After announcing the discontinuation of their works GT program in both the FIA World Endurance Championship and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Ford will run retro and champion liveries on their four works cars at their final 24 Hours of Le Mans outing.
In celebration of their successful history at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Ford will run liveries predominately celebrating the success of the Ford GT40, which took Le Mans overall victories consistently from 1966-69.
The two WEC cars, Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK #66 and #67, celebrate the past with the 1966 and 1967 liveries respectively. The striking black and red liveries of the past Le Mans victors will be a welcome sight back to the Circuit de la Sarthe, additionally considering that the new ‘Ford vs Ferrari’ documentary, that focuses on the story of the 1966 campaign and victory that Ford put together, is coming out later this year.
The IMSA #69 takes on the well-recognised livery of the 1966 second-placed Ford with the striking light blue and orange livery, whilst the #68 will wear the more modern 2016 livery which was on the cars when they took class victory on their return to Le Mans, 50 years after their first historic Le Mans win.
The sole Am-running Ford, under the Keating Motorsport banner, has also followed suit of the Pro cars, taking on the 2016 livery as well but in the purple colour of their title sponsor, Wynn’s.
“In 2016, Ford returned to Le Mans to mark the 50th anniversary of our incredible 1966 win and we celebrated in the best way possible by winning the race [in class].” Ford executive chairman Bill Ford told Motorsport.com. “To stand on that podium on behalf of the employees was a proud moment for me and I look forward returning to Le Mans this year to support the team as we approach our final race in this chapter.”
Ford nearly took a one-two-three in class during the 2016 race. The team have not stood on the top step at Le Mans since then, and they will be pushing hard to wrap up their WEC and Le Mans appearances with another class victory.
It is assumed that, at the final race of the 2019 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Ford Performance will run a similar tribute on their cars to thank their employees and teams for all their hard work during the last four years they competed in GT racing.
Ford could be back on the Le Mans grid as early as the 2021 if the ‘Hypercar’ class is brought into WEC as planned; the American manufacturer has expressed interest in being part of the new top-class of the world endurance series.