Ford extends GT program
Ford extends GT program
With a dramatic Le Mans 24 Hours GTE Pro class victory just two weeks ago, Ford today announced that its factory-supported Ford GT race program will run for a minimum of three more years in both the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and the FIA World Endurance Championship.
The Ford campaign debuted at this year’s Rolex 24 at Daytona and scored its first race win at the Mazda Raceway Laguna in May. The team is running dual programs in both IMSA and FIA WEC competition.
The program scored a 1-3-4 GTE Pro class finish at Le Mans on June 19, with France’s SÃ©bastien Bourdais, USA’s Joey Hand and Germany’s Dirk MÃ¼ller driving the winning No. 68 Ford GT effort.
“We wanted to make sure everyone knows that we are committed to sports car racing globally with WEC and IMSA,” said Raj Nair, Ford executive vice president and chief technical officer.
“The stated goal of our Ford GT program was to win Le Mans, and we’re very proud that we were able to do that in our first year. To commit to a full, four-year assault on both the IMSA and WEC championships shows how serious we are about taking Ford GT racing around the world.
“We are in motorsport to win races and championships, but just as importantly we are using it to develop our engineering expertise and help develop advancements for production vehicles like EcoBoost engines, advanced aerodynamics and lightweight materials that consumers can use in Ford production vehicles going forward.”
The Le Mans victory came 50 years after the American manufacturer first won at Le Man in the classic Ford versus Ferrari battle.
“We’re excited and feel the extension of this Ford GT race program sends an important message to the industry and to enthusiasts that we are committed to global racing at Ford,” said Dave Pericak, global director, Ford Performance.
“But we remain committed to doing racing the right way. And the Ford GT program is a perfect example of how we are using our racing efforts to help improve the products that Ford consumers can drive every day.
“Developing the GT production car and the race car at the same time has been a challenging task for everyone, but it has also showed how the production vehicle side and racing side of Ford Performance can work together to benefit everyone.”
The IMSA program resumes action this weekend with the Sahlen’s 6 Hour of the Glen at Watkins Glen, N.Y., while WEC action resumes July 24 at the 6 Hours of NÃ¼rburgring in Germany.