Saturday, Apr 20 07:30am
AUTHOR: Simon Chapman

Factory-backed Ford GT program coming to an end

Ford has announced that it will no longer field full factory-backed outfits next season.


Factory efforts via Chip Ganassi Racing were contested across the FIA World Endurance Championship and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.


It’s not the end of the Ford GT GTE though with Ford Performance set to continue their involvement via customer supported entries and a semi-factory team next year.


The move wasn’t entirely unexpected, Ford initially announcing a five-year run with the car, though there were some hopes the program would be extended.


“We’ve talked, at some level, just looking to find the best way to keep the cars on track in the future with some level of involvement from us,” Ford Performance Motorsport Director Rushbrook told Sportscar365.


“The cars are meant to be on track. They’re meant to be raced and that’s our preference, in trying to optimize where and how they get raced.”


This year will see the Ford GT run under a privateer team, Keating Motorsports, for the first time in its short history.


Rushbrook made no secret of the fact they’re in discussions with teams to run the platform next year. Chip Ganassi Racing could still run cars as well as Multimatic Motorsports.


The future of Ford as a factory squad remains unclear at the moment. Currently there are talks surrounding the FIA World Endurance Championship and their yet-to-be-confirmed top flight division as well as the possibility of an entry in the leading IMSA class, DPi.