Ford is planning to return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans this year with their all-new Ford GT racecar, and CNET’s XCAR recently caught up with the automaker at the Goodwood Festival of Speed to discuss the forthcoming effort.
The automaker says the new GT was actually developed as a racecar first and they later “figured out how to put a license plate on it.” This process is reminiscent of early Le Mans racers like the Ferrari 250 LM, which was designed as a racecar but was later driven on the road by many Ferrari customers.
Speaking of Ferrari, that’s who Ford says they have in their sights at Le Mans. We find this rather weird, as Ferrari isn’t overly interested in doing any kind of racing outside of Formula 1 and doesn’t have a factory backed GT program. Maybe Ford called them out as a reference to their win over the storied Italian marque at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans, but in our opinion, Ford should actually have their eye on Corvette Racing.
As with many factory backed racing efforts, Ford says the purpose of their new GT race program is to help speed development of light weighting and turbocharging technologies. The feedback provided from the racecar will also give engineers additional info on aerodynamics, suspension and other aspects of car development, which should one day trickle down to cheaper models in the Ford range.
Hear what Ford has to say about their outing to the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans in the video below.