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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

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