Le Mans 24 Hours will have added bonus this year: return of Ford 50 years after historic 1-2-3 sweep

(Photo/video courtesy Ford Motor Co.)
0 Comments

The Le Mans 24 Hours is always a special event. But this year’s legendary endurance race will be even more special with the return of Ford to the race field.

Joining Team Chip Ganassi Racing, Ford’s return also marks the 50th anniversary of its historic 1-2-3 finish in the 1966 edition of the 24 Hours race at the Circuit de la Sarthe.

The four-car, 12-driver Ganassi stable will compete in the GTE Pro class, squaring off with drivers behind the wheels of several other manufacturer rides including Chevrolet, Ferrari and Aston Martin.

The all-new Ford GT supercar, powered by a second-generation twin-turbo Ford EcoBoost V6 engine, is the end result of several years of development and preparation.

The debut of the GT at Le Mans not only offers promise but also high expectations in the Ford camp.

“The last year has gone incredibly fast and it’s just continued accelerating in the last few weeks,” Mark Rushbrook, Ford Performance motorsports engineering manager, said in a media release.

Added one of the Ford drivers, Ryan Briscoe (who will also be joined by fellow IndyCar drivers Scott Dixon and Sebastien Bourdais), “Since the first time I drove the car, I knew it had potential to be competitive and go on and win races. There’ve been a lot of hours at the racetrack, behind the scenes, to get us where we are today.”

Fellow driver Richard Westbrook also noted, “The engineers have been working flat out, no weekend off, no day off. They worked through Christmas, just improving and improving.”

Follow @JerryBonkowski