Ford has revealed a special series of “Celebration Liveries” for the Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GTs ahead of the 2019 Le Mans 24 Hours all painted using Axalta products. Each of the four factory Ford GTs will bear a livery that celebrates the success of the manufacturer at Le Mans, both in the present day and during the 1960s.
The 2019 Le Mans 24 Hours is the final Le Mans for the current factory Ford GT program, marking the close of another great chapter at Le Mans for the factory Fords.
“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,” said Bill Ford, executive chairman, Ford Motor Company. “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.”
When the four factory Ford GTs arrive at the famous La Sarthe Circuit at Le Mans later today, they will be seen for the very first time in the new liveries, each of which has a special meaning. They will also be joined by a fifth Ford GT, racing in the GTE Am class with Keating Motorsports.
The #66 Ford GT raced by Stefan Mücke (GER), Olivier Pla (FRA) and Billy Johnson (USA) has a black livery that echoes that of the Ford GT40 of Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon that won Le Mans in 1966.
The Ford GT40 that Dan Gurney and A.J. Foyt drove to victory at Le Mans in 1967 is remembered in the new livery of the #67 Ford GT raced by Andy Priaulx (GB), Harry Tincknell (GB) and Jonathan Bomarito (USA).
The #68 Ford GT is Ford’s most recent Le Mans winner, taking the chequered flag first in the 2016 race. Dirk Müller (GER), Joey Hand (USA) and Sébastien Bourdais (FRA) will race in the same colours as when it won Le Mans in 2016.
The #69 Ford GT of Scott Dixon (NZ), Ryan Briscoe (AUS) and Richard Westbrook (GB) takes its design cues from the Ford GT40 that came second in Ford’s glorious 1-2-3 finish at Le Mans in 1966.
The #85 Ford GT will be raced in the GTE Am class by customer team, Keating Motorsports. The team is using the same livery design as the four factory Fords but using the striking colours of its title sponsor, Wynn’s. The driver line-up for the #85 Ford GT is Ben Keating (US), Jeroen Bleekemolen (NETH) and Felipe Fraga (BRA).
“The Ford GT was created to take Ford back to the world of GT endurance racing,” said Mark Rushbrook, global director, Ford Performance Motorsports. “This factory Ford GT programme has been a great success for our brand and we have enjoyed the many challenges that have come our way during this four-year programme. Le Mans is not quite the end of the factory programme as we still have many more IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship races to go in 2019.”
The Ford GTs will be on track in their new celebration liveries this Sunday (June 2) for the Official Le Mans Test. Fans will be able to follow the 24-hour race on June 15-16 from inside the cockpit of the factory Ford GTs as Ford’s popular Le Mans Livestream will return for its fourth consecutive year.