Ford could extend the racing life of the Ford GT by creating a GT3-specification of the model, with studies currently underway, according to Ford Performance global motorsports director Mark Rushbrook.
The American manufacturer, which will enter the fourth year of a current four-year factory commitment with its GTE contender in 2019, is known to be evaluating future motorsports platforms, with multiple options on the table for sports car racing.
Speaking exclusively to Australian publication AutoAction, Rushbrook revealed that a GT3-spec Ford is among those under consideration.
“It is something we have looked at and earlier in the program chose not to do,” Rushbrook told AutoAction. “But it is, candidly, something that we are studying and we may do it.
“But, certainly, there is no commitment at this point.”
The development comes on the heels that Ford will extend production of the GT road car from its initially confirmed deadline of 2020 to 2022, while boosting total build numbers to 1,350 units due to high demand.
A GT3-based program would allow Ford to sell customer cars and also have it enter iconic GT endurance races not eligible for GTE machinery, such as the Total 24 Hours of Spa, Nürburgring 24 and Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour.
“We know the cars very well, we have a really strong team with Ford Chip Ganassi Racing running the cars in IMSA and in WEC, and it’s been a fantastic program in terms of the return and the success that we’ve had with it,” Rushbrook said.
“And that is part of why we are studying the GT3 program to help extend the success that we’ve had in GTE/LM, to be able to run in GT3 series that run around the world, including Australia.
“That is a market of interest to us, for sure, so we’ll continue to study that option intently and see where it goes.”
Ford Performance’s operations and technical partner Multimatic, which builds the Ford GT road and GTE race cars as well as the Mustang GT4, would be the logical constructor for a GT3 car, should the program get the green light.
In addition to a possible GT3 car, Ford is understood to be closing in on a decision on a DPi effort in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, for as early as the 2020 season.