- Jul 23, 2014
Ford Motor Company announced on Friday a reason to get excited about the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans before the 2015 race ever began. Meet the racing version of the all-new Ford GT, set to debut next year at Le Mans as it competes in both the FIA World Endurance Championship and TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.
Mixing it up with historic rivals from Ferrari, Porsche, and Corvette Racing, this is the newest and most stunning GT race car to come around in a long, long time. And with the backing of American racing powerhouse Chip Ganassi Racing, the new GT could have a very successful future ahead of it, as Ford celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of the GT40's first Le Mans victory.
From the official press release:
Ford announced today it is returning to one of the most prestigious automobile races in the world with its new Ford GT race car, based on the all-new ultra-high-performance supercar that goes on sale next year.
The Ford GT race car will compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans – referred to by many as the Grand Prix of Endurance and Efficiency – starting next year. Revealed today at the famous circuit in Le Mans, France, Ford GT will compete in the Le Mans GT Endurance class for professional teams and drivers (LM GTE Pro).
The new race car – a further proof point of Ford innovation – is based on the all-new Ford GT supercar unveiled in January. Both the production car and race car will arrive in 2016 to mark the 50th anniversary of Ford GT race cars placing 1-2-3 at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans. Ford went on to repeat its victory at Le Mans in 1967, 1968 and 1969.
“When the GT40 competed at Le Mans in the 1960s, Henry Ford II sought to prove Ford could beat endurance racing’s most legendary manufacturers,” said Bill Ford, executive chairman, Ford Motor Company. “We are still extremely proud of having won this iconic race four times in a row, and that same spirit that drove the innovation behind the first Ford GT still drives us today.”
The new Ford GT race car will run the full 2016 schedules of the FIA World Endurance Championship and TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, making its competition debut in January 2016 in the Rolex 24 At Daytona, Florida. The two Ford teams will be operated by Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS). Both series teams intend to compete with a four-car effort at Le Mans. Drivers will be announced later.
Are you excited about the return of Ford into the premier divisions of GT endurance racing? Leave a reply below to tell us what you think, and for more GTE class racing talk, visit our WEC forum - and enjoy the 24 Hours of Le Mans!