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Friday, June 12, 2015

The Ford GT Has Officially Returned to Le Mans



The history of the Ford GT cannot be told without mention of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In the early ‘60s, Ferrari backed out of a merger with Ford. Henry Ford II said “lets go beat them” in slightly less endearing terms, and by 1966, the Ford GT had blitzed Ferrari and won the legendary race. Come 2016, it’ll get another shot. 

Ford has just announced that the all-new 2016 Ford GT will go racing at the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans in the LM GTE Pro racing class. It’s a daring leap once again for the Blue Oval, and one that will celebrate the 50th anniversary of that inaugural win, which saw the GT race cars achieve a storied 1-2-3 finish. Ford kept its win streak going for the following three years.


But that’s frankly ancient history compared to the car that Ford will campaign now. The 2016 GT race car retains the road car’s shape, albeit with the latest in modern aerodynamics and lightweight composites. The biggest visual changes come in the form of a massive rear racing wing as well as an extensive front, side and rear ground effects package. The Ford GT race car dons sponsorship decals from Castrol, Forza Motorsport, Michelin, Sparco and Brembo, among others.
Ford is keeping its performance parts hidden for the time being, though confirms that the engine powering the Le Mans challenger will be its 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6, which entered competition in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship in 2014. Below, take a look at the video Ford has released to tease its new racing machine. This car is not messing about.

In addition to its announcement to return to Le Mans in 2016, Ford will additionally contend full racing seasons in both the FIA World Endurance Championship and TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, running two teams and four cars.

“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, vice president of Ford Global Product Development. “We believe the Ford GT’s advances in aerodynamics, light-weighting and EcoBoost power will make for a compelling race car that can once again compete on a global stage.”