I give you the Dinan Ford GT...
Wait, what? Well, maybe. But with the addition of Steve Dinan to Ganassi's sports car teams, it may be more likely than you think.
After Ganassi's big win at the 24 Hours of Daytona with the Ford EcoBoost DP and the debut of the new Ford GT (which runs the same EcoBoost engine), the recruitment of one of the premiere names in BMW tuning may seem like a step out of synch with Ganassi's recent success with the Fords and the possible rekindling of a past relationship with BMW.
BMW Dinan Company (not the person, per se) has a history with Ganassi athat includes quite a bit of winning, albeit with BMW power. What does winning mean? Winning means four Rolex Grand AM Championships from 2008, and then a hat trick in 2010, 2011, and 2012, 2 wins at the Daytona 24, and a multitude of checkered flags along the way. With that kind of history, it's not tough to imagine why Ganassiwould want to bring Dinan on board. The question, though, goes to the engines. Is this just the inclusion of Dinan, or a return to the Ganassi BMW days?
Ganassi's commitment to developing the EcoBoost into a formidable and reliable racing engine is apparent over the year and a half as well. This year at Daytona, the 01 and 02 EcoBoost DPs were the cars to beat on track (before the 01's transmission failed) and set a number of benchmarks along the way. Compared to some of the issues of last year, it's obvious that Ganassi has expended some serious resources getting the EcoBoost up to snuff. It would be a surprise, then, to see Ganassi jump ship and run back to BMW at this point. Add to that the 50th anniversary of the Ford's 1-2-3 finish at LeMans coming up, the debut of the new Ford GT with an EcoBoost engine, and the proof that an EcoBoost can race and can win, and the cards seem stacked in favor of Ganassi going all the way with Ford.
So the question, then, is why was Dinan (the person) brought on? Well, it would seem that Ganassi is counting on Dinan's (the person, not the company) expertise to take the EcoBoost from race worthy to dominant like Dinan so capably did in the Ganassi BMW era. The reason for Dinan the person might stem from the fact that BMW Dinan Company is not in a position to provide support to a Ford team while also supporting various BMW efforts. Hence, the departure of the man from the company.
Mr. Dinan has plenty of experience in racing, and quite a bit of that has been earned working on turbo-charged engines. (For reference, see the Dinan S3R above.) With the Ford EcoBoost as a strong contender in sports car racing this year, and the GT one step closer to a return to Le Mans, the already very capable turbo-charged enginemight just be ready for a master like Dinan to punch it up.
It could signal a very fruitful upcoming season(s) for Ganassi and maybe, just maybe, a bountiful Ford Dinan aftermarket.