Ford could use GT as basis for WEC hypercar

Ford hasn't ruled out entering the hypercar concept FIA World Endurance Championship class with an evolution of its current GTE class contender.

Ford could use GT as basis for WEC hypercar

The US manufacturer has revealed that it is evaluating how the Ford GT might fit into the category set for the 2020/21 season after the rules shift last month to incorporate road-going hypercars into what was originally envisaged as a class for lookalike prototypes

Ford Performance Motorsports boss Mark Rushbrook told Motorsport.com: "It was a very interesting development last month when we learned what was happening with the hypercar rules. It would give us the opportunity to race our GT as a road-based car in that class. 

"It is something we are looking at and asking what it would take to compete with our car in that class and whether it makes sense."

But Rushbrook stressed that "no decisions had been made" at time when Ford is still formulating its motorsport future. 

Ford was involved in the process that led to the hypercar concept prototype rules published last year, but it always stressed a desire for common rules straddling the WEC and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

GTE programmes could continue without works backing

The revelation of the Blue Oval's renewed interest in the hypercar category comes at a time when its rhetoric has changed over the future of its twin assaults under the Chip Ganassi Racing banner on GTE Pro in WEC and GT Le Mans in IMSA. 

Rushbrook had previously insisted that there was no decision on whether to continue the programme beyond its current commitments through to the end of the 2018/19 WEC and the 2019 IMSA seasons. But now he has stated that there will be no full-factory programme with the Ford GT beyond those campaigns. 

Asked if there would be no continuation of the factory programmes, Rushbrook said: "That is correct."

But he didn't rule out some kind of semi-factory arrangement involving the US Ganassi team and the Multimatic WEC squad that races under its name.

"In these coming months we will be making decisions about what we do with our GT race cars," explained Rushbrook. "Do we continue to support them racing in some way or do we sell them to private individuals to go racing?"

Rushbrook stressed that the movements in the prototype landscape could have an effect on its decisions regarding the GT programme. 

"We love sportscar racing and need to see what the future might be," he said. "Understanding what the future holds is critical for us and impacts what we do with out current GT cars."

Ford is engaged in a wide-ranging evaluation of its motorsport future, which has included looking at Formula E, IMSA's DPi category and the World Rallycross Championship. 

#67 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT, GTLM: Ryan Briscoe, Richard Westbrook, Scott Dixon

#67 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT, GTLM: Ryan Briscoe, Richard Westbrook, Scott Dixon

Photo by: Scott R LePage / LAT Images

shares
comments
WEC drops moveable aero from 2020/21 rules

Previous article

WEC drops moveable aero from 2020/21 rules

Next article

Alonso unlikely to remain with Toyota for 2019/20

Alonso unlikely to remain with Toyota for 2019/20
Load comments

About this article

Series WEC
Author Gary Watkins
The philosophical problems the WEC's new Hypercar class is already facing Prime

The philosophical problems the WEC's new Hypercar class is already facing

Most of the column inches after the World Endurance Championship's opener were centred around the relative pace of the Hypercar class and the LMP2s, but there's another question that needs addressing in order for the new division to have a successful future

WEC
May 7, 2021
How stumbling Toyota drew first blood in the WEC's new era Prime

How stumbling Toyota drew first blood in the WEC's new era

Amid concerns that the new Hypercar class would be upstaged on debut by the spec LMP2 machines at Spa, Toyota delivered the pole and victory that the vast majority of observers expected. But neither car had a clean run, which gave the grandfathered Alpine LMP1 an unexpected shot at glory.

WEC
May 4, 2021
What to expect from sportscar racing's bold new Hypercar era Prime

What to expect from sportscar racing's bold new Hypercar era

A slim field of three cars will be entered in the Hypercar class for the first round of the World Endurance Championship's post-LMP1 age. But there are plenty of reasons for optimism with the new wave of manufacturer entries and competing class philosophies just around the corner

WEC
Apr 29, 2021
How Aston Martin scaled new heights in the Prodrive era Prime

How Aston Martin scaled new heights in the Prodrive era

The 2021 FIA World Endurance Championship kicks off at Spa this weekend, but for the first time since its 2012 inception there will be no factory-run Aston Martins in the GTE Pro class. That's especially notable because as a works entity, the Prodrive era of Aston Martin Racing that began in 2005 has been a success from the very start.

WEC
Apr 27, 2021
How 'Brilliant' Bob Wollek lived up to his nickname Prime

How 'Brilliant' Bob Wollek lived up to his nickname

Sportscar racing lost one of it's greatest talents 20 years ago today when Bob Wollek was knocked from his bicycle prior to the Sebring 12 Hours. The enigmatic Frenchman never won the Le Mans 24 Hours, but many still remember today why 'Brilliant Bob' became a legend

WEC
Mar 16, 2021
How Ferrari's Hypercar project could bolster Leclerc's legacy Prime

How Ferrari's Hypercar project could bolster Leclerc's legacy

Ferrari's planned return to the top category at the Le Mans 24 Hours has further heightened anticipation for the 2023 race. Few concrete details are currently known, but already it has a high-profile superstar angling for involvement, which would make a refreshing change

WEC
Mar 5, 2021
Why Ferrari is ending its 50-year top-flight sportscar racing exile Prime

Why Ferrari is ending its 50-year top-flight sportscar racing exile

Making a return to top-flight sportscar racing after 50 years away, Ferrari will enter the Le Mans Hypercar ranks in 2023. The Italian marque denies the link with Formula 1's new cost cap that frees up resources, but it's certainly no coincidence...

WEC
Feb 25, 2021
The GTE dilemma that IMSA has created for the WEC Prime

The GTE dilemma that IMSA has created for the WEC

The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s decision to scrap its GT Le Mans class for 2022 raises the question of whether the FIA World Endurance Championship should phase out GTE cars. But it's a much harder decision than it appears on the surface.

WEC
Feb 3, 2021