It made perfect sense, and now it’s official: Ford will return to the Le Mans 24-Hour in 2016 with its all-new GT supercar.
Next year marks the 50th anniversary of Ford’s 1966 victory at the famous French circuit, and the GT filled the other two steps on the Le Mans podium that year as well.
The famous Ford model went on to win the race again in 1967, 68 and 69.
On the eve of the 2015 Le Mans race, Ford has announced that its new GT will compete in the GT Endurance Pro Class next year, along with the FIA World Endurance Championship and the Tudor United SportsCar Championship.
Four Ford GTs will take to the track, under the guidance of Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, while drivers are yet to be confirmed.
Like the road-going version, which goes on sale in overseas markets from next year, the racing GT will be powered by Ford’s 3.5 litre twin-turbocharged V6 EcoBoost engine.
“When the GT40 competed at Le Mans in the 1960s, Henry Ford II sought to prove Ford could beat endurance racing’s most legendary manufacturers,” Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford said.
“We are still extremely proud of having won this iconic race four times in a row, and that same spirit that drove the innovation behind the first Ford GT still drives us today.”
Ford’s Raj Nair said the GT was developed from the start with sports car racing in mind, and that the supercar’s aerodynamics, light chassis and EcoBoost engine would give it an edge on the track.
Ford and the Ganassi/Sabates team will have plenty of time to iron out any bugs before the 2016 Le Mans race in June, as the GT’s first event will be the 2016 Rolex 24 at Daytona to be held in January.
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