American Joey Hand will be Paired with Veteran Scott Pruett to Co-pilot the No. 01 Ford EcoBoost Prototype with an Eye Toward a TUDOR United SportsCar Championship in 2015
INDIANAPOLIS (December 16, 2014) Seven-time IMSA Champions and five-time Rolex 24 At Daytona Winners Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) announced today partner Ford and their EcoBoost engine technology will serve as the primary sponsor of the No. 01 in the Prototype category for the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship (TUSC) season-long effort with drivers Scott Pruett and talented veteran road racer Joey Hand. Both Ford and Hand step into their new roles with the team as part of multi-year deals.
NOTES OF INTEREST
Ford’s Rich Sports Car History: Ford's history with sports car racing stretches back to the 1960's, with its legendary factory effort at the 24 Heures du Mans. Today's factory effort plays an important role in developing Ford Motor Company's EcoBoost technology. Ford's twin-turbo 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 raced to three wins with CGRFS, including a win in the prestigious 12 Hours of Sebring, seven podiums and more than 15,000 endurance racing miles in its first season of TUDOR United SportsCar Championship competition in 2014. In fact, the Sebring win was Ford’s first overall win as a manufacturer since 1967.
Hand Finds a Home at CGRFS: Joey Hand, widely considered one of the best road racers in the world, returns in a full-time capacity after helping CGRFS win the 2011 Rolex 24 At Daytona with Pruett in his first of three appearances with the team (2011-2013 Rolex 24 At Daytonas). Hand led the most laps in the 2011 Rolex 24 At Daytona, leading 116 of the No. 01 car’s race-leading 231 laps. He led the race six times overall en route to the team’s fourth win in the sports car classic. Hand had previously been competing in the DTM series from 2012-2014 and had been in the American Le Mans Series from 2004-2011 where he won two 12 Hours of Sebring and the 2011 GT Driver Championship. Pruett and Hand enter the 2015 TUSC season with a combined 71 IMSA wins.
Pruett in the Record Books: Pruett is tied for the all-time record with five Rolex 24 At Daytona wins (1994, 2007, 2008, 2011, 2013) and joins Hurley Haywood as the lone five-time Rolex 24 At Daytona Winners. He is the first American to score 12 major sports car championships - his closest competitor is the late Peter Gregg who has seven to his credit, and his previous titles include two IMSA GTO Titles (1986, 1988), one IMSA GT Endurance (1986) and three Trans-Am Championships (1987, 1994, 2003). Pruett continues to extend his record as the all-time leader in IMSA wins with 58 victories.
Jamie Allison, Racing Director, Ford: “The evolution of our Ford EcoBoost technology continues to be the major focus of our program for 2015. We look forward to continuing that climb with Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship series and we welcome Joey Hand to our program joining Scott Pruett as we compete for wins every race and a Ford championship.”
Chip Ganassi, Owner, Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates: “I think we had a good year with Ford in 2014 by winning three and could easily have won more so to now be partnered with them in even a bigger way makes all of us very happy. I think we have a great deal to look forward to. Also, we’ve had our eye on Joey for quite some time. He turned a lot of heads in our organization in 2011. I think he and Scott will complement each other on and off the track and we expect them to hit the ground running together in Daytona.”
Joey Hand, Driver, Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates: “What an opportunity. To say I’m thrilled to be joining this team would be an understatement. With the successes of Chip’s team in sports car racing, the great history of the No. 01 car and getting to team-up with a legend like Scott Pruett, I think Christmas came a little early for me this season. I had a great experience with the team in 2011, 2012 and 2013, and now here we are back together full-time in the TUDOR Untied SportsCar Championship. Daytona is right around the corner to kick off the season and I can’t wait to start working with Scott and the team. In all honesty, I’ve wanted to drive for this team since I was a little kid. I’m excited about my long-term future here and what we can potentially accomplish together as sports car racing continues to grow.”
Scott Pruett, Driver, Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates: “It’s been just an incredible ride the last 11 years with TELMEX and the partnership we’ve had. As a team we’ve accomplished so much, and a part of that success was a result of Memo Rojas and his contributions. The personal relationships formed will continue on. But now we begin a new chapter with the addition of Joey and our growing relationship with Ford. It all started for me with Ford back in the day and I’m thrilled to have them expand their partnership on our Prototype program. Joey and I literally grew up about 30 miles from each other in California. His previous experience with the team is invaluable, in that we know what he brings to the table and which should allow us to begin the season strong.”