A top driver line-up has been confirmed for Ford’s return to endurance racing for the 2016 WEC season.
Ford has made its intention to win at Le Mans very clear, with Marino Franchitti, Stefan Mücke, Olivier Pla and Andy Priaulx confirmed for the company’s 2016 return to the World Endurance Championship.
The Ford Chip Ganassi Racing team is running a total of two cars in the FIA World Endurance Championship, as well as another two cars in the US IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The intention is to bring the two teams together for a full-on assault on the Le Mans 24 Hours, 50 years on from the company’s iconic 1-2-3 win.
After Henry Ford tried (and failed) to buy Ferrari in the early 1960s, the company set out to do one thing: Destroy Ferrari on its home territory. One of the great motor racing rivalries was born, and after some serious development, the GT40 was successful in 1966. The return to Le Mans this year is partly to honour this victory, with a class win the ultimate target.
‘Make no mistake, we are racing to win,’ commented Dave Pericak, Ford Performance global director. ‘To compete at this level you need the best car, the best team and the best drivers, and we have selected Stefan, Olivier, Andy and Marino to drive the Ford GT to take on the best in the world.’
The drivers have a proven track record for winning, but the new Ford GT is untested. Powered by a new twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 engine, the most powerful Ford has ever produced, the carbon fibre racer has been heavily modified for track use. It’s set to make its racing debut at the Rolex 24 at Daytona, which takes place on January 30-31.