Ford Authority

Ford GT Kicks Off World Endurance Championship Season With A Win At Spa

The Ford GT racing program started off the 2018-’19 FIA World Endurance Championship season with a win at Spa-Francorchamps, with Olivier Pla, Stefan Mücke, and Billy Johnson in the No. 66 car eking out a win over Porsche’s formidable pair of 911 RSR race cars. The No. 67 car was taken out of contention by a spectacular crash sometime during the second hour, with Harry Tincknell at the wheel. Thankfully, he emerged unscathed.

The battle between the No. 66 Ford GT and Porsche’s No. 91 911 RSR lasted throughout much of the race, only producing a decisive winner with about 45 minutes left in the six-hour race, when Ford driver Olivier Pla succeeded in overtaking Porsche driver Richard Lietz. The No. 91 Porsche slid still further in the final stages of the race, ending in fourth, with the No. 92 Porsche 911 RSR taking second and the No. 71 Ferrari 488 GTE claiming third.

Recounting the circumstances surrounding his well-executed pass in the late stages of the six-hour Belgian race, Ford GT driver Olivier Pla explained: “I knew on the last stint that the No. 91 didn’t change tyres and I had two new tyres on the left, the No. 92 also. So I was trying just to pass him as quick as I can and try to put the gap because I didn’t really know what the pace could have been from Porsche at the end.”

“That’s what I was trying to do and it just worked, so very pleasing,” he continued. “It was a difficult season last year, a lot of pace but always something, some drama and bad luck cost us some results. We are really happy. My team and my teammates did a perfect job all weekend. The car has been fantastic. Let’s keep going like that.”

The next race in the 2018-’19 World Endurance Championship season is the famed 24 Hours of Le Mans, from June 16th through the 17th. Four Ford GT race cars will be on-hand to compete in that event.

Aaron Brzozowski is a writer and motoring enthusiast from Detroit with an affinity for '80s German steel. He is not active on the Twitter these days, but you may send him a courier pigeon.

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