The Blue Oval Crew starts the season on top.
ByÂ Evan Smith
Editor’s Note: This article is being reposted due to the original being lost in a data transfer.
Ford Performance kicked off the 2017 race season with great success at the World Center of Speed, Daytona International Speedway this past weekend. Â The new Mustang and Ford GT supercar qualified on pole (Mustang in the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge and Ford GT in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona.
The Weekend kicked off with Fordâ€™s newest Mustang racer qualifying first and second and the Ford GT followed, locking in the top three spots in the GTLM (GT Le Mans) category for the 24 hour race.
In the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, Ford Mustang driver Dean Martin drove the KohR Motorsports JDRF Ford Mustang to a hard-fought P1 position in the Grand Sport class, passing defending champion Scott Maxwell in the final minutes of the session.
â€œI just started getting after it, waiting for my Continental Tires to come in,â€ Martin said. â€œI just found that sweet spot on the third or fourth lap. I had a good lap going and I just chucked it into the Bus Stop. I wasnâ€™t sure I was going to come out the other side. I just carried a ton of speed, drafted up behind another car and got a really good pull from them and just popped out past and put down the time.â€
Martinâ€™s KohR JDRF Ford Mustang is the first customer car and according to Ford, was delivered a week ago. This model was unveiled only a few months ago at the SEMA Show in November. â€œIt was pretty exciting for a time out there,â€ Martin said. â€œI had no idea what was going on until after I turned the laps and the guys told me â€˜Itâ€™s you and then Maxwell, and heâ€™s .02-seconds behind you, but I didnâ€™t know which position I was in. We had some new car teething issues for the afternoon, but it all came together in…