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Ford Closing In on 2018 Customer Car Decision

Decision expected this month on potential customer Ford GT sales for FIA World Endurance Championship GTE-Am class…

Photo: Drew Gibson/Ford

A decision on whether to offer Ford GTs to customers in the GTE-Am class of the FIA World Endurance Championship next season is expected to made “pretty soon” according to newly named Ford Performance Motorsports Global Director Mark Rushbrook.

Rushbrook, who takes over from Dave Pericak as the head of the manufacturer’s motorsports activities on Dec. 1, has revealed that discussions have continued within the company, including at last weekend’s WEC round in Shanghai.

“We’re always looking at opportunities for that,” Rushbrook told Sportscar365. “We had some discussions on that [on Sunday].

“There’s certainly some opportunities. We’re just looking to see what the best thing is for the program.”

The American manufacturer has long been considering offering the Multimatic-built cars to privateer teams, with Pericak indicating to Sportscar365 in June that it’s open to that possibility.

Should an allocation of Ford GTs be made available, Rushbrook said it would only be for the WEC, with no viable options for privateers in the all-factory GT Le Mans class in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

“With the way the classes are structured, the only real opportunity for a customer program is in the GTE-Am side in WEC,” he said.

“As [the GTE-Am rules are] currently written, it would create some efficiencies for us that would allow us to do it with fewer resources.”

It’s understood only 2016 or 2017-homologated cars will be eligible in GTE-Am class in the upcoming ‘Super Season’ despite a push from Aston Martin to allow its new-for-2018 Vantage in the category.

Rushbrook, meanwhile, said they haven’t set any limits on potential GTE car sales at this point, should it get the green light.

A final decision is expected this month.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. pierre

    November 6, 2017 at 11:30 am

    wasn’t ford expected to not make updates to the gt? so would these cars be the same as the pro cars then?

    • Barber

      November 6, 2017 at 12:18 pm

      Yes, so are the Ferrari’s and so will the Porsches be next year.

      • TF110

        November 6, 2017 at 1:31 pm

        Not Ferrari. They’re testing or were testing the evo version of the 488 GTE at Monza last week.

        • Barber

          November 6, 2017 at 6:15 pm

          Thanks for the correction, at least this year the Ferraris were the same.

  2. Cosmo DeLuca

    November 6, 2017 at 1:52 pm

    Ganassi Ford DPi confirmed for 2019.

    • Matt

      November 6, 2017 at 2:34 pm

      Lol ok if you say so.

      • Cosmo DeLuca

        November 6, 2017 at 9:03 pm

        From Racer:
        “Former Lexus Grand-Am Daytona Prototype partner Chip Ganassi Racing (pictured above in 2009) is among the teams that are said to be of interest to TRD if the DPi effort goes forward.

        “I’ve heard the same rumors about that brand,” said CGR managing director Mike Hull, whose team runs Ford’s factory IMSA and WEC GT Le Mans program. “First, our obligation is with Ford, and if Ford wants to do DPi, we’d want to do it with them. “

  3. John

    November 6, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    Sell them you bums

  4. Sir Skidsalot

    November 6, 2017 at 3:17 pm

    Do it, Do it Now!

  5. WBrowning

    November 6, 2017 at 3:22 pm

    I’m assuming they will be leaving GTE/GTLM when the 2019 commitment to GTE/GTLM with Ganassi ends. I expect Ganassi to run Fords in whatever the new P1/P2/DPi formula is, maybe concurrently in 2019, surely after that, hopefully in both WEC and IMSA like now.

  6. David Chaste

    November 6, 2017 at 6:10 pm

    Such a waste of superb enginering and design. Had it come out in the GT1 era it would be right at home.

    The dreaded BOP has killed it’s GTE aspirations. GTE/GTLM is being run like GT3 now. Bop severely curbs development. Reliability is easy when you’re not pushing the performance boundaries.

    • Matt

      November 6, 2017 at 6:26 pm

      GTE was supposed to be sped up a long a couple years ago but it never actually was because IMSA and the ACO BoP’d the cars back into oblivion. GTE is barely faster than GT3 and sad to see cars like the Ford run at only 50% of potential

    • daedalus

      November 6, 2017 at 9:28 pm

      “Bop severely curbs development.”

      That’s the whole point of BOP, to eliminate the need for constant development and thus constant spending. The reason the GT1 era ended is because it was too expensive and people walked away and we were stuck with the same GT1 cars for about 5 years running before it finally folded.

      You are right that “GTE/GTLM is being run like GT3 now” because GT3 has been so successful after GT1 and GT2s downfall by controlling costs so it’s a no brainer the ACO copied it, other wise GTE would have gone the same way as GT1/2 and the ACO would have to of used GT3 cars which would be hard for the ACO to stomach as the SRO championships are a competitor to their own.

      • TF110

        November 7, 2017 at 12:12 am

        GT1 as in the 2000’s or GT1 as in the late 90’s?

        • Andy Flinn

          November 7, 2017 at 12:24 pm

          TF110, it doesn’t matter. They’re both DEAD because both concepts were too expensive.

      • jareth Belanger

        November 7, 2017 at 8:06 am

        You realize GTE is just a renaming of GT2 right?

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