Ford has unveiled a set of four ‘celebration liveries’ for its GTE-Pro cars ahead of the factory GT program’s 24 Hours of Le Mans swansong.
The set of designs takes inspiration from Ford’s previous successes at the Circuit de la Sarthe with the Ford GT40 in the 1960s and the Ford GT in 2016.
Last month, it was confirmed that this year’s edition of the French endurance classic will be the manufacturer’s last with the Ford GT, which has taken 16 race wins in three and a half years of global competition.
The No. 66 Ford, which will be driven at Le Mans by Stefan Muecke, Olivier Pla and Billy Johnson, has a black design in reference to the Ford GT40 Mk. 2 in which Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon won the race outright in 1966.
Its sister FIA World Endurance Championship car, the No. 67 of Andy Priaulx, Harry Tincknell and Jonathan Bomarito, will celebrate the 1967-winning Ford Mk. IV driven by Dan Gurney and AJ Foyt.
The No. 69 Ford GT will take the design of the Ken Miles/Denny Hulme GT40 that finished second in Ford’s 1-2-3 sweep of the top positions in 1966.
This car, which will be shared by Scott Dixon, Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook, was one of two American-based Fords recently spotted loading up at Chicago O’Hare airport.
The other was the No. 68 machine, which resembles the car that took its unchanged driver lineup of Dirk Mueller, Joey Hand and Sebastien Bourdais to GTE-Pro honors in 2016.
This design was already known having been used by the Ford CGR team in the most recent IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship round at Mid-Ohio.
In addition, the Ford entered by Keating Motorsports in the GTE-Am category will compete in a special Wynn’s livery.
The Ben Keating-run squad hinted at a Wynn’s design when it announced its Le Mans partnership with the automotive products technology company in March.
“In 2016, Ford returned to Le Mans to mark the 50th anniversary of our incredible 1966 win and we celebrated in the best way possible by winning the race,” said Bill Ford, executive chairman of Ford Motor Company.
“To stand on that podium on behalf of the employees was a proud moment for me and I look forward returning to Le Mans this year to support the team as we approach our final race in this chapter.”
Ford Performance global director Mark Rushbrook added: “The Ford GT was created to take Ford back to the world of GT endurance racing.
“This factory Ford GT programme has been a great success for our brand and we have enjoyed the many challenges that have come our way during this four-year program.
“Le Mans is not quite the end of the factory program as we still have many more IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship races to go in 2019.”
The full set of liveries will debut in the Le Mans Test Day this weekend, ahead of the WEC season finale race on June 15-16.