The newest version of the Ford GT was built so that it could once again dominate the competition at the 24hr Le Mans race. I have always been a fan of the GT, that sinister low slung look looks fast even when it’s standing still. The iconic race at the Circuit de la Sarthe took place this last weekend and the Ford GT actually lived up to the hype when it crossed the finish line first in the GTE Pro class, ahead of long time rival Ferrari with their 488 GTE.
The history of the Ford GT is tied directly to Ferrari, the reason the first GT, known as the GT40, was built was to compete with the dominant Ferrari back in 1964. The Legendary Carrol Shelby worked very closely with these cars and in the 1966 racing season the GT40 finished 1st, 2nd and 3rd at the 12 hrs of Sebring, 24 hrs of Daytona, and of course the 24 hrs of LeMans.
Now even though the new GT might be the best looking to date, I have very mixed feeling about it. That’ss mostly because of that damn ecoboost motor Ford seems to be putting on it’s chips behind. I’m an avid Ford Raptor enthusiast and it just seems so asinine to put that V6 into the Raptor, even if they put the fully tuned GT version that puts out over 600hp! Maybe you can call me old fashioned, but the thought of a V6 being in the baddest production off-road vehicle just seems so wrong. In the GT however it’s not quite as bad, still seems slightly wrong having a V6 providing power though and I’m sure Carrol Shelby is turning over in his grave because of it.
Aside from all that, the GT put on a great show at the 2016 running of Le Mans. It may not have finished in the 1,2,3 running order like it did back in the 60’s, but it wasn’t that far off either. Finishing first was the team of Joey Hand, Kirk Muller and Sebastian Bourdais driving the GT, right behind the was the Ferrari 488 GTE. Bringing up the 3rd and 4th positions sure enough were the other GT’s competing in the race giving Ford a 1,3,4 finish. You have to admit, that’s pretty impressive considering the field of vehicles that Ford was competing against. The C7 Corvette team has been a force to be reckoned with over the past few year but only managed to pick up the 7th position. Plus the Vantage V8 from Aston Martin and the beautiful Porsche 911 RSR.
It’ll be interesting to see what this new ecoboost motor will bring to Ford vehicles, it will be very telling once the Raptor is finally released. Hopefully Ford figures out something that changes the sound the comes from that V6, because I cant imagine that any respectable Raptor owner wants their bad ass off road machine to sound like it has fart can exhaust. Only time will tell. But in the meantime, congratulations on a great win Ford.
Here is a mini documentary Ford Performance made regarding the GT and how it came to be.