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Ford Performance's Big Announcement Is Not Good News

Supercar / 36 Comments

You had to hear it sometime.

According to Sportscar365, Ford has officially confirmed it will end its factory involvement with the Ford GT racing program at the end of the 2019 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and 2018/19 FIA World Endurance Championship seasons. The fact that Ford Performance is winding down its direct involvement with the GT racing program is a clear-cut sign it's preparing to move on to other projects.

As of now, there is no official answer regarding a next-generation GT track or road car. We learned last October that Ford extended GT road car production through 2022. In total, 1,350 examples are planned. Production initially got underway in 2016 so this latest generation GT will have a six-year lifecycle.

As for the GT racing car, well, it still has a future but Ford Performance will soon no longer take a direct role. Instead, Ford Performance director Mark Rushbrook confirmed the automaker will take on a customer support role. "We've talked, at some level, just looking to find the best way to keep the cars on track in the future with some level of involvement from us," Rushbrook said. "The cars are meant to be on track. They're meant to be raced and that's our preference, in trying to optimize where and how they get raced." Rushbrook also added that Ford's future in a factory capacity has not yet been decided.

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In the meantime, it'll simply play a supporting role for racing teams. The GT race car is a very complex piece of machinery that "You can't just push the button and go," Rushbrook added. "There's a lot of knowledge that needs to go along with it to make sure they're raced competitively." But one thing is for certain: Ford Performance itself isn't going anywhere. The GT is also not the only vehicle it races. The Mustang's racing future is very much secured.