Following the end of its successful factory-supported GT programme, Audi stalwarts Mies and Vervisch will join previously-announced quartet Mike Rockenfeller, Harry Tincknell, Joey Hand and Dirk Muller on the Blue Oval’s Multimatic-run assault on the IMSA Sportcar Championship’s GTD Pro class.
Augmenting the nine-strong Ford factory roster, the marque has also signed DTM race winner Dennis Olsen after the Norwegian’s long spell as a Porsche-contracted driver, along with Britons Ben Barker – already listed against Proton’s entry with the Mustang in the World Endurance Championship – and the Multimatic-contracted Andy Priaulx.
“This is such an important and special year for Mustang – it will celebrate its 60th anniversary and we take Mustang racing globally,” said Mark Rushbrook, Global Director of Ford Performance Motorsports.
“To take an icon like Mustang racing, we need a line-up of the best and most experienced GT racers, and our nine sportscar factory drivers represent just that.”
Mies, a two-time ADAC GT Masters champion who has raced Audis since 2009, will link up with IMSA full-timers Rockefeller and Tincknell aboard the #64 Mustang for the car’s competition debut at the Daytona 24 Hours in January while his fellow double Nurburgring 24 Hours winner Vervisch partners Muller and Hand in #65.
Programmes for three-time World Touring Car Championship winner Priaulx, who drove alongside Tincknell for the duration of the Ford GT programme in the WEC from 2016 to 2019, Olsen and Barker have yet to be announced, although Multimatic has suggested that Priaulx’s role will be “as a super sub”.
Photo by: Richard Dole / Motorsport Images
#65: Ford Multimatic Motorsports, Ford Mustang GT3, GTD PRO: Joey Hand, Dirk Mueller
In addition to re-entering the WEC with the German Proton team, it will be represented in GT World Challenge Europe by the Dinamic squad for which Barker competed this year in the Bronze Cup.
The 2020 Dubai 24 Hours winner has raced in the WEC since 2016 in the GTE Am class with the GR Porsche squad previously known as Gulf Racing, achieving a best finish of second in Shanghai in 2017.
Olsen, the 2019 Intercontinental GT Challenge champion, will race for a brand other than Porsche for the first time since he stepped out of single-seaters in 2016.
Source : Motorsport.com