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Thread: Ford Looking at GT3 version of the GT

  1. #1
    Validated User TICK4D-TAS's Avatar
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    Ford Looking at GT3 version of the GT

    From Auto Action this morning......

    A global GT3 version of the Ford GT is being seriously considered to extend the racing life of the former Le Mans class-winner.

    By MARK FOGARTY

    With next year the last of Ford’s current commitment to GTE LM, the company’s worldwide racing boss has revealed that he is looking at a GT3 variant of the GT.

    The road-going version of the Ford GT is based on the racer rather than the other way around.

    While not decided, Ford Performance boss Mark Rushbrook confirmed exclusively to AUTO ACTION that a GT3 version of the GT is under consideration.

    “It is something we have looked at and earlier in the program chose not to do,” Rushbrook said from his office in Detroit. “But it is, candidly, something that we are studying and we may do it.

    “But, certainly, there is no commitment at this point.”

    Since 2016, when the GT won its class on debut at the Le Mans 24 Hours on the 50th anniversary of Ford’s first victory at Le Sarthe with the GT40, factory backed trans-Atlantic Chip Ganassi Racing teams have contested the WEC and American IMSA series.

    USA-based Australian Ryan Briscoe, who leads the American effort, demonstrated the GT at Mount Panorama over the Bathurst 1000 weekend earlier this month.

    Asked if Ford Performance would be interested in contesting the globally important Bathurst 12 Hour with the GT under a rules waiver, Rushbrook declared that he was more interested in contesting the event with a GT4 Mustang and, if it happens, the GT3 version of the GT.

    The Bathurst 12 Hour is staged in early February and has become a marquee GT3 event while allowing mixed entries.

    “First of all, that is such an iconic race, and we watch it over here and wish to be part of it,” Rushbrook said. “But we wouldn’t want to have a waiver to run it as a GTE car when it’s not up against proper competition.

    “But with that race and what it is, and the fact that we have a Mustang GT4, that’s certainly something that could be considered to run in the GT4 class. And as we consider in the future a potential GT3 version of the GT, obviously if we did that and got a GT3 version homologated, then it would be very attractive to take it to the Bathurst 12 Hour.”

    Rushbrook added that a GT3 extension of the Ford GT program was being seriously considered.

    “It is, candidly, something that we are studying and we may do it,” he said.

    Rushbrook confirmed that Ford was committed to the existing GTE LM program until the end of next year.

    “Our commitment originally was to do two years – 2016/2017 – and it was such a fantastic program that we got the approval to extend it to years three and four, so we will run through the end of 2019,” he said. “And a lot of good things continue with this program, now that in its third year.

    “We know the cars very well, we have a really strong team with Ford Chip Ganassi Racing running the cars in IMSA and in WEC, and it’s been a fantastic program in terms of the return and the success that we’ve had with it.

    “And that is part of why we are studying the GT3 program to help extend the success that we’ve had in GTE LM, to be able to run in GT3 series that run around the world, including Australia.

    “That is a market of interest to us, for sure, so we’ll continue to study that option intently and see where it goes.”

    Ford Australia, which withdrew from racing at the end of 2015, imported the GT – an early test vehicle – to run at Bathurst and appear at the Motorclassica show in Melbourne last weekend to emphasise its re-engagement with performance cars and motorsport.

    The Ford Performance brand has been introduced in Australia as an umbrella for the Mustang, Ranger Raptor, Focus ST and Fiesta ST, as well as Broadmeadows’ return to Supercars with the Mustang.

    Ford Performance in Detroit, which designed the GT road and race cars, is helping DJR Team Penske develop the Australian Supercars racing version of the Mustang, which will replace the Falcon next year.

    Production of the locally made Falcon ceased in October 2016, while the Mustang – available in factory made right-hand drive for the first time – is Australia’s top-selling sports car and Ford’s second-biggest seller here.

    Ford Performance is using its powerful CFD design facilities to optimise the paritised aerodynamics of the Mustang racer body shape, which has been adapted to fit over the control Supercars chassis.

    Ford is also eying a local program for the Mustang GT4, one of which was imported for the Triple Challenge handicap speed test demonstrations at Bathurst.

    It was driven by DJRTP co-driver and Australian GT front-runner Tony D’Alberto against Briscoe in the GT and Alex Davison in 23Red Racing’s spare Falcon FGX Supercar.

    The Mustang GT4 belongs to the local arm of Multimatic, which AA understands has firm buyer interest to run it in the Bathurst 12 Hour and Australian GT, possibly with low-level Blue Oval support.
    Full article here ---> https://autoaction.com.au/2018/10/19...XXv7ackdnZv4ZY

    I can see this as good news, i hope they run the GT4 Mustang next year at the B12hr. Also very keen to see a GT3 GT see the light of day.

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  3. #2
    Enjoying FOA's Final Masterpiece Perko's Avatar
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    Nice....
    Ford Heritage : KF Laser, XF Ute, XH Tradesman Ute, EL Futura, AU2 Ute, XD Ute, XH XR6 Ute, BA XR8 Ute, SX Territory, BF XR8 Sedan, EB2 S XR6, EB1 S XR8, WQ Fiesta, FGX XR8, PX2 Ranger

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    Senior Member andrewforbes's Avatar
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    I don't know why you'd stop running the gt program, I'm all in favour of it continuing in gt3 but I'd prefer it the way it is.
    The whole program has been a success in racing n road cars as well for Ford performance.
    Ford needs it supercar, one of the biggest manufacturers in the world and it should have a supercar. It's certainly disappointing when they start then stop then start then stop etc. If ya gonna get involved in something like this, ya gotta go all in, don't ya?

  5. #4
    Validated User TICK4D-TAS's Avatar
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    I can only assume that the GTE LM class is going to change?

    Not sure, but I agree, I hate the way that Ford and in and then out, they do this with every form of motorsport around the world. Rally, Drag, Touring Cars, our Supercars etc. The only one that they seem to be stable with is Nascar.

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