Automotive

Ford to return to Le Mans with new GT race car

Ford to return to Le Mans with...
The all-new Ford GT race car
The all-new Ford GT race car
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Ford recreates its 1966 Le Mans 1-2-3 finish
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Ford recreates its 1966 Le Mans 1-2-3 finish
Ford's 1969 Le Mans-winning GT40
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Ford's 1969 Le Mans-winning GT40
2006 Ford GT
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2006 Ford GT
1967 Ford GT40 Mk IV
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1967 Ford GT40 Mk IV
1967 Ford GT40 Mk II
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1967 Ford GT40 Mk II
1967 Ford GT40 Mk II
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1967 Ford GT40 Mk II
1966 GT40
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1966 GT40
The Ford GT40 swept the podium at the 1966 Le Mans event
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The Ford GT40 swept the podium at the 1966 Le Mans event
The Ford GT40 swept the podium at the 1966 Le Mans event
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The Ford GT40 swept the podium at the 1966 Le Mans event
Ford used the original GT40 to steal the spotlight from Ferrari at Le Mans 1966
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Ford used the original GT40 to steal the spotlight from Ferrari at Le Mans 1966
Ford GT40 1966
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Ford GT40 1966
Ford GT40 1966
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Ford GT40 1966
Ford GT40 1966
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Ford GT40 1966
Ford GT40 1966
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Ford GT40 1966
Ford GT40 1966
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Ford GT40 1966
The Ford GT is making a big comeback
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The Ford GT is making a big comeback
Ford will launch the GT race and production cars in 2016
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Ford will launch the GT race and production cars in 2016
Ford revealed the GT race car as part of this year's Le Mans festivities
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Ford revealed the GT race car as part of this year's Le Mans festivities
The GT will compete in the LM GTE Pro class at Le Mans 2016
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The GT will compete in the LM GTE Pro class at Le Mans 2016
Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates will operate the Ford GT teams
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Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates will operate the Ford GT teams
Ford is working with a variety of partners, including Multimatic Motorsports, Roush Yates Engines, Castrol, Michelin, Forza Motorsport and Brembo
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Ford is working with a variety of partners, including Multimatic Motorsports, Roush Yates Engines, Castrol, Michelin, Forza Motorsport and Brembo
Ready for endurance and speed...
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Ready for endurance and speed...
The all-new Ford GT race car
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The all-new Ford GT race car
The Ford GT race car will make its racing debut in January
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The Ford GT race car will make its racing debut in January
The all-new Ford GT race car
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The all-new Ford GT race car
The all-new Ford GT race car
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The all-new Ford GT race car
The all-new Ford GT race car
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The all-new Ford GT race car
The all-new Ford GT race car
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The all-new Ford GT race car
The all-new Ford GT race car
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The all-new Ford GT race car
The all-new Ford GT race car
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The all-new Ford GT race car
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The Ford GT race car uses the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6, Ford's most powerful production EcoBoost ever
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The Ford GT race car uses the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6, Ford's most powerful production EcoBoost ever
The all-new Ford GT race car
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The all-new Ford GT race car
The all-new Ford GT race car
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The all-new Ford GT race car
The all-new Ford GT race car
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The all-new Ford GT race car
The all-new Ford GT race car
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The all-new Ford GT race car
The all-new Ford GT race car
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The all-new Ford GT race car
Ford says that it designed the production GT with racing in mind
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Ford says that it designed the production GT with racing in mind
The all-new Ford GT race car
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The all-new Ford GT race car

Ford is taking its all-new GT racing. In preparation of a return to Le Mans next year, the Blue Oval has revealed the aerodynamic carbon fiber racer it'll put on the track. And the new GT looks just as good as a sponsor-badged race car as it did a glistening, electric-blue show car at NAIAS 2015.

Ford revealed the GT race car at this year's 24 Hours of Le Mans event over the weekend. It will compete in the LM GTE Pro class at the 2016 24 Hours, which marks the 50th anniversary of Ford's historic GT40 Le Mans win in 1966, the first of four consecutive Le Mans victories. The 1966 victory was particularly significant because it was the first time an American manufacturer wrestled Le Mans from the Europeans' hands. Ford rounded off an extremely strong showing by also taking the second and third spots at the 1966 race.

The new Ford GT racer will compete in the full 2016 schedules of the FIA World Endurance Championship and TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates will operate the two four-car teams.

"We’ve won races and championships, but we’ve never run Le Mans,” says Chip Ganassi. "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?"

The Ford GT40 swept the podium at the 1966 Le Mans event
The Ford GT40 swept the podium at the 1966 Le Mans event

The GT race car shares the production supercar's focus on advanced aerodynamics, lightweight composite construction, and EcoBoost power. Like this year's Detroit show car, the GT race car relies on a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine.

"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," explains Raj Nair, Ford Motor Company group vice president, global product development, and chief technical officer. "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."

While the new GT will be making its debut on the track in 2016, the 3.5-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost already has some racing experience under its belt. The engine debuted in 2014 on the EcoBoost Riley race car as part of the Tudor United SportsCar Championship. It took home victories at the 2014 12 Hours of Sebring and 2015 Rolex 24 at Daytona.

The Ford GT race car will make its racing debut in January
The Ford GT race car will make its racing debut in January

The Ford GT race car will make its debut at the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January, with drivers to be announced closer to the start of the season.

The two-minute video below bridges Ford's Le Mans past with the present. Even if you're not a racing fanatic, it should get you excited about the return.

Source: Ford

Ford GT: Returns to Le Mans | IMSA | Ford Performance

3 comments
BZD
It is funny how Ford is forgetting to mention how the GT40 was designed and made in the UK, so that while it did run under the blue oval badge and a Ford engine it was really a European car.
yawood
...and this new one was designed in Australia.
MartinJrObregon
Does it matter who ford hired to design the car? It was still an American manufacturer who took those wins. Car manufacturers hire people from all over the world. That doesn't change the fact that it still is an American manufacturer.