A new era of mouth-watering LMGTE Pro battles will get underway at Silverstone in three weeks’ time as the mighty Ford marque begins its long awaited WEC programme. The US giant will begin a fierce on-track fight with a duo of Ford GT against Ferrari, Aston Martin, Porsche and Corvette (at Le Mans) challengers in 2016.
One of Ford’s star drivers, Andy Priaulx, arrives at the Prologue already a massive fan of the FIA WEC and the philosophy of hard and fair racing intertwined with sporting and human respect.
“I am very excited about the season ahead,” said Priaulx. “A few years ago I was competing in endurance racing in the USA. We raced the same weekend (as the FIA WEC) at COTA and I took a wander through the paddock and it just felt really right, and very professional. As the profile of the championship increases you get more visibility, and as soon as I saw Ford were on the radar I was probably one of the first drivers to pick up the phone to (Ford team principal) George (Howard-Chappell). I think that WEC is a great place to be now, it’s growing in popularity and it is the place to be.”
“It is going to be fantastic this year with up to five manufacturers in the LMGTE Pro class,” continued the multiple Touring Car champion. “The competition will be fierce and I think the ultimate winners will be the fans because they will be treated to some superb battles and rivalries.”
Priaulx, a proud member of the British Racing Drivers Club, is relishing the prospect of racing with the support of his home crowd at Silverstone. The Guernseyman, who used to live close to the circuit, will be a clear crowd favourite racing for the UK arm of the Ford Chip Ganassi team.
“Silverstone is a great place to start the championship. A lot of us here have grown up racing together; Anthony (Davidson) and I raced in F3 together a hundred years ago! It is the home of British motor racing, a superb circuit and I can’t wait to drive this Ford GT around there and I think the racing will be fantastic.”
Sam Smith / FIA WEC