For 50 years Ford has been watching and waiting. Now it's on. Ford GT. LeMans. 2016

It has been 49 years since Ford Motor Company shocked the world by going toe to toe with Ferrari at their own game at the 24 Hours of LeMans. It was an astounding 1-2-3 finish Bruce McLaren/Chris Amon, Ken Miles/Denis Hulme and Ronnie Bucknum/Dick Hutcherson all involved in what has been the closest LeMans victory to date, even shrouded in some mystery as the 2nd place car driven by Ken Miles was actually in 1st place. But that's a different story.

Today though. Ford made a very special announcement. Next year for the 2016 running of the 24 Hours of LeMans. They will be back with the all new 2016 Ford GT. Naturally with the 2015 24 Hours taking place this weekend, Ford made the announcement in LeMans France. The world was exposed to the street version of the 2016 Ford GT at the North American International Auto Show in January, and since then rumors have been swirling that Ford would make another run at LeMans for 2016 and they did not disappoint.

“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,” said Bill Ford, executive chairman, Ford Motor Company. “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 announced that it will compete in the full 2016 schedule for FIA World Endurance Championship and TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, and making its competition debut in January 2016 at the Rolex 24 At Daytona, Florida. The two Ford factory 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 in 2016.

The Ford GT race car will feature a number of innovations which Ford believes will not only make it competitive in LM GTE Pro, but ultimately positioned to provide benefits to every Ford vehicle in the Ford lineup moving forward. This includes state of the art aerodynamics to deliver outstanding levels of downforce for improved stability with minimal drag, advanced lightweight composites featuring carbon fiber for an exceptionally rigid but light chassis, and the power and efficiency of Ford EcoBoost technology.

Like the street version of the Ford GT,  the racecar will also be powered by the 3.5 liter EcoBoost V6 engine which hat it's debut in the TUDOR Championship in 2014. The engine was developed by Ford with input and development from CGRFS and Roush Yates Since then, Ford, along with  CGRFS, has captured significant overall wins at the 12 Hours of Sebring and Rolex 24 At Daytona. Besides great success in sports cars, Ganassi race teams achieved major victories in the Brickyard 400, Daytona 500 and Indianapolis 500.

As an added bonus. Watch Ford's unveiling video below. 


Source and Photos: Ford Motor Comapny

World Enduance Championship 1433631690869681093

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