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.
“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.