ford gt le mans 01

Ford will be returning to Le Mans in 2016 with its new Ford GT race car, which is based on the new GT supercar that goes on sale next year. The Ford GT race car is set to compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the Le Mans GT Endurance class for professional teams and drivers (LM GTE Pro).

The return marks the 50th anniversary of the 1966 Le Mans race, in which Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon triumphed in a Shelby-American GT40 Mk II and where Ford GT race cars placed 1-2-3 at the finish. Ford went on to bag another three Le Mans wins in 1967, 1968 and 1969, making it four titles in a row for the GT40.

The new Ford GT race car will run the full 2016 schedules of the FIA World Endurance Championship and TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, and will make its competition debut in January next year in the Rolex 24 At Daytona, Florida.

The two Ford teams will be operated by Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS). Both series teams intend to compete with a four-car effort at Le Mans, with drivers to be announced later.

The race car will feature state-of-the-art aerodynamics to deliver outstanding levels of downforce for improved stability with minimal drag, advanced lightweight composites featuring carbon fibre and of course EcoBoost tech – the new GT racer will wear the 3.5 litre EcoBoost V6 engine that debuted in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship last year.

Partnering Ford in this project are Multimatic Motorsports, Roush Yates Engines, Castrol, Michelin, Forza Motorsport, Sparco, Brembo and CGRFS. The race car has undergone extensive design and testing within Ford and Multimatic, with CGRFS providing input into the development, while Roush Yates is supporting development of the 3.5 litre EcoBoost V6.