A Look Back as Ford GT Retires from Racing

It’s the end of the run for the Ford GT. The car has now finished it’s fourth year of racing and it’s ready to head out to pasture. But hey, it had a good run.

For a start, it won its class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2016, which was the car’s original target: Pay homage to the 50th anniversary of the company’s win over Ferrari. It won 18 more races too, and Ford says it helped develop and prove tech that’s making its way to road cars.

“The GT program was intended to be a halo for the company in terms of what we do and what we’re capable of doing,” Mark Rushbrook, global director of Ford Performance Motorsports, told Automotive News. “The race car element is the pinnacle of that, allowing us to put cars in front of fans around the world and prove we can compete against the best companies and win races and championships.”

That’s tech like the EcoBoost. The 3.5L V6 was still new in the F-150 when the GT racer started on track, and the racing success certainly played a part in proving to shoppers that a twin-turbo V6 could do what their V8 had been doing. Ford also learned about making vehicles lighter and making improvements to aerodynamics, again things that made it to road cars.

From the first event for the car, where both entries suffered from multiple issues at the Rolex 24 at Daytona to the Petit Le Mans last week in Atlanta, the Ford GT racer saw ups and downs, but mostly ups.

The road car will be built until 2022 or until all 1,350 are complete.

Automotive News

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