Listen closely and you can hear hearts breaking in Dearborn.
In fact it did win, initially, taking the top place in the LMGTE Am category to secure a class win upon its departure from endurance sports-car racing. That is, right up until the officials disqualified two of the Fords – including the class winner – and handed the crown instead to the runner-up. Tough break, Ford.
"During the post-race technical checks, the race stewards officially disqualified the #68 (Ford Chip Ganassi Team USA's Ford GT) and the #85 (Keating Motorsports' Ford GT) for breach of fuel tank capacity regulations,” declared the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO), which runs the famous round-the-clock race. Word has it that the tanks were measured in post-race scrutineering at 96.1 kilograms (211.8 pounds) – just 0.1 kg (0.2 lbs) over the 96-kg (211.6-lb) limit.
The #68 car had finished fourth in the LMGTE Pro class and 23rd overall, the best result of any of the six Ford GTs entered this year.
The bigger deal was the disqualification of the #85 car that was entered in the LMGTE Am class by privateer Keating Motorsports, and had initially taken the class win. With Keating knocked out of the results, the Am-class win now goes to Team Project 1's Porsche 911 RSR.
It's a disappointing outcome for Ford, but the GT isn't leaving with an empty trophy cabinet. The (North) American supercar won the LMGTE Pro class at Le Mans upon its debut in 2016, but it failed to repeat the feat (or win the FIA World Endurance Championship) in the years since.