As first revealed by Sportscar365, Ford confirmed Wednesday that it will field a four-car Ford GT entry in next month’s Rolex 24 at Daytona.
Both FIA World Endurance Championship and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship teams will unite for the effort, run by Ford Chip Ganassi Racing, marking its first four-car effort since the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Driver lineups have yet to be announced but is expected to include all full-season drivers from both championships, as well as Ganassi’s IndyCar and NASCAR star drivers.
“I’m excited we have another opportunity to assemble the full lineup for Daytona,” team owner Chip Ganassi said.
“The opportunity to compete with all four cars at the same time, in a race as prestigious as Daytona, is very special.”
The Multimatic-built Ford GT made its competition debut in this year’s Rolex 24 and since went on to claim three WeatherTech Championship class victories, all with the No. 67 car of Richard Westbrook and Ryan Briscoe, as well as at Le Mana with Joey Hand, Dirk Mueller and Sebastien Bourdais.
Its UK-based, Multimatic-run branch has also tasted success in the car’s first year, with class wins in the two recent WEC rounds at Fuji and Shanghai, both with Andy Priaulx and Harry Tincknell.
Westbrook, Briscoe, Mueller and Hand have all been confirmed as returning to the IMSA squad, with the majority of the WEC drivers also understood to have been under multi-year contracts.
“We didn’t have the strongest race at the Rolex 24 last year but we have a season of learning experiences behind us with this program now and we’re proud that when we come back to Daytona in 2017, we’ll come with all four Ford GTs,” said Ford Performance global director Dave Pericak.
Ford’s increased effort for Daytona comes as a significant boost to the GTLM class, which will again see factory or works-backed efforts from BMW, Porsche, Ferrari and defending champions Corvette Racing.