Stefan Mücke
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Stefan Mücke heads to 24 Hours of Le Mans, aiming to secure a win in class

• 13th start for Stefan Mücke in endurance classic on River Sarthe • Will challenge for win in the LM GTE Pro class along with Olivier Pla and Billy Johnson, driving Ford GT #66 prepared by Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK • Stefan: "It would be a dream come true to be contenders for the win in class"

The first Super Season of the FIA World Endurance Championship is fast approaching its high point with the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Stefan Mücke will be competing in the endurance classic on the River Sarthe for the 13th time. He and Olivier Pla plus Billy Johnson make a well-rehearsed squad of drivers in the Ford GT #66 prepared by Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK as they challenge 16 competitors for victory in the LM GTE Pro class.
All the Ford Chip Ganassi Racing cars will get a special paint finish to mark the end of Ford's GT factory involvement in the WEC. The Ford GT #66 with its black and white livery is redolent of the GT40, with which Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon celebrated Ford's first overall Le Mans victory in 1966.
Mücke completed the 24-hour race on the Sarthe for the first time in 2007. Until 2011, the Ford works driver lined up in the LMP1 class and narrowly missed the podium in 2009 with a P4 finish. Mücke switched to the GTE Pro class in 2012 and achieved podiums there in his first two years. Last year, he qualified car #66 in P3, making it the best-placed Ford GT on the grid. He lacked that little bit of luck needed in the race and had to settle for P6.
Mücke wants to fight for the class win again in 2019 so that Ford can bow out in style. Also, he would like to achieve a top-three finish in the drivers' standings of the LM GTE Pro class for himself and Pla. The pair of them have taken 70 points so far during this WEC Super Season. More points are awarded at the Le Mans 24 Hours than for any of the other races. There are 38 points for a win, so some improvement in the overall rankings is still possible and is what the two of them are aiming for.
Wednesday, June 12th marks the start of events at the 13.62-km track with practice and the first qualifying session. Second and third qualifying will be on Thursday, June 13th. Friday is a rest day, and then teams and drivers will really get down to business on Saturday, June 15th. Race start at 3 pm. Eurosport's live broadcast from Le Mans gets underway at 2 pm.
What are your thoughts and feelings as you contemplate the race ahead?
My 13th start will be really special. It's amazing how time passes. I'm really looking forward to the Le Mans highlight. The test outings went well for us. We already know the car through and through and are confident that we can go one better to round off the final year of official works involvement. It would be a dream come true to be contenders for the win in class as Ford bow out. Of course, there's also some sadness in all of this. Ford's programme was real nice, and it's a big pity, because the car still has the potential to contest more races.
Is there any particular section of track that you especially enjoy?
Not really, there are so many different track sections that I can't say which segment I enjoy most. What makes Le Mans so very special is that it has a bit of everything. Initially, you race on a normal grand prix circuit. You then have to run at high speed down long straights in the middle section where braking can be tricky, because we only dial in a small amount of downforce. As a result, the car gets twitchy when braking. And then there's another section with fast turns. The Ford GT was built mainly to compete at Le Mans, so our pace should be strong.

Copy: Ford Chip Ganassi Racing