On the 50th anniversary of its podium sweep at the world-renowned 24 Hours of Le Mans racing competition in 1966, Ford Motor Company finished in first place in the race for the first time since 1980. A separate Ford car raced by another team also took third place. Ford won the race with its supercar, the Ford GT, which was crafted with carbon fiber composites to achieve the best possible aerodynamics.
“This is a historic moment for the Ford Motor Company,” Bill Ford, executive chairman of Ford, said in a press release. “We dared to dream that we could return to Le Mans, 50 years after the incredible 1966 win, and take on the toughest competition in the world. The pride we all felt when the Ford GT crossed the line at Le Mans is indescribable.”
The GT is anchored by a carbon fiber passenger cell, and features aluminum front and rear subframes encapsulated in structural carbon fiber body panels. Ford also announces last month that the commercial version of the GT will also eventually come with carbon fiber wheels.
According to designboom, the Ford team’s decision to render the GT in carbon fiber “was an exercise in exploring how they could potentially use the material at a reduced cost so that it could also be applied to other vehicles” in the Ford high-performance line-up – including the Focus RS, F150 Raptor, Shelby GT350 and Shelby GT350R.
“Building a new car and racing it at Le Mans is a monumental task,” said Mark Fields, president and CEO of Ford Motor Company. “We took it on and we conquered the biggest challenge in sports car racing: the Le Mans 24 Hours. It has been incredible to share this event with our dealers, owners, employees, sponsors and guests who are all bursting with pride at being part of the Ford family. Every manufacturer in the GTE Pro class fought with everything they had in the best competitive spirit, and we are thrilled to have played our part in this incredible race.”