Ford has officially announced its extra drivers for the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans, which they will participate in with its two IMSA GTLM Ford GTs and two FIA WEC Ford GTs, which are in their first season of racing this year.
The No. 66, No. 67, No. 68 and No.69 Ford GT will each have a team of three drivers at Le Mans. The No. 66 car will be driven by German, Stefan Mücke, Frenchman, Olivier Pla and American, Billy Johnson, while Scot Marino Franchitti, Guernsey’s Andy Priaulx and Englishman Harry Tincknell will pilot the No. 67 GT.
In the No. 68 will be American Joey Hand, German Dirk Mueller and Frenchman Sébastien Bourdais. Finally, New Zealand’s Scott Dixon, Englishman Richard Westbrook and Australian Ryan Briscoe will race the No. 69 car.
“We are pleased to have a very strong driver lineup for our return to the Le Mans 24 Hours,” said Ford product boss Raj Nair. “We’ve assembled a talented and experienced team on all fronts, and we are all focused on creating a new chapter in Ford’s history at Le Mans.”
Ticknell is a previous 24 hours of Le Mans winner, having won the endurance race’s LMP2 class in 2014, while Bourdais, a native of Le Mans, France, has competed there a total of ten times. Almost every driver on the roster brings a wealth of Le Mans experience, save for Johnson, who is making his debut in the French endurance race this year.
“Ford’s history at Le Mans is one of the greatest motorsport stories of all time, and this return after 50 years is arguably as meaningful and ambitious,” said Johnson. “Having won many races behind the wheel of Fords and having been a part of the development of the Ford GT, it’s truly an honor to be competing in the Le Mans 24 Hours on Ford’s historic return to the race.”
Dixon, the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Champ, will also be making his first Le Mans start this year.
“For once I’m the rookie, as this will be my first Le Mans,” said Dixon. “I’m excited to make my Le Mans debut in the Ford GT. I’ve been in the car a few times in testing, so I know we have a great race car here. Like any driver, it is a dream come true for me to race at Le Mans, and I can’t wait to get started.”
The 84th 24 Hours of Le Mans will kick off at 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 8th, 2016.