Ford Returns In 2016 To 24 Hours of Le Mans With Ford GT Supercar
|   Friday, July 03, 2015
Ford officially announced that it will participate again in one of the most prestigious races in the world - 24 Hours of Le Mans - with the new Ford GT Racing model, which is based on the new high performance supercar, which will begin selling next year.

Starting with 2016, the Ford GT race car will compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans - called by many the Grand Prix of endurance and efficiency. Launched at the famous circuit of Le Mans, France, the Ford GT will compete in the Le Mans GT Endurance class open for professional teams and pilots.


The new racing car highlights innovations brought by Ford and is based on the new supercar Ford GT unveiled in January this year. Both the car and racing car will arrive in 2016 to mark the 50th anniversary of the Ford GT race cars, which placed on the first three places in the 24 Hours of Le Mans since 1966. Ford has gone even further and has won 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. 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" declared Bill Ford, Ford's executive chairman.

The new Ford GT race car will compete in the FIA World Endurance Championship full schedule and the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, making its competitive debut in January 2016 at the Rolex 24 in Daytona, Florida. On the side of operational activity, two teams from Chip Ganassi Racing and Felix Sabates (CGRFS) will be responsible. Both teams intend to compete with four cars at Le Mans.

"We've won races and championships, but we've never run Le Mans. When presented the opportunity to compete with the all-new Ford GT on the world's biggest sports car stage, and on the 50th anniversary of one of the most storied victories in racing history, how could any race team not want to be part of that? Will it be a challenge? Absolutely, but we couldn't be with a better partner than Ford" team owner Chip Ganassi stated.

The EcoBoost 3.5-liter V6 engine made its debut at the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship in 2014. Since then, those from Ford along with CGRFS have obtained several victories in major races, including Sebring 12 hour race and Rolex 24 at Daytona. Besides the great sports car victories Ganassi racing teams have made major gains in the Daytona 500, Brickyard 400 and Indianapolis 500.

The new Ford GT is the most advanced product of Ford Performance, a division dedicated to providing innovation through performance. Aiming to launch 12 performance vehicles by 2020, Ford Performance will harvest the efforts and competitive expertise to accelerate innovation for dedicated performance models and performance pieces to quickly create the most modern technologies, which will ultimately underpin the whole range of Ford models.

Overall, the high performance car segment is growing at Ford, and the company recognizes its customers' desires for cars that provide excellent fuel consumption, breakthrough technologies, as well as an excellent driving experience. The Ford Performance range includes the Shelby GT350 and Shelby GT350R, Ford GT, Focus RS, F-150 Raptor, and the Focus ST and Fiesta ST.
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