Two Ford GT racers will compete on April 17th in the 6 Hours of Silverstone: the cars will run in all nine WEC events for 2016, including the 2016 Le Mans 24 Hours – 50 years after the famous Ford GT40 scored the first of four consecutive Le Mans victories.
The Ford GT race car will compete in the LM GTE Pro class, so won’t be going up against the all-conquering Audis and Porsches LMP1 cars, but compete with Porsche 911s, Ferrari 458 Italias and Aston Martin Vantages.
Unlike the original GT40s, the GT thus won’t challenge for an overall Le Mans win, but will be targeting a class win – something Ford feels it’s already capable of doing.
“We believe the Ford GT’s advances in aerodynamics, light-weighting and Ecoboost power will make for a compelling race car that can once again compete on a global stage,” said Raj Nair, Ford group vice president, Global Product Development and chief technical officer.
“The same spirit that drove the innovation behind the first Ford GT still drives us as a company today.”
Silverstone won’t be the new Ford GT racer’s competition debut, though: it’s also competing in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (WTSCC), and so debut at the season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona in January.
Want to see the spiritual successor to the famous Ford GT40 in action? Here’s the European and Stateside dates:
2016 FIA WEC
- 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
2016 IMSA WTSCC
- 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.