Ford discloses that its newest GT race car will make its European racing debut at the U.K. Silverstone Circuit in April 2016. The GT was originally shown last June at Le Mans. For the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship’s (WEC) opening round, Ford will line up two cars.
They are then expected to compete for the Royal Automobile Club Tourist Trophy during the GT-Endurance Pro Class. This is merely the first of nine rounds that have been revealed by FIA to occur in 2016. It will be during this series that the brand will once again participate in the Le Sarthe circuit in France.
This is the same series that the GT40 won 50 years ago, the first of its four consecutive Le Mans titles. It is lightweight, carries the EcoBoost power, and has been applied with the latest advances in aerodynamic, making the GT a powerful race car.
Raj Nair believes that this means that Ford is ready again to compete on the global stage. Nair is the chief technical officer as well as the Ford group vice president Global Product Development. Let the race begin indeed, Nair proudly declares.
The new GT has the same EcoBoost 3.5‑litre engine of the Ford GT super car, which was originally unveiled last January. However the GT race car now uses advanced lightweight composites made mainly of carbon fiber resulting in a light yet rigid chassis.
The race car and the production car will arrive in the market in 2016. This is the same year that Ford will celebrate the 50th anniversary of its GT40 place 1-2-3 at the Hours of Le Mans in 1966. This victory was in fact repeated by the brand at the same series in 1967, 1968, and 1969.
Participating in the 2016 FIA WEC is the GT Race Car that will also be in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (WTSCC). This global competition debut will happen in January during the Rolex 24 in Daytona, Florida. Ford will announce the driver details at a future date.
Aside from the eight rounds, there will be an extra race to be held in Mexico. However this remains to be confirmed since any agreements have yet to be finalized.
Below is the 2016 schedule of the FIA World Endurance Championship that will take place in four continents:
- March 25/6: The Prologue, Circuit Paul Ricard, France
- April 17: 6 Hours of Silverstone, Great Britain
- May 7: WEC 6 Hours of Spa, Belgium
- June 5: 24 Hours of Le Mans Test Day
- June 18/19: 24 Hours of Le Mans, France
- July 24: 6 Hours of Nürburgring, Germany
- Sept. 4: 6 Hours of Mexico City, Mexico (TBC)
- Sept. 17: 6 Hours of Circuit of the Americas (Lone Star Le Mans), U.S.
- Oct. 16: 6 Hours of Fuji, Japan
- Nov. 6: 6 Hours of Shanghai, China
- Nov. 19: 6 Hours of Bahrain, Bahrain
Below is the schedule for the 2016 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship:
- Jan 30/31: Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, Fla.**
- Mar 19: Sebring International Raceway, Sebring, Fla.**
- Apr 16: Long Beach Street Circuit, Long Beach, Calif. (WeatherTech Championship Prototype (P), Prototype Challenge (PC) and GT Le Mans (GTLM) only)
- May 1: Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Monterey, Calif.
- June 4: Belle Isle Park, Detroit, Mich. (P, PC and GT Daytona (GTD) only)
- July 3: Watkins Glen International, Watkins Glen, N.Y.**
- July 10: Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
- July 23: Lime Rock Park, Lakeville, Conn. (PC, GTLM and GTD only)
- Aug. 7: Road America, Elkhart Lake, Wis.
- Aug. 21: Virginia International Raceway, Alton, Va. (GTLM and GTD only)
- Sept. 17: Circuit of The Americas, Austin, Texas
- Oct. 1: Road Atlanta, Braselton, Ga.**