Ford returns to Le Mans in 2016
As teams prepare to take the green flag for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Ford Motor Company announced plans to enter a racing version of its new Ford GT supercar in the classic French endurance competition next year. The timing will coincide with the 50th anniversary of the automaker's stunning 1-2-3 sweep of the event in 1966 by the legendary GT40, an achievement which was followed by consecutive victories there in 1967, 1968 and 1969.
The new Ford GT program will be run by Chip Ganassi Racing, which also will campaign a version of the car here in the Tudor United SportsCar Championship Series starting next January at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona. Ganassi Racing with partner Felix Sabates will head up a two-team, four-car effort with the Le Mans-spec versions contesting the fiercely competitive LM GTE Pro category against rivals that include Aston Martin, Chevrolet, Ferrari and Porsche. Like its roadgoing sibling, the race-spec Ford GT will be fitted with a 3.6-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 which is being competition prepped by another Ford Performance stalwart, Roush Yates Engines. Driver lineups are yet to be named.
"As we developed the Ford GT, from the outset we wanted to ensure we had a car that has what it takes to return Ford to the world of GT racing," said Raj Nair, Ford Motor Company group vice president, Global Product Development. "We believe the Ford GT's advances in aerodynamics, lightweighting and EcoBoost power will make for a compelling race car that can once again compete on a global stage."