Kanaan replaces Bourdais for Le Mans 24 Hours

Dan Herrero

Thursday 1st June, 2017 - 9:00am

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Tony Kanaan

Tony Kanaan will make his Le Mans 24 Hours debut when he steps in for the injured Sébastien Bourdais in a Chip Ganassi Ford GT.

Bourdais was ruled out for the season after sustaining multiple fractures across his pelvis and hip in a high-speed crash during qualifying for the Indianapolis 500.

The Frenchman was set to compete at La Sarthe with Joey Hand and Dirk Müller in the LMGTE Pro class.

The trio had combined to win the GTLM class at the Daytona 24 Hours in January, and were looking to defend their Le Mans 24 Hours class victory of a year earlier.

Now, however, Kanaan make a first start in the sportscar classic alongside the American Hand and German Müller in the #68 Ford GT.

“It’s an honour to be named a part of the Ford GT line-up for Ford Chip Ganassi Racing at the Le Mans 24,” said the Brazilian.

“It’s obviously an unfortunate situation that brought us to this point with Sébastien’s injuries, but I’m going to do my best to take his place and try to help win this amazing race for the team again this year.

“This race has definitely been on my bucket list for a long time, so I’m thankful that Chip and our partners at Ford have given me this opportunity.”

Kanaan, too, has enjoyed success in Ganassi’s GT program, winning the 2015 Daytona 24 Hours outright with Scott Dixon, Kyle Larson, and Jamie McMurray, in one of the team’s Riley prototypes.

The 42-year-old has raced for Ganassi each year at Daytona since joining the team in 2014, the first three in Prototypes before the team shifted its focus to GT cars.

The Le Mans 24 Hours program begins with practice from Wednesday 14 June before race start in Saturday 17 June.

Click here for the original entry list.

Meanwhile, Esteban Gutierrez has emerged as a contender for Bourdais’ IndyCar seat at Dayle Coyne Racing.