The Ford Chip Ganassi Racing team proved the potential of the Ford GT racecar last year by taking six wins between the IMSA and FIA WEC series – one which included a class win at Le Mans. Ford has also brought all four of its GT racecars to Daytona this year in a bid to take down Corvette, Ferrari, Porsche and whomever else tries to stand in their way of a podium, but the team is still well aware of the threat Corvette Racing poses.
Speaking to Motorsport.com, Ford GT driver Sebastien Bourdais said the turbocharged GT is better suited to the long straights of Le Mans due to its narrow front end. The car also lacks the low-end grunt necessary to be fast through the tight turns at Daytona’s road course and is at a disadvantage to naturally aspirated cars like the Corvette C7.R.
“I don’t feel like the car is as strong potentially in Daytona as it was in Le Mans,” Bourdais said. “To me, the Ford GT is the perfect car for Le Mans, no matter how the Balance of Performance pegs it down. It will always have a good top speed compared to the competition because it has such a small frontal area.”
“But at Daytona the straights are not that long and acceleration from low speed corners is very important there – you’re looking at a drag race and I don’t feel we’re in the best shape for that right now.”
“So I think Corvette will be very strong at Daytona, they have a very strong package here. They were very strong last year and were running 1min43sec laps at the end of the race, and if anyone is trying to tell me that’s because the track was so good by the end of the race, that’s just BS.”
Bourdais seems a little heated about the Balance of Performance in last year’s race, which resulted in Corvette taking a 1-2 finish in its two C7.Rs. He acknowledges that IMSA got the BoP just about right toward the end of the 2016 season, however, so he’s expecting Ferrari, Porshce, Corvette and Ford to all be competitive once the green flag drops on Saturday afternoon.
You can cheer on Corvette Racing and its No. 3 and No. 4 C7.R racecars this Saturday when the 55th running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona goes live at 2:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1.