It has been perhaps the worst-kept secret of this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours. But now Ford has finally confirmed its factory-entered GTE programme, which will see Ford’s flagship supercar take to the racetrack in both the World Endurance Championship and the Tudor United Sportscar Championship.
The world’s media gathered at the Circuit de la Sarthe this afternoon in eager anticipation of another factory GTE programme. US automotive giant Ford is set to joint the FIA World Endurance Championship with a two-car GTE-Pro effort featuring its brand-new GT40 in 2016. In addition, Ford will also be competing in the Tudor United Sportscar Championship with another two-car programme run by Ford stalwarts Chip Ganassi Racing.
It is still unclear who will run the FIA WEC effort on behalf of the Blue Oval, or indeed which drivers will be behind the wheel when the 2016 kicks off at Silverstone. Current Ford Daytona Prototype drivers Scott Pruett and Joey Hand are strongly rumoured to be involved, but Chip Ganassi said that drivers were “lining up outside the door” to join the programme.
The new Ford GTE car will make its official competitive debut at the 54th Rolex 24 at Daytona on 30 and 31 January 2016. The 2016 Le Mans 24 Hours also marks the 50th anniversary of Ford’s famous victory at La Sarthe in 1966, the first of four consecutive overall wins. The last Ford to compete at Le Mans was the Robertson Racing Ford GT, which finished third in GTE-Am in 2011.
Image source: Ford press material