Chip Ganassi, Ford retain same driver lineups in IMSA, WEC

Photo courtesy of IMSA
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Ford Chip Ganassi Racing, which fields a pair of Ford GT entries each in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and the FIA World Endurance Championship, revealed the driver lineups across all of its teams will remain unchanged in 2018.

In IMSA, that means Joey Hand, Dirk Mueller, Richard Westbrook, and Ryan Briscoe all return, with Stefan Muecke, Olivier Pla, Andy Priaulx, and Harry Tincknell doing so in the WEC.

The 2017 campaigns were successful for both sides of the operation. Hand and Mueller took a pair of IMSA GTLM victories, including a triumph at the Rolex 24 at Daytona, while teammates Westbrook and Briscoe collected five GTLM podiums, including three second-place finishes.

On the WEC side, Priaulx and Tincknell also collected a pair of victories, with Muecke and Pla adding a podium of their own.

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Ken Roczen signs with HEP Progressive Ecstar Suzuki for 2023

Roczen Progressive Ecstar Suzuki
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ANAHEIM, California – Ken Roczen will make the move from HRC Honda to H.E.P. Motorsports with the Progressive Ecstar Suzuki team, ending a long and eventful offseason that saw his split from his longstanding team after he committed to running World Supercross (WSX).

“H.E.P. Motorsports is thrilled to announce that the team has signed Ken Roczen as its premier rider for the 2023 season,” the team announced on Instagram. “Former AMA Motocross champion Roczen will be aboard a Suzuki RM-Z450. Roczen, who won his most recent championship on a Suzuki, will be reunited with the brand and bring his exciting style, determination, and grit back to the RM Army.

“Ken Roczen will compete in the upcoming 2023 Supercross and Motocross Championship series which is set to start on January 7 at Anaheim Stadium in Southern California.”

For Roczen, it is a return to the bike of his youth and on which he had some of his greatest professional success.

“This thing has been going on for weeks and weeks and weeks in the making, but there was so much uncertainty,” Roczen told NBC Sports during Monster Energy Supercross Media Sessions. “It was a very unique situation. I just finally signed two nights ago, so it’s really only legit once the ink hits the paper. It’s been in the works for a long time, but there were just a lot of questions and a lot of input from a lot of other teams too.

“Good things take time, and I’m okay with that. I grew up riding Suzuki. Ot’s like a homecoming. It’s a special feeling”

Roczen won the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship on a Suzuki before making the move to Honda. That year he won nine of 12 Nationals and finished no worse than second as he easily outpaced Eli Tomac by 86 points. He finished third in his next Pro Motocross outing in 2018 after sitting out the outdoor season in 2017.

“I am beyond excited to reconnect with Suzuki for the 3rd time in my career. We’ve had a lot of success in the past and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish together in our future.” Roczen said in the Instagram post.