Hours of sauna-like heat, cornering G-forces akin to riding a roller coaster for hours on end and the pressure of knowing that one false move could spell disaster.
This is what the Ford Chip Ganassi Racing drivers will be facing during their stints in the cockpit of our Ford GT at the legendary 6 Hours of Bahrain race, the final round of the World Endurance Championship series, on Thursday November 16 to Saturday 18.
Ford’s leading contenders head into the race hot on the heels of victory in Shanghai for the second consecutive year, with British drivers and teammates Andy Priaulx and Harry Tincknell keen to finish their season on a high. And for racing fans in the Middle East, the two superstars will be at the Ford stand at the 2017 Dubai International Motor Show to sign autographs this Tuesday November 14 between 4pm and 8pm.
After winning in Shanghai, an ecstatic Priaulx said, “That was probably our most hard-fought win so far and the most rewarding, every moment was critical. Every lap, every pit stop, it all had to be perfect. We really needed this result and we’re back in the fight for the driver’s championship. It’s our fourth win together so we must be doing something right. We couldn’t do it without this brilliant team. The car was great, the pit stops were perfect, and the strategy was perfect. All we need to do now is go to Bahrain and win again!”
Tincknell said, “I’m absolutely over the moon with the win in Shanghai. It was a huge team effort and everybody did their job perfectly. The strategy was spot on, the pit stop crew were stunningly fast and Andy drove exceptionally well to put me in a position to fight for the top step of the podium. I knew we were going to be aggressive with the strategy and I would be vulnerable near the end of the race but I stayed calm and drove as fast as I could while fending off all attacks! We had to win to keep our championship hopes alive and we’ve done that. We need a similarly flawless run in Bahrain if we’re going to snatch the title back but we will do everything possible to make it happen”.
Priaulx added, “We’re really looking forward to meeting our fans during our stopover at the Dubai International Motor Show – and we’re really looking forward to an exciting end to the season.”
#67 Ford GT driver stats:
Name: Andy Priaulx
Hometown: Guernsey, UK
Career highlights/Bragging rights: Three-time World Touring Car champion (2005, 2006, 2007); European Touring Car champion (2004); Nurburgring 24 hour race winner (2005); American Le Mans series. Williams F1 team test driver (2005).
Name: Harry Tincknell
Hometown: Exeter, UK
Career highlights/Bragging rights: LMP2 class win at Le Mans (2014); Rookie of the Year, European Le Mans Series (2014); WEC series second place with Ford Chip Ganassi Racing (2016).
How racing at The World Endurance Championship Works
A team of two drivers take it in turns to drive the same car over during a six-hour race. The team that has driven their car the furthest after that time is crowned the winner. Teams compete in one of four categories, the top two are for prototype cars, the next two are for GT cars, the lower of which allows amateur drivers to compete. Ford competes in the top GT category, GT Endurance Pro.
Did you know?
Heat – temperature in the cockpit can reach sauna-like levels. At over 32 degrees Celsius, driving stints are reduced to 80 minutes.
G-Forces – acceleration, braking and cornering are equivalent to riding a roller coaster for three hours.
Braking – the force of braking is so strong it pushes the air out of your lungs.
Dehydration – over a 2.5 hour stint, a driver can lose 2.5kg of body mass through water loss.
Calories – a driver can burn up to 3,000 calories in a three-hour stint.
Breathing – effort needed to breathe through a helmet and balaclava is like being at high altitude.