Ford GT to return to Le Mans

The new Ford GT race car for WEC and Le Mans competition unveiled Friday at Le Mans, France. The Ford GT race car will debut in 2016, and will be campaigned by Chip Ganassi Racing.

Ford Performance has, at long last, officially confirmed its racing program on Friday at Le Mans, with the launch of the GTE specification Ford GT.

“We’re back. We’re back at Le Mans, and we’re back with a supercar,” said Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford Jr.

It will see the manufacturer return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans, 50 years after Ford became the first American manufacturer to win overall at Le Mans in a 1-2-3 finish in 1966.

The two-car Ford GT factory effort will run in the FIA World Endurance Championship’s GTE-Pro class, as well as the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, both by Chip Ganassi Racing.

“We’ve never run at Le Mans. I can tell you we want to win this race,” Ganassi said.

“When Ford presented us that opportunity, a chance to compete here, well what race team wouldn’t want to be a part of that?”

“Our plan is to debut a new WEC team and TUDOR team and will see its debut for the first time at the 24 Hours of Daytona.”

Ganassi did not announce any drivers but said, “There’s quite a line forming outside the door.”

The road car version was announced in January at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, but official confirmation of the program was pushed back until now.

Ford, who will serve as this year’s starter of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Mark Fields, Ford President/CEO and Raj Nair, Group Vice President of Ford Product Development, all were on hand at the announcement.

Joining Ford in this project are Multimatic Motorsports, Roush Yates Engines, Castrol, Michelin, Forza Motorsport, Sparco, Brembo and Ganassi’s team.

The race car has undergone extensive design and testing within Ford and Multimatic, with CGRFS providing input into the development. Roush Yates is supporting development of the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6.