It’s been a whirlwind year for factory Ford driver Joey Hand. There have been ups and downs, but no matter what the case now, he is always able to sit back and say, “Oh well, but I won Le Mans.”
Now returning to Daytona for the first time since the 54th Rolex 24 At Daytona in January, Hand is ready to get back to work.
“When we came here back then, while we had done a lot of testing, we had just recently done endurance testing,” Hand said. “We were just trying to run the thing, with nothing being done about setup. From then to now, there’s just such a big difference in how the car feels. I’m so much more at home in the car my first day back here for this test than I was for the race.”
The Ford Chip Ganassi Racing team recently announced a four-car effort for the 2017 race, but for the two full-season WeatherTech Championship cars, not much has changed on the crews, or as far as Hand is aware, the driver lineups. With that stability set, he’ll be able to focus on his true passion.
“The battle of racing – the war. The mental strategy, that’s my thing. I love it.”
The opening race of the 2016 season ended in spectacular fashion, highlighted by the 1-2 finish in GTLM by Corvette Racing that saw Oliver Gavin beat teammate Antonio Garcia to the line by just .034 seconds. With the No. 4 Corvette as reigning champion, the No. 3 car’s Jan Magnussen is ready to pick up right where the team left off.
“It’s great to be here testing and getting ready for the 24,” Magnussen said. “Right now we are just trying stuff that we learned from last year, there’s not a lot of anything new for the car. We’re just really trying to put together everything that we learned last year, just trying to improve a bit.