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Briscoe And Westbrook Lead Ganassi Ford GT’s To 1-2 Finish At Road America

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Ford Chip Ganassi Racing

ELKHART LAKE, WI (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Ford Chip Ganassi Racing’s Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook powered to victory in the IMSA Road Race Showcase Sunday at Road America. The win marked the third straight year a Ganassi entry captured the checkered flag and the second straight in the event for Briscoe and Westbrook.

“We always come here with a lot of confidence and know that we’re going to have a good shot a winning,” said Briscoe about the 4.048-mile permanent road course.  “It’s just a track that really suits the Ford GT.  The long, fast corners and obviously now, it was more about the consistency than outright speed.”

The No. 67 Ford GT victory led a 1-2 finish for the Ganassi GT’s as Dirk Mueller and Joey Hand finished second in the No. 66 GT.  Mueller and Hand won in 2017.

“I think we’ve always run strong here and I think we were unlucky not to win the first year (2016) too,” said Briscoe.  “To get a 1-2 was just fantastic.”

Briscoe started second in class (GTLM) and passed class pole sitter Oliver Gavin and the No. 4 Corvette Racing C7.R on lap 19, about 40-minutes into the 2-hour, 40-minute race. Westbrook took over six laps later during a pit stop and then double-stinted to the checkered flag in the caution free race.

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“I think the yellow-free race played to our strength of long runs,” said Briscoe.  “It was a pretty straightforward strategy of two stops. We knew our advantage was going to be on old tires and that showed today.”

“The key was being good on the tires,” said Westbrook.  “Really, those last 10 laps on the stint were the most important 10 laps, not the first 10 laps.  If you fell off the cliff (in tire performance) like the Corvette’s definitely did 20-laps into the stint, then you were toast.”

The win was also the 2nd straight for Briscoe and Westbrook, who won two weeks ago at Lime Rock Park.

“Polar opposite of Lime Rock when we won on a three-stopper,” said Westbrook comparing the strategies in the victories.  “Today we made the two-stopped work.  Just feels awesome.”

Three races remain in the WeatherTech Championship season with Earl Bamber and Laurens Vanthoor atop the Championship standings with 248-points.  Patrick Pilet and Nick Tandy are second with 234-points.  Briscoe and Westbrook are third with 230-points.

Sports Cars

Chip Ganassi Racing wins 12-Hours of Sebring

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IMSA Wire Service

SEBRING, FL (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Chip Ganassi Racing’s Earl Bamber passed Richard Westbrook for the lead, not once, but twice in the final hour to win the 12-hours of Sebring with co-drivers Alex Lynn and Neel Jani.

Bamber was chasing down Westbrook and when the clock ticked just under an hour left in the event, the No. 02 Cadillac passed the No. 5 Cadillac. Seconds later Bamber and the No. 21 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3 driven by Simon Mann got together, sending Bamber spinning.

All of the drama unfolded about a half hour after the final driver change between Lynn and Bamber.  Lynn came to pit road with a 30-second lead and handed the car over to Bamber who, on his out-lap, collided with the No. 13 AWA Duqueine D08 LMP3 car driven by Kuno Wittmer.  IMSA issued a drive-through penalty that gave the lead to Westbrook.

Bamber fell behind Westbrook by 6-seconds following the spin with Mann but ran down the former CGR driver and passed him with 435-minutes left in the event.

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“It was some of the best driving I’ve done and some of the worst at the same time, all in about one and a half hours,” said Bamber. “I’m just really happy that we could recover and get back to the front. It was a team effort, not an individual one. I could’ve probably made it a hell of a lot easier for everyone else, but hey, I made it.”

Tristian Vautier was able to cut into Bamber’s lead following the final round of pit stops to bring the No. 5 Caddy home in second followed by Pipo Derani in the No. 31 Action Express Cadillac.

“The 02 came out of the pits 7-seconds ahead and we entered the final lap 2.5 behind,” said Vautier. “Then I took it easy on the last lap. I knew it was over and we were tight on fuel. It’s a very solid day for the team. We were third at Daytona and second here. We can be proud.”

The victory was the second in the event for Chip Ganassi’s team, who also won the event in 2014 with co-drivers Marino Franchitti, Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas.

The WeatherTech Championship resumes April 8-10 with the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.

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Sports Cars

Sebastien Bourdais win the pole position for the 70th Twelve Hours of Sebring

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IMSA Wire Service

SEBRING, FL (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Sebastien Bourdais will lead the 70th Twelve Hours of Sebring field to the green flag after winning the pole position with a fast lap of 1 minute, 45.166 seconds (128.025 mph) in the No. 01 Cadillac Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R.

Bourdais managed the notorious bumps of Sebring International Raceway’s 17-turn, 3.74-mile circuit Friday to break Pipo Derani’s track record that was set last year.

“Leave it rough, leave it natural, don’t touch it,” said Bourdais of Sebring. “It’s the motto of this place. It is very difficult, but overall, it’s the same. It’s a challenge for everyone.”

Derani was just 0.026-seconds behind Bourdais in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Racing Cadillac.

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Row 2 of the Daytona Prototype International Class (DPi) has Ricky Taylor in the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura ARX-05 lined up third with Alex Lynn in the No. 02 Ganassi Cadillac.

Mike Rockenfeller in the No. 48 Ally Cadillac rounded out the Top 5 in the No. 31 in the Action Express Racing Caddy.

The green flag is scheduled to fly Saturday at 10:10 a.m. ET. Live flag-to-flag coverage is available on Peacock, with USA joining the broadcast on TV from 3:30 p.m. to 10:30. Live coverage also is available on IMSA Radio via IMSA.com and SiriusXM Radio.

12 Hours of Sebring

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IndyCar

Chip Ganassi to be Honoree at ‘The Amelia’ this weekend

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INDIANAPOLIS, IN (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Chip Ganassi is adding another honor to his considerable list of accomplishments, being selected as this year’s Honoree at ‘The Amelia’, the award-winning car show formerly known as the ‘Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance’.

Ganassi, 63, joins an exclusive list of previous Honoree’s that include Roger Penske, Bobby Rahal, Sam Posey, Johnny Rutherford, Bobby Unser, Hurley Haywood, David Hobbs, Brian Redman, Emerson Fittipaldi and Jochen Mass, to name a few.

“To be selected as the Honoree at ‘The Amelia’ this year, it certainly ranks among the high points of my career,” said Ganassi. “I’m truly honored to be respected by my peers in this way and join the likes of so many legends I’ve long admired. I’ve been fortunate enough to make this a career and I still feel that I have as much passion for the sport as I did 40 years ago, qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 as a rookie.”

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A select fleet of Ganassi’s legendary race cars will be featured as part of the show:

  • 1994 Reynard 94i that Michael Andretti scored Chip Ganassi Racing’s first win at Surfer’s Paradise.
  • 2000 Indianapolis 500 winner that Juan Pablo Montoya drove to victory and Rookie of the Year honors.
  • 2006 Lexus Riley Rolex 24 at Daytona Champion driven by Scott Dixon, Dan Wheldon and Casey Mears.
  • 2010 Chevrolet Impala that Jamie McMurray piloted to the Daytona 500 win.
  • 2010 Honda INDYCAR that Dario Franchitti drove to win the 2010 Indianapolis 500.
  • 2022 Cadillac DPi which recently competed in the 24 Hours of Daytona.
  • Ford GT Chassis 007 which won the 2017 Rolex 24 at Daytona, 2017 Road America, 2018 Watkins Glen and Lime Rock.

Ganassi is among the most successful race team owners in the world with 14 NTT INDYCAR SERIES Championships and eight IMSA Sports Car titles. Overall, his teams have 22 championships with more than 230 victories, including four Indianapolis 500s, a Daytona 500, a Brickyard 400, eight Rolex 24 at Daytona events, the 12 Hours of Sebring and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance was founded by car collector and businessman Bill Warner in 1996, who launched his career as a photographer and writer for Road & Track magazine in the early 1970s. Today, the event’s economic impact on Florida is estimated at nearly $30 million a year and has donated over $4 million to various charities since its inception.

The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance was recently acquired by Traverse City Michigan-based Hagerty, an American automotive lifestyle and membership company and the world’s largest provider of specialty insurance for classic vehicles. Hagerty rebranded the Florida collector car event as “The Amelia,” in 2021. Showcased throughout the event weekend are some of the rarest and most unusual collector automobiles from all over the world. For more information on ‘The Amelia’, visit: https://www.ameliaconcours.com/event.

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