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2019 March
of the Month

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Car and Driver: ACO Accepts Four (Ideally, Fully Functioning) Ford GTs to 2016 Le Mans Race

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Ford GT race car

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After a disastrous debut at last weekend’s Rolex 24 endurance race at Daytona, all four of Chip Ganassi’s Ford GT racers have been accepted to compete in the 2016 running of Le Mans. Despite Ford having already declared its intent to go racing at Le Mans, today it became official.

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The announcement should be a touchy-feely reminder that, 50 years ago, Ford’s original GT race cars took first, second, and third place at Le Mans. Instead, thanks to incessant problems both electrical and mechanical at Daytona, the invitation from Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) arrived with more bated breath than it should have. Even Ford’s global performance director Dave Pericak, speaking today in Paris, seemed relieved: “Newcomers are by no means guaranteed an entry, whatever their history or ambitions, so we thank the ACO for giving Ford the opportunity for a four-car assault in June.”

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This isn’t to say we’re not extremely eager to see what the GTs are capable of in the world’s most taxing 24-hour race. With four cars in the contest (as opposed to the two that raced at Daytona), Ford has better odds of avoiding catastrophe but also faces a greater challenge in working out the four cars’ kinks by June. The quartet will run with the numbers 66, 67, 68, and 69, with the first two coming from the FIA World Endurance Championship series and the latter pair plucked from the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship series (where they run the numbers 66 and 67). Start your countdowns, people, for Le Mans 2016 kicks off June 18—we know Ford is watching the clock.

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Ford-GT-race-car-REEL2

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