Ford Performance announces plans to race the new Ford GT well into the 2019 season.
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Mazda Laguna Seca. 24 Hours of Le Mans. Watkins Glen. With three impressive wins in a row, it’s no surprise that Ford Performance has confirmed extending the race season with the new Ford GT for at least three more years. After a rather shaky “feeling out period” at the start of the 2016 race season, Ford Performance managed to dial it in, and is back once again to their winning ways. The 2016 race season for the Ford GT has been an incredible, well documented journey for Ford, centering around trying to replicate the iconic 24 hours of Le Mans win that took place 50 years ago. Well, mission accomplished! Being able to nail down a podium finish with a first year race car, and a completely new race team says a lot about the skill and confidence this team has.
The new Ford GT race team was really built entirely from the ground up in order to achieve this goal. The first-year program consists of two Ford GT race cars running in the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship, and two Ford GT’s in the FIA World Endurance Championship.
“We wanted to make sure everyone knows that we are committed to sports car racing globally with WEC and IMSA“ said Raj Nair, Ford executive vice president and chief technical officer. “the stated goal of our Ford GT program was to win Le Mans, and we’re very proud that we were able to do that in our first year.”
Ford Performance has also stated that in addition to the racing program, they are also very committed to using the Ford GT as a platform to develop technologies that can not only be applied to its race cars, but its production lineup as well. With major advancements in Ford’s EcoBoost engines, and the lighter weight materials used in its 2016 production lineup, Ford Performance is looking to translate what they are achieving on the race track, straight onto the showroom floor.
Enthusiasts that are still in the market for one of the production Ford GT’s, Ford has announced the release of a special edition, one year limited-run, ‘66 Heritage Edition that will take the design cues from the 1966 Le Mans winning Ford GT40. The car will feature all the high tech specs of the 2017 production Ford GT, but you also get a choice of either gloss or matte black paint finish, the number “2” on its hood and doors, exposed carbon fiber, and custom gold finish forged wheels.
Fans that want to check out the Ford GT in action, the car will be racing in two upcoming events this month in both the IMSA and WEC. The first one takes place on July 23rd for the Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park, Connecticut. The remaining race will take the Ford GT back to Germany for the 6 hours of Nurburgring on July 24th.
Art of Gears has got you covered will all the racing action. Hit us up on Twitter if you plan on attending either of these events. With momentum on their side, and a race team committed to performance, we are looking forward to some exciting racing action that is about to go down this month and for years to come.