Though it didn’t repeat in 2017, the Ford GT showed well at this year’s grueling race. The #67 racer edged its US rival to take the second spot just behind the #97 Aston Martin Vantage.

Though it didn’t repeat in 2017, the Ford GT showed well at this year’s grueling race. The #67 racer edged its US rival to take the second spot just behind the #97 Aston Martin Vantage. (Photo Credit: Ford Chip Ganassi Racing)

It was a grueling race; we had to fight through every lap, every pit stop, every moment of the 24 hours. — Andy Priaulx, driver

Following up last year’s storybook win at the historic endurance race would be a tough task. Ford brought four Ford GTs to the 24 Hours of Le Mans in an attempt to make it happen. All four cars finished, but just one finished on the podium in the runner-up spot — the #67 Ford GT driven by Andy Priaulx, Harry Tincknell, and Pipo Derani.

“That was an amazing race,” Andy said. “It was a faultless race with faultless pit stops. These guys (the Ford Chip Ganassi Racing team) deserve a medal as yet again they have risen to the challenge. It was a grueling race; we had to fight through every lap, every pit stop, every moment of the 24 hours. Everything had to be perfect and it was. Watching Harry at the end was nail-biting so when we saw the Corvette appear in Harry’s sights we knew he would get the job done and take second.”

Andy Priaulx, Harry Tincknell, and Pipo Derani piloted the #67 Ford GT to a runner-up finish in the GTE Pro at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Andy Priaulx, Harry Tincknell, and Pipo Derani piloted the #67 Ford GT to a runner-up finish in the GTE Pro class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

This proves that you have to stick with it right until the very end. — Dave Pericak, Ford Performance

It was a harrowing race that saw some of the Ford GTs struggling with mechanical issues. The #66 GT even went off track due to a rear-suspension issue, but overcoming those struggles is the nature of endurance racing.

“Wow, what a race,” Dave Pericak, global director, Ford Performance, said. “It was a tough one, but everyone stuck with it. This proves that you have to stick with it right until the very end. To take second place on our second time here is amazing. First is always best but we’ll take this because it’s a great result for this team. It was huge for us in the WEC championship so it’s not just a great finish, but it’s also great for the championship we want to win this year.”

The other three Ford GTs finished in sixth (#68), seventh (#69) and 11th place (#66).

The other three Ford GTs finished in sixth (#68), seventh (#69) and 11th place (#66).

In the end, that runner-up finish earned the #67 GT double points toward the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship title. The battle for that title resumes at the 6 Hours of Nurburgring in July. However, the IMSA Ford GTs will be the first to return to action in less than two weeks at the Watkins Glen on June 29.

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