- DAC Confirms Lamborghini TPNAEC Effort, Daytona Lineup
- YMR/M.Racing Switches to Norma M30 for LMP3 Campaign
- Clearwater Set for Multi-Class Entry in Blancpain GT Asia
- Freedom Autosport Confirms Three-Car Mazda MX-5 Effort
- Nunez: “I’m Excited to See What We Can Do With the New Platform”
- High Expectations for Green, New MIA McLaren GT4 Effort
- Mok Weng Sun: “The WEC is the Pinnacle of My Career”
- 40 Cars on Daytona CTSC Entry List
- HART Set for CTSC Hiatus; Shifts Focus to MSR Support
- Panis-Barthez Confirms Lineup; Working on Second LMP2 Entry
Ford Exploring Factory GTE Program, Prototype Options
- Updated: July 14, 2014
On the heels of a ramped up prototype program in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship this year, Ford is poised to expand its sports car racing efforts to new heights, which includes a targeted return to the famed 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Multiple industry sources have confirmed to Sportscar365 that the Detroit automaker is evaluating a factory GT program that will see Ford take on the likes Chevrolet, Dodge, Porsche and BMW with an ACO GTE-spec car built around the new-for-2016 regulations.
Considerations are also ongoing for a LMP2 engine supply program utilizing its EcoBoost powerplant currently used in TUDOR Championship DP cars.
It’s believed the GTE project is centered around the latest incarnation of the Ford GT production car, which could launch for the 2016 model year and coincide with the 50th anniversary of Ford’s first overall win at Le Mans.
Ford Racing director Jamie Allison was in Europe this past week and could not be reached for comment. The FIA and ACO held the latest round of GT manufacturer meetings in Paris on Thursday and Friday.
A Ford Racing spokesperson, meanwhile, said they “will not comment on speculation about programs.”
No word has been given on what team would run the GTE operation, although there already has been an active campaign to recruit drivers, both from the U.S. and Europe.
A proposal for a Ford Mustang GTE car, built and developed by Multimatic, was shot down by top-level executives last year but talks have continued for the blue oval to have a significant presence in the production-based class with the yet-to-be-announced model.
It’s unclear what affect, if any, Ford’s potential programs would have on its current factory-backed DP operation in the TUDOR Championship with partner teams Chip Ganassi Racing and Michael Shank Racing, which began this year.
While reports have linked Ford to potential factory Le Mans prototype efforts, Allison had previously told Sportscar365 that “there’s no basis of the rumor for LMP1.”
Factory LMP2 teams, meanwhile, are not allowed in ACO-organized championships, which includes Le Mans.