By on June 12, 2015

As Cameron’s post earlier today indicated, at a press conference in France, Bill Ford, Mark Fields, Raj Nair and Chip Ganassi announced that Ford will be returning to LeMans to compete in next year’s 24 hour race with a red, white, and blue liveried racing version of the new Ford GT. It will be campaigned by Ganassi’s team.

Recently TTAC ran a post of mine about Nair’s hints that Ford would race again at Circuit de la Sarthe, including his reference to “kicking Ferrari’s ass” in 1966. Twelve-steppers might say that Ferrari is living in Ford’s brain rent-free because beating the folks from Modena still seems to be on the minds of the folks in Dearborn.

To commemorate their return to LeMans and big time endurance racing (the GT will compete in both the World Endurance Championship in Europe and the Tudor series in North America), Ford produced a nicely done promotional video referencing their legacy (and GT40s) from 1966 and their return to LeMans next year.

The video shows the competition version of the new GT racing through Parisian streets and then on to LeMans. In the final segment of the video, the text on the screen says “Ford GT LeMans 2016” before showing us a scene in the hedge-rowed French countryside, with a roadside sign indicating 50 km to LeMans.

As the GT flashes by, a black stallion behind the hedge rears up on its hind legs. The screen then reads, “See You There”.


A black horse up on its hind legs is, of course, Ferrari’s famous brand indicator, the “prancing horse“. While most of Ferrari’s racing effort is geared towards Formula One, the company does compete in the FIA WEC through its Corse Clienti Department that provides race prepped cars to privateers. Ford isn’t aiming for an overall win like in 1966. As sophisticated and aero as the new GT is, it will be competing in the LM GTE Pro class, not against the field leading Audi, Porsche and Toyota hybrids. Last year’s winner in LM GTE Pro? A Ferrari 458 Italia GT2 from the AF Corse team.

Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, a realistic perspective on cars & car culture and the original 3D car site. If you found this post worthwhile, you can get a parallax view at Cars In Depth. If the 3D thing freaks you out, don’t worry, all the photo and video players in use at the site have mono options. Thanks for reading – RJS

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9 Comments on “Ford Not Horsing Around About Kicking Ferrari’s Ass at LeMans...”

  • avatar

    I’ll remember this when the C7.R wins.

  • avatar

    That will be cool. I’d also like to hear TTAC’s take on Nissan’s FWD LMP1 racer. What do they know (or think they know) that 100 years of purpose built racecars doesn’t?

  • avatar

    The LMS GTE class has balance of performance aspects. Ford is horsing around, and it’s all in the name of selling race cars.

    I’m happy to see them back in the GT paddock, but they aren’t really competing…….except for sales.

    • 0 avatar

      Can’t say I blame them. Sales is where the money is. And yes, race victories most likely impact regular car sales; or there would be little point in manufacturers getting involved.

      • 0 avatar

        Ford is interested in selling GTE cars directly. They’ve replaced motorsport with another direct sales activity, and that’s part of the reason no one really cares.

        In their minds, this is a big deal because they deliberated and argued back and forth about building cars for GT3 (lots of sales to useless gentleman’s racing series) or GTE, which is slightly more hardcore BoP and access to LeMans. They chose to make a more serious Ford GT and race in a more serious BoP class.

        This is drama in their pathetic little world, and they had to build a hype machine to spread the jubilation of joining the slightly purer version of BoP racing in the bottom class at LeMans. Also, they need to widen the market and sell Ford GT race cars.

        The drama. Two cars designed to go the same speed will be racing one another in the bottom class at LeMans. This could only be exciting if Ferrari and Ford are trying to undermine VAG’s version of LMP1 regulations.

  • avatar

    Ferrari (and McLaren) have been racing teams that sell road cars for many decades and have huge numbers of passionate fans.
    Ford is a car company that has often reacted against car racing. Every 50 years or so they have some marketing guru who wants to “Stick it to” the regular stars. With enough money thrown in they can probably do it too but they should not expect any passion.
    I wish them well but much prefer the approach of Nissan with its varied, non conventional approaches to LeMans.

  • avatar

    Ford just dabbles in real circuit racing. I’ve not taken FoMoCo racing seriously since they pulled out of F1. NASCAR is all spec these days and really has nothing to do with the engines or the car body. Its about who’s got the best crew chief and facilities. I admire car companies that stick with it no matter what. So yea, Ferrari, McLaren, Audi, Porsche live the racing life. I give GM credit for sticking with Corvette racing too, same for Mopar with the Viper. Ford? Like someone said…its akin to a marketing gimmick. There is no staying power there.

  • avatar

    “Dear Ford,

    Welcome back.

    We’ll be waiting at Le Sarthe for you.


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