The automaker confirmed the extended motorsport program for the GT on Saturday, explaining that the program is helping it to test and develop new technologies beneficial to its road cars.
Some of the areas Ford says motorsport is helping it are powertrains, lightweight materials and aerodynamics.
And the GT’s motorsport program is also helping Ford build its performance cred outside of the United States. The car finished first, third and fourth in the GTE Pro class for production-based cars in the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans in mid-June, and its drivers Billy Johnson, Stefan Mücke and Olivier Pla are currently leading the class in the Drivers’ standings in the WEC, which is more suited to global audiences than the American-based USCC.
“We wanted to make sure everyone knows that we are committed to sports car racing globally with WEC and IMSA,” Ford product chief Raj Nair said in a statement. “The stated goal of our Ford GT program was to win Le Mans, and we're very proud that we were able to do that in our first year.”