The Blue Oval will make a return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans with a version of the new Ford GT supercar.
Overnight, just ahead of the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race, which is being run this weekend, Ford announced the news that many had expected after the next-generation GT was unveiled to both surprise and acclaim at this year’s Detroit motor show.
The company will return to the famed endurance race in 2016 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its first victory back in 1966. That year, with the original GT40, Ford actually managed a 1-2-3 finish. It followed up with wins in 1967, 1968 and 1969.
In racing trim, the new Ford GT will compete in both the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship, of which the Le Mans race is one part, and the 2016 Tudor United SportsCar Championship. The new GT will make its racing debut at the Rolex 24 being held in Daytona, Florida.
The factory will support Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates in entering teams into both race calendars. Each team plans on entering Le Mans race with four cars.
Ford has yet to provide any concrete details about the race car, but it promises that it will feature the most powerful version yet of the company’s 3.5-litre twin-turbocharged V6 engine.
Final numbers have yet to be released about the road car, but it is said that will have at least 450kW of power on hand.