and Sébastien Bourdais, the three-man team that surged to the finish line in the wake of their 2016 GTE Pro wins at Le Mans. The trio took first place with their Ford GT in tow after a grueling race punctuated by overnight stints and environmental obstacles, such as wet driving conditions.
"The three of us together, you may not think a German dude, a French guy who has a bunch of Indy Car championships and a guy from California would work together the best, but we do really work well together,” Hand said after the win. The win marked the seventh Rolex 24 win for Chip Ganassi Racing, as well as Ford's 19th win at the race and the first within the GT ranks. It also has Ford Chip Ganassi Racing sitting pretty going into the remainder of the year, for both IMSA and FIA WEC competition.
Dave Pericak, the global director of Ford Performance, shared his excitement for the win in a released statement.
“It’s a proud day for everyone at Ford,” he said. “We came into this race with a lot to prove after last year and it was great to see all four of our GTs run so well. The competition was amazing, and the 66 car guys ran a perfect race. It's a great way to start 2017, and we couldn't be more proud of everyone who worked so hard to prepare for this race."
Find out more about the GT and Ford's races on tap at Sound Ford in Seattle, Washington.