By on June 12, 2015

FORD_LE_MANS_10

Nearly 50 years ago, Ford threw down against Ferrari at Le Mans, sweeping the podium in so doing. Come 2016, Ford aims to do the same with the 2017 Ford GT.

The 2017 GT will compete in the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship season in LM GTE Pro, as well as the 2016 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship season, where it will make its debut at the 24 Hours of Daytona in January.

The two-team effort will be led by Chip Ganassi Racing, who will campaign four GTs at Le Mans, with Roush Racing responsible for preparing the exotic’s 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 for endurance competition; driver announcements will come later.

Our own Ronnie Schreiber will have more on the Ford GT’s return to Le Mans later on; for now, these photos and the promo video will do.

2016 Ford GT FIA-WEC Gallery

2016 Ford GT IMSA-TUDOR Gallery

[Photo credit: Ford]

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34 Comments on “2017 Ford GT Entering 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans...”


  • avatar

    My word, that livery is horrendous.

  • avatar
    John R

    Yeah, the livery isn’t really blowing up my skirt either.

    And I know I’m alone, but everytime I see the “EcoBoost” branding my eyes want roll out of their sockets. I realize that automakers have to call their own interpetation of direct injection and turbocharging something, but something about the “EcoBoost” marketing smacks of effort.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      “TwinForce” was better.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      I’d like it better if it were more honest. I propose “Eco/Boost”.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        I just wish they didn’t try to turn GTDI engines into a brand. However, Ford marketing gonna market.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        danio3834 – agreed you either get eco or boost.

        “Eco” is the new overused term ranking right up there with “all new”.

        We have Ram “eco”diesel and GM’s “Eco”tec V8’s.

        The Ecodiesel gives good fuel economy but any small diesel in vehicle that has the capacity of a sedan will get good mpg.

        The Ecotec engines are just new generation SBC’s. That engine line always delivered fairly decent mpg.

    • 0 avatar
      Higheriq

      And effort is a bad thing? No effort smacks of laziness.

    • 0 avatar
      LeMansteve

      @John R

      You and me both.

      Pick one: economy or boost. You can’t have both simultaneously. If, as they say, you want to “make V8 power with a V6” by way of turbocharging, you will generally still need the same total amount of air and fuel.

      Independent of turbos and boost, there are other benefits of downsizing cylinder count such as reduced internal friction, reduced static mass and reduced rotating mass. I just feel those benefits can easily be negated in the real world where it can be hard to “stay out of the boost”.

      • 0 avatar
        Willyam

        As Spock would say: “That sounds logical.”

        In order to move a big, heavy truck laden with chrome, differentials, and plastic with a smaller motor fast enough to keep pace with the other big, heavy trucks in traffic, drivers must apply copious boost. Hence the Ecoboost complaints about fuel economy.

      • 0 avatar
        05lgt

        What do you want, the logo to change with the throttle position or boost pressure? “Eco or Boost (just not both at the same time)” takes up a lot of space on a fender or magazine ad. Personally I’m glad every car and truck doesn’t sport “Direct Injection” logo’s the way the stupid “Turbo” text ended up on so many a couple/few decades ago.

  • avatar
    Veee8

    I wonder if the cabin will have a sound symposer of the 427 screaming away at full chat?…the V6 doesn’t sound anywhere near as sweet but I’m biased.

  • avatar
    TW5

    The Ford GT40 was competing for outright wins in the prototype class. Now they are running BoP LM GTE cars for class wins.

    Ford is interested in selling cars and stealing press. They aren’t really interested in competition, but I can’t blame them when the current LMP1 cars are hideous and technologically irrelevant.

    Maybe they’ll inspire some LMP1 privateer teams to purchase Ecoboost power.

    • 0 avatar
      Fred

      Hybrids, diesels, FWD! advanced aero, yea that’s all irrelevant. Frankly the Ford if not all GT cars seem kind of old fashion to me.

    • 0 avatar
      Jacob

      Highly disagree with this one. LMP1 is not just one of the road-relevant racing series, it is _the_ most road-relevant racing series. It is actually surprising to find a comment on an automotive forum claiming otherwise. LMP1 cars have hybrid drivetrains, both petrol and diesel, battery, super-capacitor, and flywheel based, turbo and naturally aspirated. It’s like an advanced lab for technology development. Frankly, F1 racing looked like an embarrassment compared to WEC’s LMP1 from 2013 on.

      It would have been nice if Ford entered into LMP1, but I can’t blame them for deciding that its money is better spent elsewhere. I do like what Ford is doing with the new GT. A new halo supercar, and I bet it will be executed a lot better ways than say Acura or Lexus past or future supercars, and unlike Acura or Lexus, Ford is taking it to racing in Le Mans, and that’s actually cool. My understanding they took the 3.5L ecoboost that’s sold in Taurus SHO and trucks, and built a racing version for Daytona Prototypes starting last year. Now they’re effectively taking this race tested engine and put it into a production-based GT, and also the GT race car.

  • avatar
    Fordson

    Jesus Christ – tough crowd.

    Ford is returning to Le Mans with a new Ford GT, on the 50th anniversary of its first win there – the stuff of legend. And this is not only a big nothing to you people…it’s a NEGATIVE thing.

    I’m sure all those naturally-aspirated cars will get better fuel economy on the Mulsanne Straight at 240 mph.

    WTF am I doing here…

    • 0 avatar

      No Shit, right? More Racing competition is better for everyone… Eeeesh.

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      If you understand the world of BoP racing, you have no reason to get excited. It’s a production race car, designed to turn the same lap time as every other car in the same class, while allowing Ford to offset some of the GT production model costs by selling race cars.

      This is the same thing McLaren did when the early-90s recession hit. Ferrari and McLaren convinced the FIA to rearrange some rules and sanction the BPR series so they had an outlet for their excess volume. The Ferrari LM and McLaren F1 GTR were born. This time ACO made the changes to compete with FIA GT3/GT1.

      20 years from now, people will be excited to see these things at track days and club races. They mean almost nothing now.

      • 0 avatar
        Fordson

        Well, I think I’m going to get a little excited – even WITHOUT your permission. I’m really living on the edge here…

      • 0 avatar
        Jacob

        BoP racing can still be pretty exciting. Remember that WEC is an _endurance_ championship. In a 6, 12, or 24 hour race outright speed over a single lap does not necessarily win the race. For the GT cars, the biggest danger there is not to crash out of the race, or run into mechanical issues. A lot of racing series also limit the number of BoP adjustments made per year. So the team that has the chassis with the best development potential may still overcome the BoP “equalization” and come out on top. And LMP1 is also based on BoP-like technical rules as well.

        Also, BoP adjustments that equalize car lap times don’t always work right. One example is the TUDOR TUSCC racing, where BoP has already made sure that DP and LMP2 cars have the same lap time, and P2 cars can even sit on poles, yet P2 cars can’t win a single race. So being faster in specific section of the race track, which BoP may allow can be crucial.

        I don’t know how selling something like 10 GT race cars per year could possible offset Ford’s GD R&D costs. Moreover, the GT2 race cars are significantly distant from the production car they have been homologated with. I took a stroll through the WEC and TUSCC pit lane a few times, and those cars look vastly different from production cars. Corvette, Dodge and Ferrari are the width of the school bus. Plastic body panels, etc. They have little to do with the production car, other than sharing the same architecture, dimensions, and engine block.

    • 0 avatar
      rpn453

      Yeah, I think it’s a beauty. I look forward to seeing it on track.

      Hopefully we’ll get Fox Sports Racing working here in Canada by next year so I can watch it.

      • 0 avatar
        Eric Aubanel

        IMSA has been offering a free livestream to Canada to TUSC. WEC is available online by subscription. Online is way better because no ad breaks!

        • 0 avatar
          rpn453

          I haven’t paid any attention to Tudor. Maybe I should give it a try if it’s free. I could replace F1 with that! F1 is terrible this year. They can’t drive fast or they’ll use too much fuel, and can’t corner fast or they’ll ruin their tires.

          Maybe I’ll have to get into the online TV thing. I never watch anything live though. I just DVR and watch at my leisure. I imagine most of those online services allow delayed HD viewing with no spoilers. It would work for me if I could do it through the PS3. It just seemed so much easier to pay $5 a month for Speed Channel to get Le Mans, MotoGP, and others in HD last year.

          I guess I’m slow to transition from what’s familiar to me. I don’t watch ads, but it certainly would be nice to not lose those blocks of race time. Especially during short races like MotoGP.

          • 0 avatar
            Jacob

            Actually, this and the last year F1 cars could race hard without worrying about ruining their tires most of the time. That’s because Pirelli has made quite conservative tires. And most cars have enough fuel to race hard. Of course, there have been occasions this year, just like in other racing series, when some cars started running into fuel conservation issues by the end of race.

            The real problem with F1 racing is that the top 2 podium spots are effectively uncontested. In addition, Ferrari is still better than the rest, and Williams follows next. So in the races where no unpredictable events happen, like crashes, spins, or strategy mistakes, the cars should always finish in Mercedes-Ferrari-Williams order, which is of course somewhat boring to watch. And Rosberg can’t even challenge Hamilton any more. I still watch F1 races because I find moments where Vettel has to start from the back, like in the last race, or when the Mercedes gang makes a mistake, like in Monaco GP fairly entertaining.

            The big issue is that Mercedes engine and chassis combo is vastly superior to the competition. Even if Ferrari and Renault wished to pour the resources into engine development to catch Mercedes, they simply can’t because of engine homologation rules, which limit the amount of modifications made each year. All manufacturers agreed to those rules in advance, and now there is little they can do about it.

            Having said that, I think the mid-pack competition is pretty good. In most races, all the Red Bulls, Toro Rossos, Lotuses, Saubers, and Force Indias are intermixed and are racing hard. While it is predictable that by the end of year the WCC order will be Mercedes, Ferrari, Williams, Red Bull, I have no idea who will take the 5th place.

    • 0 avatar
      05lgt

      I don’t hate the marketing, but … since they’re “coming back” to compete for a class win and not an overall win, maybe less fanfare is in order. If they succeed and get a lot of US eyes on Le Mans, I think a lot of those eyes will be let down watching the LMP1’s scream by the hometown hero they were told to watch for. Since the US buyers will never watch the race in any kind of numbers, being able to brag about a class win works pretty well though, no one reads the small print.

      • 0 avatar
        rpn453

        The GT cars don’t appear that much slower than the LMP1s when viewed through a TV camera. People will probably see them as real sports cars that can be driven on the street which are just a little slower than those crazy-looking serious race cars.

        If they’re going to be spending huge dough on marketing, I’d prefer that it go toward supporting racing!

        I enjoy watching all the different types of vehicles and drivers interact out there.

  • avatar
    05lgt

    That rear diffuser better be amazingly efficient, because it’s amazingly ugly from the side views.

  • avatar
    dougjp

    The aero evident on the pic up top looks awesome.

    Hope the engine is more capable against its class competitors than it is this year against the DP V8 competition.

  • avatar
    Eric Aubanel

    Well, I’m excited. Although I agree the livery could be better, and my wife thinks Ecoboost is a laundry additive. I’m not expecting great results in 2016, but I hope they stick with it. Viper SRT took several seasons to come up to speed, and then pulled the plug last fall!

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