In recognition of Ford’s numerous achievements in past Le Mans races, organizers Automobile Club de l'Quest (ACO) allowed all four Ford GT cars to participate in the 2016 Le Mans 24 Hours. This comes fifty years after Ford's historic domination of the 1966 Le Mans with Ford cars occupying the first, second and third spots of the final result.
It turns out that the memorable 1966 Le Mans finish was just the start as Ford went on to win four consecutive times from 1966 to 1969. Dave Pericak, Ford Performance global director, thanked ACO for allowing all four Ford GTs on the Le Mans entry list, adding that no one is really guaranteed entry to the prestigious annual race.
Representing Ford in the race will be its all-new generation Ford GT super car, the zenith of Ford's Performance Division. This model is set to compete for the GTE Pro Class this coming June18-19. The new car will feature a lightweight carbon fiber body, an efficient but powerful Ford EcoBoost engine, as well as an aerodynamically tested-design.
Essentially, it was built to compete head on with other established and equally famous cars like Corvette, Aston Martin, Ferrari and Porsche. Chip Gannasi, owner of Ford Chip Ganassi Racing, expressed satisfaction in being able to race all four Ford GTs in his stable, adding that although the Le Mans 24 Hours will be challenging, he is confident that his team will do well being well-prepared.
The race will be his team's opportunity to show what the new Ford GT super car is capable of. The two cars that used #66 and #67 in the last FIA World Endurance Championship will retain their numbers for the coming Le Mans while the other two GT cars that raced in the IMSA WeatherTechSportsCar Championship will be given a new number.
Car #66 in FIA will be assigned the #68 while car #67 will be given the #69. The company has not yet announced the identities of the drivers that will be handling the four cars. With over 25 years of experience in the auto racing industry, Chip Ganassi is known as a very innovative racing team owner. He has certainly proven his competence with his team's numerous success runs, which at last count includes 18 championships and 170 victories.
These include one Daytona 500, one Bridyard 400, four Indianapolis 500s, 12 Hours of Sebring and Six Roles 24 At Daytonas. Currently, his teams have four cars in the Verizon IndyCar Seires, one car in the NASCAR XFINITY Series Endurance Championships, two cars in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and two Supercars in the Red Bull Global Rallycross. Ganassi is headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with high-tech race shop facilities in Indianapolis and Concord, N.C.