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It's official! Ford will once again race at Le Mans in 2016 50 years after the Blue Oval first took the legendary race by storm with a 1-2-3 finish.
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Be sure to scroll down for more photos and videos about this icon! As announced last month, the Ford  GT will return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the first time in decades!  As with most things, it helps to understand the history of this American icon to have a better appreciation for it. The Ford GT was originally produced to win long-distance sports car races against Ferrari (who won at Le Mans six times in a row from 1960 to 1965).  As the story goes, Henry Ford II had wanted a Ford entered into the Le Mans 24 hour race since the early 1960’s.  In the spring of 1963, Ford received word that Enzo Ferrari was interested in selling to Ford Motor Company.  Ford spent several million dollars in an audit of Ferrari and the company’s assets along with legal negotiations, only to have Ferrari cut off talks in the late stages due to of all things, a dispute over control of Ferrari’s racing program. Enzo wanted full control over Ferrari’s racing program.  When Enzo found out he wouldn’t be allowed to race at the Indianapolis 500 if the deal with Ford went through because Ford didn’t want competition from Ferrari, Enzo withdrew his offer to sell Ferrari out of spite.  Enraged, Henry Ford II directed his racing division to build a “Ferrari-beater” on the World Endurance Racing Circuit. The project car was named the GT (Grand Touring) with the 40 representing its overall height of 40 inches measured at the windshield as required by the rules.  After a few races with mixed results, the program was handed over to Carroll Shelby after the 1964 Nassau race.  This started a Ford-Shelby  relationship which continues today. With the racing program in the hands of Shelby, three Ford GT40s were entered into the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans.  The GT40 achieved a first, second and third place finish at that race and would win that race four consecutive times through 1969.  The “Ferrari-beater” became a reality!
Ford Takes On Ferrari and Wins the 24 Hours of Le Mans
Animation video of the 2016 GT
The making of the 2016 Ford GT
On June 12, 2015 Ford announced it is returning to one of the most prestigious automobile races in the world with its new Ford GT race car, based on the all-new ultra-high-performance supercar that goes on sale next year. The Ford GT race car will compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans – referred to by many as the Grand Prix of Endurance and Efficiency – starting next year. Revealed today at the famous circuit in Le Mans, France, Ford GT will compete in the Le Mans GT Endurance class for professional teams and drivers (LM GTE Pro). The new race car – a further proof point of Ford innovation – is based on the all-new Ford GT supercar unveiled in January. Both the production car and race car will arrive in 2016 to mark the 50th anniversary of Ford GT race cars placing 1-2-3 at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans.
In there own words with Carroll Shelby

Last week Ford announced that the iconic Ford GT will return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2016.The car will be available to you as a 2016 model. We will be posting more information and history about this American Titan!Here is a short animated peek at the Ford GTwww.SchmitBros.com#Ford #GT #GT40 #24HoursofLeMans #LeMans

Posted by Schmit Bros. on Friday, July 10, 2015
Posted Wednesday, August 5, 2015
© Schmit Bros. Automotive
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