The 2016 Le Mans 24 Hours is scheduled for June, 50 years after Ford managed to finish first, second, and third in the 1966 edition of the grueling endurance race. For the 50th anniversary of its iconic win at Le Mans, the Blue Oval announced that it would enter the competition with no less that four race-prepped cars.
Those four race cars are all Ford GTs and they’ll run numbers 66, 67, 68, and 69. #66 and #67 are the same Ford Chip Ganassi Racing cars that compete in the FIA World Endurance Championship. The other two numbers run in the IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship. The driver lineup for the WEC Ford GTs will be announced at a later date.
This move comes days after the GT failed miserably at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona. In an attempt to recapture the GT’s past glories, the race versions of the forthcoming supercar finished seventh in class and 31st overall and ninth in class and 40th overall, respectively. Both GTs suffered gearbox issues that delayed them so much that the top-finishing car ended 32 laps behind the GTLM class winners – the Corvette C7.Rs of Oliver Gavin and Antonio Garcia.
“There’s no replacement for race conditions.” The adage proved true for the two-car team at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona. Despite the disappointing start of the all-new GT’s racing career, FoMoCo still believes that four cars should be enough to finish at the front of the GTE Pro class at Le Mans. “It will be a big challenge for us but one we are thrilled to undertake. We have prepared well and can’t wait to get the Ford GTs onto the track there and show everyone what they can do,” declared team owner Chip Ganassi.
The Ford GT proved that it’s got the pace in terms of raw speed over a single lap. But the secret to winning an endurance race isn’t speed. It’s the ability to iron out the weaknesses exposed by 24 hours of racing. By: autoevolution