Watkins Win Back to IMSA competition, the EcoBoost-powered Ford GT takes first again By Steve Turner Photos courtesy of Ford Motor Company As if in celebration of the extension of the Ford GT racing program for at least three more seasons, Ford Performance racers finished one-two at Watkins Glen over the weekend, earning the supercar its second double-podium in a row. Richard Westbrook and Ryan Briscoe piloted the Number 67 supercar to a first-place finish, while teammates Joey Hand and Dirk Müller followed up their Le Mans win with a second-place finish. “It’s just such a good period for us at the moment,” said Richard, who did the driving on while his teammate attended the birth of his daughter. “Confidence is so high. It’s just a pleasure going to work every day in this Ford camp. It’s just been an amazing 30 days especially, really. First the Le Mans 24 Hours and now this. It was a great race out there. We had a really great battle with the BMW for most of the race. At one point, I thought we didn’t have enough for them, but at the end, we just seemed that little bit stronger. It was a really good race. A good race to be part of. I’m really happy for my teammate that he actually made it to the track and he has a nice trophy to bring home to his girls” While winning is nothing new for Richard and Ryan, as they drove the Ford GT to its first win at Laguna Seca, it was new that Ryan had to be away from the track for qualifying. In his absence, Richard set the track record with a 1:41.301 lap and put the GT on the pole—the GT’s first pole in IMSA competition—but his teammate made it back for race day to contribute to the win. “It’s really good to be back here at Watkins Glen,” Ryan added. “Obviously it was a really busy weekend of driving on the freeways back and forth to Connecticut from Watkins Glen, but it’s been exciting and it’s been fun. It was really strange not being here at the track. I was on the phone a lot with Richard and our engineer and Richard was on fire. He led two practice sessions and got the pole. So I’m coming in last night, and I was kind of nervous. I thought ‘I don’t want to step in here and let the team down.’ I’m glad we got the win and it’s all worked out well. I’ll be hitting the road as soon as I leave the track to go back to the hospital and see my girls. Thanks to the team and for Richard for sticking it out for me while I was gone. It’s been awesome being in the car today. It handled really well. It’s nice to lead some laps and get the win.” The Ford GT racing teams will look to keep this positive momentum going next weekend as they return to action at the Mobil 1 Sportscar Grand Prix at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park in Clarington, Ontario, Canada. Richard Westbrook and Ryan Briscoe put the Ford GT atop the podium at Watkins Glen, while teammates Joey Hand and Dirk Müller—fresh off their Le Mans win—finished second.