Andy Priaulx explains decision to leave BMW for Ford WEC deal

The lure of the Le Mans 24 Hours and a full programme in the World Endurance Championship with Ford was too much to persuade Andy Priaulx to remain with BMW

Andy Priaulx explains decision to leave BMW for Ford WEC deal

The Briton, who won three World Touring Car Championship titles with BMW, opted against staying with the German manufacturer for a 14th season in favour "racing at the highest level possible" to take up the offer of a WEC seat with Ford Chip Ganassi Racing.

"It would have been more comfortable remaining with BMW and I would have had other benefits in staying, but the decision was all about the racing," Priaulx told Autosport.

"I would have raced a BMW in the GT Daytona class of the IMSA SportsCar Championship [for the Turner Motorsports team] and continued in the British Touring Car Championship [with West Surrey Racing], but that doesn't even come close to what I now have with Ford.

"It's about going to Le Mans and winning big races; having the opportunity to win the important stuff meant a lot more to me than anything else. "

GALLERY: Ford launches its 2016 WEC team

Priaulx revealed that he was interested in racing for Ford the moment he heard rumours of the programme and explained that he would have been open to joining its attack on the IMSA GT Le Mans class in 2016.

"I would have been happy being part of either programme," continued the 41-year-old, who has a two-year deal with Ford.

"I have experience in the US with BMW and love the racing out there, and I knew that the American team was planning to do Le Mans.

"I've been on the podium at Le Mans with BMW [in 2011] and it was something that I really wanted to do again."

Priaulx was confirmed as one of the drivers for the two Ford GTs entered in the GT Pro class of the WEC yesterday along with Olivier Pla, Stefan Mucke and Marino Franchitti.

The pairings in the two entries and the additional drivers for Le Mans will be decided at a later date.

Priaulx will make his debut with Ganassi in this month's Daytona 24 Hours in one of a pair of two Riley-Ford EcoBoost Daytona Prototypes the team is fielding in the IMSA opener on a one-off basis.

shares
comments
Ford reveals driver line-up for 2016 WEC GTE Pro entry with Ganassi
Previous article

Ford reveals driver line-up for 2016 WEC GTE Pro entry with Ganassi

Next article

Sam Bird gets 2016 works Ferrari World Endurance Championship seat

Sam Bird gets 2016 works Ferrari World Endurance Championship seat
How Porsche's Le Mans legend changed the game Plus

How Porsche's Le Mans legend changed the game

The 956 set the bar at the dawn of Group C 40 years ago, and that mark only rose higher through the 1980s, both in the world championship and in the US. It and its successor, the longer-wheelbase 962, were voted as Autosport's greatest sportscar in 2020 - here's why

WEC
Aug 25, 2022
Why BMW shouldn't be overlooked on its return to prototypes Plus

Why BMW shouldn't be overlooked on its return to prototypes

OPINION: While the focus has been on the exciting prospect of Ferrari vs Porsche at the Le Mans 24 Hours next year, BMW’s factory return to endurance racing should not be ignored. It won't be at the French classic next year as it focuses efforts on the IMSA SportsCar Championship, but could be a dark horse in 2024 when it returns to La Sarthe with the crack WRT squad

Le Mans
Aug 21, 2022
The problem sausage kerbs continue to cause Plus

The problem sausage kerbs continue to cause

Track limits are the problem that motorsport doesn't seem to be able to rid itself of. But the use of so-called 'sausage kerbs' as a deterrent has in several instances only served to worsen the problem, and a growing number of voices want to see action taken

Formula 1
Jul 18, 2022
The history lessons Peugeot should have learned on its return Plus

The history lessons Peugeot should have learned on its return

The Peugeot 9X8 will make its World Endurance Championship debut at Monza this weekend. The French manufacturer has gone radical and will be hoping it doesn’t need to overhaul its contender, as it did with its first Le Mans challenger…

WEC
Jul 8, 2022
Why Peugeot's sportscar return will capture the imagination Plus

Why Peugeot's sportscar return will capture the imagination

OPINION: Peugeot will make its World Endurance Championship debut at Monza this weekend with the 9X8 Le Mans Hypercar that has ignored design conventions by eschewing a rear wing. Its distinctive look will help sportscar racing appeal to fresh audiences as a new golden era is ushered in

WEC
Jul 7, 2022
How Formula E's double-duty drivers influenced their Le Mans teams' fortunes Plus

How Formula E's double-duty drivers influenced their Le Mans teams' fortunes

Eight Formula E drivers made the 7,000-mile sprint from the streets of Jakarta to the fabled Circuit de la Sarthe and every one had a story to share at this year's Le Mans 24 Hours. Despite a range of triumphs and disappointments, each driver doubling up on the day job played a key role in their teams' fortunes

Le Mans
Jun 14, 2022
How an Italian junior formula giant is readying for its Le Mans future Plus

How an Italian junior formula giant is readying for its Le Mans future

Prema remains a colossus in single-seaters, but the serial Formula 2 and Formula 3 title-winning squad has joined forces with top GT squad Iron Lynx for an attack on sportscars in the World Endurance Championship and European Le Mans Series. Ahead of its debut at the Le Mans 24 Hours, its sights are firmly fixed on LMP2 glory – and a future in Hypercars next year...

Le Mans
Jun 8, 2022
The British rookies targeting a good first impression at Le Mans Plus

The British rookies targeting a good first impression at Le Mans

Three young Britons will make their first starts in the Le Mans 24 Hours this weekend in the highly-competitive 23-car GTE Am field. But how did they get here? Autosport hears their stories.

Le Mans
Jun 7, 2022