The Ford GT racing programmes will end following the conclusion of the 2019 WEC and IMSA seasons.
Ford Performance has said that it may continue to race the Ford GT beyond 2019, but a recent report from Motorsport.com indicates that Ford is evaluating other series for its racing future as well.
The automaker is believed to be sizing up an entry into Formula E, with Mark Rushbrook, global head of Ford Performance, saying the company is interested in “electrified motorsports.” Rushbrook acknowledged that Formula E was an option for the automaker, but said it has yet to make a decision on an entry.
“We have been looking very closely through 2018 across all different forms of racing to understand what the options are for electrified motorsport, whether hybrid or full electric,” Rushbrook told Motorsport.com.
“We continue to study all or most of those options, and I suspect we will be making decisions in early ’19,” he added.
Formula E is set to meet its 12-team, 24-car capacity when Porsche joins for the 2019-2020 season, but Ford could still enter the series. As Rushbrook explained, the automaker would simply have to enter a partnership with a pre-existing team on the Formula E calendar instead of starting its own program from scratch.
Ford is understood to have been in talks with the Roger Penske-owned Dragon team last year over a potential tie-up.
Ford is also interested in IMSA’s top-tier DPi prototype class, with Rushbrook saying the reasonable budget makes an entry tempting. Ford is adjusting its corporate strategy to place an emphasis on electrification, though, and DPi does not currently allow for hybrid powertrains. The rules could change, however, which might be enough to convince Ford to enter.
“While DPi isn’t electrified today, I don’t know that it won’t be in the future,” Rushbrook said.
It’s likely that the Ford GT will go into the race history books after 2019, never to be raced in a competition setting again. What will take its place is anybody’s guess, but we’ll certainly miss seeing the low, long and wide Ford GTs on the IMSA and WEC grids.
Photos via IMSA/Chip Ganassi Racing