I am still gutted about Ferrari snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. With about two hours to ago Toni Vilander who I consider a "safe pair of hands" was overly aggressive over the curbs at possibly at Muslane Hairpin and damaged the transmission.
After a very animated Gimmi Bruni started directing what his #62 crew what to do in order to get the car back out, it became apparent any chance of winning in-class was gone and gifted to Corvette.
Corvette Racing had a difficult week, the lost Magnssen/Garcia when Jan crashed it heavily. But as I told them on twitter they better enjoy it, it's short-lived because the Blue Oval is coming.
In what is one of the worse kept secrets in motor sport Ford is returning to Le Mans in 2016 with a GTLM version of its new Ford GT.
This is a mouth-watering prospect and my mind turned automatically to who would drive for the Blue Oval.
It was revealed in the announcement on Friday that two programs will be pursued. In what can only viewed as great news for the Tudor series; Ford as committed to two cars run by Ganassi who will shelve it's DP program after this season.
Chip generally likes loyalty and experience (Kanan signing over say somebody much younger). So it's very likely one car will be assigned to Scott Pruett and Joey Hand.
After that, it's up in the air, let's look at some possibilities -
Looking at the current crop of Indycar drivers with 24hr/Endurance experience but currently unemployed:
- Ryan Briscoe*
- Justin Wilson
He would be an excellent pickup.
Justin Wilson would be perfect for a OEM program like Ford's and deserves a chance.
Outside of that, pickings are slim. I would take a hard look at former Ford driver Colin Braun who's been dominating LMPC for the past couple of seasons proving he's still very fast. He also finished 3rd in GT back when there was no separate class at Le Mans.
If Ford is in this for the long term, they can't have too many drivers over 30 in the seats. Braun is under 30 but so is Ganassi driver Sage Karam.
I could have just easily named all six seats for the Tudor program, Patron Endurance Championship and Le Mans.
I actually have more interest in what George Howard-Chapel is going to do with his WEC effort.
If the four best GT drivers out there are -
- 2 Time WEC Champion and 2 Time FIA GT Champion "Gimmi" Bruni
- Defending Blancpain Endurance and 2013 Sprint Series Champion Laurens Vanthoor
- 2013 Blancpain Endurance Champion Max Buhk
- McClaren factory driver Kevin Estre