Ford closing on drivers for new IMSA, WEC and Le Mans GT programme

Ford will not announce any drivers ahead of the public test debut of its new GTE contender at Daytona today

Ford closing on drivers for new IMSA, WEC and Le Mans GT programme

It has opted against confirming drivers for Chip Ganassi Racing's assault on the GT Le Mans class of next year's IMSA SportsCar Championship with a pair of Ford GTs prior to the two-day test, and will instead make an announcement next week.

GALLERY: Ford's new GT racer testing at Daytona

It is unclear whether this will also cover the drivers for Ford's assault on the GTE Pro division of the World Endurance Championship, which will be run from a base in the UK.

Ganassi regular Joey Hand was as good as confirmed for the programme on the launch of Ford GT racer, which has been developed by the Canadian Multimatic organisation, by team owner Chip Ganassi at the Le Mans 24 Hours in June.

He explained it was "safe to say" that Hand, who joined Ganassi from BMW for this season, would be driving one of the Fords in 2016.

Richard Westbrook and Ryan Briscoe look set to be part of the North American line-up after their respective employers in 2015 - Spirit of Daytona and Corvette Racing - announced line-ups for next year without their names over the past two weeks.

Long-time BMW driver Dirk Muller and Marino Franchitti, who won the Sebring 12 Hours with Ganassi in 2014, are also known to have driven the Ford GT since it began intensive testing after the launch.
They both appear to be in the frame for IMSA or WEC drives.

Others rumoured to be in contention for Ford seats include Olivier Pla and Nicki Thiim.

Aston Martin Racing driver Stefan Mucke is set to be one of the drivers for the WEC programme.

The German has close links with WEC team boss George Howard-Chappell, who formerly ran AMR.

Long-time Multimatic driver Scott Maxwell and Ford development tester Billy Johnson have also been driving the car.

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