Ford’s return to international sportscar racing as a factory team at Daytona’s Rolex 24 was a troubled affair, as expected, but both cars made the finish.
The #66 Ford GT of Joey Hand, Dirk Muller and Sebastien Bourdais finished 31st overall, and seventh in the GTLM class.
The sister #67 car of Richard Westbrook, Ryan Briscoe and Stefan Mucke finished 40th overall, and ninth in class.
The Chip Ganassi-run team encountered a plethora of problems, with gearbox issues the main problem as well as a rash of cut tires.
“Speed-wise, there’s absolutely no problem,” Westbrook told Motorsport.com moments after climbing from his car. “It’s just that everything is so new. Just what I said before the race.
"Now is the time we need to get on the front foot.
“This has been a really promising start, because we’ve found out so much – and we now know exactly what can go wrong in a 24-hour race with this car. It’s perfect info for Le Mans.
“It gives us a massive job list, and now the engineers can ensure that what went wrong will never go wrong again.
“The car was really good in every condition," he added. "We trimmed it out, and it was still good around the infield. The car was just incredible to drive.
“I hate to say it, because it’s Daytona, but it was like a test. Just little things tripped us up, the biggest thing being the gearbox – but we think that was something small that led to a bigger issue.”