History was made at Road America on Tuesday as the Ford GT race car turned its first laps on U.S. soil, as part of a single-day test for the new-for-2016 GTE contender.
Multimatic development drivers Scott Maxwell and Billy Johnson put the EcoBoost-powered beast through its paces, having made significant progress over the course of the day at the Wisconsin track.
PHOTOS: Ford GT Road America Test
The car, built to the new GTE regulations, was clocked lapping unofficially in the 2:04 range, less than one-second off last year’s GT Le Mans class pole time.
While having shown encouraging pace out of the box, the Multimatic-run entry made several trips to its tent to rectify a small teething issue, which as with any new car, is to be expected, especially still in its early stages of development.
Road America marked only the third different track the Ford GT has tested at, following its initial rollout at Calabogie Motorsports Park in May and an outing at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park last month.
The Multimatic-built car also previously took part in straight-line testing at Michelin’s Ladoux test track in France, prior to the program’s official unveiling at Le Mans in June.
It will return to France next month for the FIA’s mandatory Balance of Performance test, which will see all of the 2016-spec GTE cars in action, including the new Ferrari 488 GTB and the BMW M6 GTLM, which is expected to be homologated for IMSA competition only.
A handful of other TUDOR United SportsCar Championship teams shared the track with the Ford GT on Tuesday, including Mazda’s gasoline-powered SKYACTIV prototype, Alex Job Racing and Prototype Challenge squads PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports and RSR Racing.
Official track action for this weekend’s Continental Tire Road Race Showcase begins on Friday.