Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook gave Ford its fourth consecutive IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship win Sunday in the Continental Tire Road Race Showcase at Road America, putting the No. 67 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT back atop the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class standings in the process.
The winning pass came with two minutes remaining in the two-hour, 40-minute race when the race-leading No. 25 BMW M8 GTE of Connor De Phillippi ran out of fuel just short of the finish. Westbrook managed to stretch his fuel over the race’s final 63 minutes to secure the win, beating the No. 4 Corvette Racing Corvette C7.R to the stripe by 7.938 seconds.
With only three races remaining on the WeatherTech Championship schedule, the No. 67 Ford GT leads the No. 3 Corvette Racing Corvette C7.R co-driven by Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen by four points, 241-237, while the No. 66 Ford GT of Joey Hand and Dirk Mueller sits another five points back in third.
“It’s just an incredible run we’re having right now,” said Westbrook. “The wins aren’t coming easy by any stretch of the imagination, we’re having to work for them. It’s a track that really suits our car. BMW was fast, but I guess they short filled by too much. It’s just a great win by the whole program. It’s a hell of a ride right now. I’m just enjoying every moment of it.”
Ford’s four-race win streak dates to Watkins Glen on July 1 when Hand and Mueller won the prestigious Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen. Since then, the No. 66 and No. 67 Ford GTs have alternated victories with Hand and Mueller also winning at Lime Rock Park, while Westbrook and Briscoe won at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park prior to its victory at Road America.
The two team cars also have been alternating the points lead with the No. 66 dropping from the GTLM points lead to third this weekend after a broken right rear toe link relegated the team to a seventh-place finish.
“Obviously, really bad luck for the (No.) 66 guys, but it’s been a great four wins in a row,” said Briscoe. “But it’s one car wins and the other one is not scoring the points it needs, and we’ve kind of been going back and forth. But the fact we’ve always been able to compete for wins is fantastic.”
While Ford has four consecutive victories, Corvette Racing has four consecutive runner-up finishes. This time it was the No. 4 Corvette C7.R of Tommy Milner and Oliver Gavin, following a string of three consecutive runner-up finishes for the No. 3 Corvette C7.R and co-drivers Garcia and Magnussen. It was another strong finish for the No. 3 team, however, rounding out the podium in third.
Two minutes short of the first victory for the BMW M8 GTE, De Phillippi was unable to make it back to pit road for fuel and finished sixth alongside co-driver Alexander Sims.