Motorsport.com has learned that Richard Westbrook and Ryan Briscoe will join Joey Hand as Ganassi Ford GT full-timers, while Sebastien Bourdais comes on board as a part-time driver.
Westbrook joins Ganassi after four years at Spirit of Daytona/VisitFlorida.com Racing, while Briscoe will re-unite with the team, which he did two full IndyCar seasons for in 2005 and 2014.
Briscoe and Westbrook line up alongside former BMW factory man Hand, while the identity of the fourth season-long Ford GT driver remains under wraps.
One of the major surprises on the part-time side will be the arrival of IndyCar ace Bourdais, who used to be Action Express Racing’s star “third man” for endurance races.
The Frenchman, who won the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona in 2014 and led the charge against Ganassi in the final stage of this year’s race, will thus have the opportunity to return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Bourdais, who grew up in Le Mans, finished overall runner-up in the 24-hour classic three times as part of the Peugeot sports prototype lineup.
The third driver in the second Ford GT – for Daytona, the Sebring 12 Hours and Petit Le Mans – will as usual be reigning IndyCar champion Scott Dixon, who was part of Ganassi’s winning Rolex 24 Hours lineup this year. However, in 2016 he will also be part of Ford’s Le Mans return, which will mark his debut in the prestigious race.
Ford’s two “fourth drivers” for Rolex 24 are likely to come from Ganassi’s IndyCar and/or NASCAR lineups. Last January, Tony Kanaan, Kyle Larson and Jamie McMurray joined Dixon in the Daytona-winning car, while Sage Karam starred in the second car.
Another new GT Le Mans car, the BMW M6 GTLM, will join the Ford GTs at next Wednesday's test for the 2016 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship participants. The test will also see Westbrook/Michael Valiante replacements Ryan Dalziel and Marc Goossens in the #90 VisitFlorida.com Chevrolet Daytona Prototype.