Ford Performance has secured racing royalty to display at the 2018 Bathurst 1000, announcing its Le Mans class-winning GT will put on a show for the crowd at the 'Great Race'.
Ryan Briscoe, Australian full-time Ford Chip Ganassi Racing driver, will pilot the EcoBoost V6-powered racer around Mount Panorama circuit ahead of the main event. Ford hasn't said exactly how many laps the car will do, but did promise flying laps.
“Nothing quite compares to Bathurst,” Briscoe said.
“Bathurst as a circuit demands the highest respect at all times. It has the intensity of a circuit like Indy, where its very high speed and you just always need to be 100-percent focused," he went on.
“Of all the circuits we race on, Bathurst is probably closest to Watkins Glen (New York), though, as they both have a very smooth, high-grip surface with a lot of high-speed corners.”
The GT that won its class at Le Mans is powered by a twin-turbo 3.5-litre EcoBoost V6 engine, and is built around a chassis shared with the road car. That means it gets the same teardrop cabin, intricate air intakes and snub nose – but the active aerodynamics are gone, replaced with a proper racing body kit and rear wing.
While they share the same engine, the Balance of Performance regulations mean the road car is actually more powerful. Go figure.
Exactly 50 years after the legendary GT40 took a 1-2-3 finish at Le Mans, the modern car won its class at the same race, beating Ferrari in the process.