Wednesday, 17 June 2015
Ford to return to Le Mans with EcoBoost
Ford will return to France in 2016 to mark the 50th anniversary of Ford GT race cars placing 1-2-3 at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Ford GT will compete in the Le Mans GT Endurance class for professional teams and drivers (LM GTE Pro).
The new Ford GT race car will run the full 2016 schedules of the FIA World Endurance Championship and TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, making its competition debut in January 2016 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. Drivers will be announced later.
Set to deliver more than 12 new performance vehicles by 2020, Ford Performance will leverage its racing efforts and expertise to speed innovations on dedicated performance models and performance parts in order to more quickly iterate the latest technologies that can ultimately be applied to the full Ford vehicle line-up.
These include state-of-the-art aerodynamics to deliver high levels of downforce for improved stability with minimal drag, advanced lightweight composites featuring carbon fibre for an exceptionally rigid but light chassis, and the power and efficiency of EcoBoost technology.
Joining 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. Roush Yates is supporting development of the 3.5-litre EcoBoost V6 – Ford claims it is the most powerful EcoBoost production engine ever.
The 3.5-litre EcoBoost V6 engine debuted in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship in 2014. Since then, Ford, 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 Daytona 500, Brickyard 400 and Indianapolis 500.