The Chip Gnassi Racing team has an impressive lineup.
Just 50 years ago it was 1966. That sounds droll, but to Le Mans fans it means it’s been 50 years since the start of four consecutive Le Mans victories made by the Ford GT40, the fourth and final happening in 1969. From what we understand, they were pretty mean machines. Now in 2016 four Ford GTs have come to compete in GT racing, two in the Le Mans Grand Touring Endurance (LMGTE) and two more in the United SportsCar Championship. Apparently the addition of the Ford GTs to the LM entry list was last-minute.
“Newcomers are by no means guaranteed an entry, whatever their history or ambitions,” Ford Performance Global Director Dave Pericak, said. So we thank the ACO for giving Ford the opportunity for a four car assault in June.” ACO is the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, which organizes the Le Mans 24 hours. The 2016 LM Ford GT is based on the new Ford GT supercar, which uses a 3.5-liter Ecoboost V6, which of course is turbocharged. The car weighs just over 2,500 pounds, which is barely less than 1,000 pounds lighter than the previous generation, which debuted in 2005. That engine is capable of over 600 horsepower, and the car’s body is made of carbon fiber.
No manual transmission will be available, but the car will have active aerodynamics. That is pretty cool, considering it is expected to cost around $400,000. The cars will be racing for the Chip Gnassi Racing team and will be carrying the numbers 66, 67, 68 and 69, presumably to commemorate the four consecutive victories.“I’m very happy that we can run all four Ford GTs at Le Mans,” said Chip Ganassi, owner of Ford Chip Ganassi Racing. “It will be a big challenge for us but one we are thrilled to undertake. We have prepared well and can't wait to get the Ford GTs onto the track there and show everyone what they can do.”