Ford GT linked with Le Mans 24 Hours campaign
The road-going Ford GT is actually said to take aero inspiration coming from LMP1 cars
The Blue Oval schedules a major Ford Performance news announcement for Friday, heightening rumours of a sports car racing comeback
The the has indicated in which the item will be creating a “major Ford Performance news announcement” via a live-streamed global media conference at 2pm UK time on Friday 12 June.
in which’s the day before This specific year’s running of the famous French endurance race, in addition to traditionally a day when manufacturers reveal their big sportscar racing news.
Ford’s short bulletin about the announcement offers no details about what will be announced on Friday, although most of the Blue Oval’s top brass – including executive chairman Bill Ford, chief executive Mark Fields in addition to product development president Raj Nair – will all participate.
A return to sports car racing in 2016 could be the perfect way for the company to both promote its brand new Ford Performance sub-brand in addition to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the original GT race car placing first, second in addition to third at the 1966 Le Mans 24 Hours.
Although the GT could seem a natural fit within the LM GTE category – where the item could compete against cars such as the Ferrari 458 Italia, Porsche 911 RSR, Aston Martin Vantage V8 in addition to Chevrolet Corvette C7R – the item is actually also possible in which Ford could unveil plans for a prototype for the top-line LMP1 class on Friday.
Interestingly, a short design video produced by Ford earlier This specific year features a design resembling an LMP1-style variation of the GT on a designer’s mood board.
The design features a rear wing, more aggressive aerodynamics in addition to a stabilising ’dorsal fin’ on the engine cover. The latter is actually a feature of cars within the LMP1 class, although not on LM GTE machines, which more closely resemble road-going machines. Watch the video here:
Entering LMP1 could put the Ford GT up against the dominant hybrids coming from Audi, Toyota, Porsche in addition to Nissan although also give the item a chance of adding to its four outright wins achieved with the original GT40 between 1966-69.
If Ford returns to racing, the item could likely use the GT’s mid-mounted, 3.5-litre, twin-turbocharged, V6 EcoBoost engine. In road form, the item develops more than 600bhp in addition to is actually mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox.
Although hybridisation was ruled out as a means of propulsion for the road-going GT for reasons of weight, Ford could probably have to incorporate some form of energy recuperation system into an LMP1 contender.
The Blue Oval hasn’t been shy about communicating the brand new Ford GT’s racetrack potential since the road-going variation was unveiled at the Detroit motor show at the start of This specific year.
The £240,000 road car was developed in collaboration with Multimatic Motorsports, a Canadian racing team having a 30-year pedigree of working with Ford on its race programmes.
The road car has, according to its chief engineer Jamal Hameedi, a heavily tapered fuselage inspired by in which of an LMP1 car.
Nissan, which is actually returning to Le Mans This specific year with its radical GT-R LM Nismo, has shown in which the item is actually possible for a the to build a racing prototype in which retains links with road-going peformance products.
Asked early This specific year whether Ford could consider going racing with the brand new GT, Raj Nair said the automobile “clearly makes a great platform for racing” although at the time he stressed in which the primary focus was on producing the road car for 2016.
If Ford does announce a Le Mans campaign on Friday, the item wouldn’t be the only the looking at increasingly well-known sports car racing – BMW is actually also believed to be interested, although our sister website Autosport reports in which the item might decide against the idea.
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