#82 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE at the 2016 24 Hours of Le MansEnlarge Photo
There has been some controversy though, with talk of Ford and Ferrari “sandbagging” the performance of their cars in earlier rounds of the 2016 World Endurance Championship to prevent stricter Balance of Performance restrictions for the Le Mans race, the highlight of the championship. After stunning qualifying performances by Ford and Ferrari, organizers deduced to make some adjustments to even out the playing field.
Nevertheless, it’s been a monumental effort by Ford. First unveiled to the media at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show as a road car, the new GT’s Le Mans win comes just 395 days after the car in race car form turned a wheel for the first time at Calabogie Motorsports Park in Canada.
In the GTE Am class, the #62 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 Italia of Townsend Bell, Jeff Segal and Bill Sweedler took home the win. AF Corse’s #83 458 Italia driven by Rui Aguas, Emmanuel Collard and François Perrodo finished second while third place went to the #88 Porsche 911 RSR driven by David Heinmeier Hansson, Patrick Long and Khaled Al Qubasi.
#62 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 Italia at the 2016 24 Hours of Le MansEnlarge Photo
While the 24 Hours of Le Mans may be over for another year, there’s still plenty of racing to be done in the remainder of the WEC. The next round is the 6 Hours of Nürburgring on July 24.
In the LMP1 class, Porsche leads the 2016 Manufacturers’ Championship with 127 points and drivers Dumas, Jani and Lieb lead the Drivers’ Championship with 94 points each. In the LMP2 class it’s Signatech Alpine in the lead for manufacturers with 87 points and for drivers it’s Lapierre, Menezes and Richelmi leading with 87 points each.
In the GTE Pro class, it’s Ford Chip Ganassi Racing leading the manufacturers with 60 points and Billy Johnson, Stefan Mücke and Olivier Pla leading the drivers with 60 points each. Finally, in the GTE Am class, it’s AF Corse leading the manufacturers with 93 points and Aguas, Collard and Perrodo leading the drivers with 93 points each.