Ford drivers say weakest WEC tracks now gone

Ford's chances of success in this year's FIA World Endurance Championship have been boosted because the GT's weakest tracks are now off the calendar, believe Harry Tincknell and Andy Priaulx.

Ford drivers say weakest WEC tracks now gone
#67 Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK Ford GT: Andy Priaulx, Harry Tincknell
Podium LMGTE Pro: third place Andy Priaulx, Harry Tincknell, Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK
#67 Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK Ford GT: Andy Priaulx, Harry Tincknell,
#67 Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK Ford GT: Andy Priaulx, Harry Tincknell
#67 Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK Ford GT: Andy Priaulx, Harry Tincknell
#67 Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK Ford GT: Andy Priaulx, Harry Tincknell
Harry Tincknell, Ford Chip Ganassi Racing
#67 Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK Ford GT: Andy Priaulx, Harry Tincknell,
#67 Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK Ford GT: Andy Priaulx, Harry Tincknell,
#67 Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK Ford GT: Andy Priaulx, Harry Tincknell

The revamp of the WEC schedule for the 2018/19 season has resulted in the Nurburgring, Mexico City, Austin and Bahrain all being dropped.

According to Tincknell - who finished third in last year's GTE Pro standings along with Ford teammate Priaulx - this should boost the American marque's chances this year, as it has won at every remaining track except Spa and Sebring, which has been absent from the calendar since 2012.

"Our weak tracks are off the calendar," Tincknell told Motorsport.com. "Tracks that have lots of slow corners, big acceleration zones.

"Because we’ve been [pegged back by the Balance of Performance] so much, the car doesn’t like these types of corners.

"We’ve won at pretty much every single track that’s remaining – we’ve won at Silverstone, we’ve won Le Mans, Fuji, Shanghai. I’m really hopeful that the tracks coming are going to suit us.

"It’ll be our best chance to win it. We don’t have a new car, or upgrades, or anything like that. That means we’re bomb-proof."

Priaulx echoed Tincknell's sentiments, telling Motorsport.com: "For sure the circuits [this season] are more suited to our car. We’ve got rid of Bahrain and those difficult circuits for us, with low corner speed.

"We’ve got a little buzz-box really; we need the car rolling, we need the corner speed, nothing that relies too much on low-down engine torque.

"The design of the car is Le Mans, longer wheelbase. In the slow-speed twisty stuff it’s never going to be better. It’s got a superb balance in the high-speed, and great aerodynamics, so long fast flowing circuits really suit our car."

"Determined" to deliver Ford title

Tincknell, whose WEC commitments take priority over his IMSA programme with Mazda Team Joest, expressed confidence he and Priaulx can beat Porsche, Ferrari and Aston Martin and win the championship on what would be Ford's third attempt.

"Myself and Andy have built up a really good partnership of youth and experience, and the results have spoken for themselves the last two years," he added. "To be able to continue that is awesome.

"I’m really confident, Andy and I are more motivated than ever. The car deserves to win a world championship, it’s performed so well over the last two years. We’re determined to make it happen."

Three-time WTCC champion Priaulx added: "Me and Harry have had an amazing partnership, we’ve always been up there fighting for the title. I’d definitely like my fourth world title, and I’m sure Harry would like his first!

"I think it’s possible, we’ve just got to be strong at the end of the year when it really counts. Ferrari were really strong at the end of last year; on Bahrain they were on another planet."

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