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Ford GT Program Extended Through 2019

Factory Ford GT program extended through 2019…

Photo: Ford

Photo: Ford

With a dramatic 24 Hours of Le Mans GTE-Pro class victory just two weeks ago, Ford Motor Company announced today that its factory-supported Ford GT race program will run for a minimum of three more years in both IMSA and FIA WEC competition.

“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.”

“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 first-year program currently consists of two Ford GT race cars in IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship competition, and two Ford GT race cars in the FIA World Endurance Championship.

The program scored a 1-3-4 class finish at Le Mans on June 19, with Sébastien Bourdais, Joey Hand and Dirk Müller driving the winning No. 68 Ford GT effort.

The IMSA program also scored Ford GT’s first victory in May at Laguna Seca with Richard Westbrook and Ryan Briscoe taking the victory, while the WEC program scored its first podium with a second-place finish at Spa-Francorchamps, with Marino Franchitti, Andy Priaulx and Harry Tincknell driving.

Ford GT drivers Billy Johnson, Olivier Pla and Stefan Mücke also currently lead the WEC GT Drivers’ Cup standings.

The IMSA program resumes action this weekend with the Sahlen’s 6 Hour of the Glen, while WEC action resumes July 24 at the 6 Hours of Nürburgring.

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18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. 7D3

    July 2, 2016 at 9:35 am

    Hope there are going to be Ford GT40 tribute retro Liveries in these years to come.

    • George 917-30

      July 2, 2016 at 9:45 am

      This is fantastic news. Makes me proud to be a Ford owner (though those engines don’t sound good at all). Looking forward to a real Ford GT vs Corvette battle in the future years. I agree on throwing in a few heritage liveries.

  2. Woody...

    July 2, 2016 at 10:02 am

    Awesome….Ferrari will get another chance…the disgrace of the paddock will be around awhile, not due to their actions on track, but in their actions by the Ford person trying to intimidate Risi into letting their car go by just to get the 1-2-3 finish Ford wanted so badly, they were simply better at LeMans, but not by much. Hopefully Risi can get back to LeMans next year and AF performs better next year…the next year can’t go by quick enough…

  3. Dan

    July 2, 2016 at 10:15 am

    Yeah, glad to see Ford sticking with it. Their GT is the new “gateway drug” in GTLM/GTE and Chevy’s front engine Vette with the OHV NA V8 suddenly seems dated and off-pace. Wonder how long before a mid-engine GTLM Corvette shows up with the Caddy/GM turbo? (Or would that be a DPi?)

    • NorthSask

      July 2, 2016 at 11:11 am

      The Corvette wasn’t off pace due to it’s design, the Corvette has to be seriously slowed to meet the GTE performance window. It was off pace due to BoP that dramatically favored the Ford…

      • WBrowning

        July 5, 2016 at 1:44 am

        I wish you chevy guys would realize that ALL of the cars are limited to around the same horsepower. The GT’s Ecoboost engine in street trim makes more than the race car too, as do most of the other cars in GTLM. If they let Ford run a some more boost, it wouldn’t matter if the Vette had zero intake restriction, it would lose to the Ecoboost’s inter-cooled twin turbo DOHC V6, no contest.

        Looking forward to at least 3 1/2 more years of total FORD domination. Just kidding, plus IMSA’s daddy, those nascar chevy lovin’ bowtie wearin’ boys won’t let that happen, will they?

        • Andres

          July 6, 2016 at 10:40 am

          WBrowning, you forget that at that damn Le Mans race the fords suddewnly had “found” 5 secs a lap faster than every other but Ferrari by a BoP in track and weather conditions that were everything but ideal, oh and you forget the fact that the Chevy engine is reduced from 6.2 to 5.5 and has the smallest air restrictor of all class

        • Andres

          July 6, 2016 at 10:49 am

          I forgot to say that with this year’s BoP thay have the same HP output than las year, so the mos penalized car from GTLM/GTE is the corvette

    • ken vining

      July 2, 2016 at 5:03 pm

      GM and FORD are poised to run one or both programs in IMSA,ALL THEY AND OTHER MANUFACTURERS NEED IS A FIRM FAIRRULES PACKAGE !

    • Fred

      July 4, 2016 at 9:46 pm

      I am sure Chevy will have turbos soon. They are very good at copying ford. Hell, their ls series engines are all based around fords small block. For god sakes before they converted to fuel injection, they even moved their distributor to the front of the engine

      • Andres

        July 6, 2016 at 10:46 am

        The LS Chevy engine was designed and built way before the Windsor Ford appeared

  4. Overtake24

    July 2, 2016 at 2:08 pm

    So does that mean the Ford GT road car will be in production in those years also? You can’t race a car in this class if its not being produced, correct?

    • ChrisG

      July 5, 2016 at 12:30 pm

      They are not within the Rules. They were allowed to Race in the Class with the blessing of the other GTE Pro and GTLM Teams. This is a matter of the BOP being way off.

  5. ken vining

    July 2, 2016 at 4:56 pm

    GM has been aware the FORD GM FEUD WOULD GO GLOBAL and now they have to run the gauntlet or loose market share,THIS is not personal, it is business !

  6. David Chaste

    July 3, 2016 at 1:28 am

    This could be the catalyst that forces GM to have a factory presence in GTE Pro. Having an american factory effort will forcibly draw many more North American viewers to the WEC. Thise viewers will find themselves falling for Ford. Does chevy want to miss out?

    Larbre Competition will be praying that GM will finally give them the factory backing they always wanted to run in the Pro class.

    • NaBUru38

      July 3, 2016 at 6:31 pm

      Chevrolet doesnt sell cars in Europe. No commercial benefit in racing at Spa or Silverstone.

  7. juneracer

    July 5, 2016 at 6:56 am

    interesting timing. they get really hammered in the press for only being concerned about a PR ploy with their GT racing and amateur handling of Le Mans, and for not being true racers and caring about racing. then this comes out. what great timing… just makes you want to go ‘maybe those Ford guys aren’t really that bad after all’…then next year they announce that Ford sales are down and there market outlook is poor and do to financial concerns they will cancel there racing program…but this presumed good PR helped there current bad PR. well played…as was there sandbagging for BoP. is it true and real? time will tell…

    • Jake

      July 5, 2016 at 5:56 pm

      This announcement is nothing but PR. A verbal announcement now that you will be competing beyond 2017, or even 2016 means nothing until it comes time to line them up. And as everyone knows, in racing nothing is guaranteed. I would like to know how they get the approval to race a car with factory backing for years after its homologation special production run has ended? Is that another waiver required?

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