Ford Motor Company [NYSE:F] Performance has released the fourth and fifth installments in a series of videos on the development of the revived Ford GT. Part four details the process that Ford and Chip Ganassi Racing used to pick the drivers and part five delves into the racing results along the way to Ford's long-awaited return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Ford worked with the Canadian firm Multimatic Motorsports to develop the reborn GT for the street and the track. Ford decided to build the car with the goal of competing in the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans, 50 years after the GT40 won the race in 1966 with a 1-2-3 finish. Two cars are racing for most of the year, but four GTs are competing at Le Mans, all under the banner of Chip Ganassi Racing.
The 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans is coming up this weekend and the outlook is good for Ford, as the GT sits on the pole in the GTE Pro class. But how did Ford get there?
Part five, titled "The Return: Chapter 5: The Road to Le Mans," answers that question. In this video, we see the race results for the duo of racing GTs so far this year. The luck was bad at the beginning, as the GTs had transmission issues at the Rolex 24 At Daytona and one crashed in the next race at the 12 Hours of Sebring.
The cars finished fourth and eighth at the Long Beach Grand Prix, then started hitting their stride, finishing fourth and fifth at the 6 Hours of Silverstone and claiming the GT's first victory at the Laguna Seca Gran Prix. One of the GTs crashed again at the 6 Hours of Spa, but the other car finished second in its class.
Ford and Ford Performance executives Bill Ford, Mark Fields, Raj Nair, Dave Pericak, Edsel Ford, and Henry Ford III talk about what happened at the races. The AutoExtremist editor Peter DeLorenzo shares some of his insights on racing, and so does Multimatic vice president Larry Holt.
In the fourth installment (below), titled "The Return: Chapter 4: The Driver's Perspective," we examine Chip Ganassi's history in racing, and learn from both Ford and Chip's team what qualities it takes to be a successful endurance racer. Ford executives Raj Nair and Edsel Ford weigh in, as do Chip Ganassi Racing's George Howard-Chappell and Mike Hull. Drivers Richard Westbrook, Scott Dixon, Billy Johnson, Stefan Mucke, Marino Franchitti, and Joey Hand also share their thoughts about racing at Le Mans.
For more perspective on these videos, check out the first three installments. Chapter one detailed Ford's decision to build this race car/supercar. Chapter two examined the challenges and advantages involved in engineering a road car and race car simultaneously. Chapter three took a look at the shakedown testing of the race car and its first race in the Rolex 24 At Daytona.