Ford’s new GT Le Mans race car had its first outings recently and Project Chief, Dave Pericak, has been delighted with the early pace of the cars race track return.
Ford announced early this year that its famed GT car, the Ford GT, would be making a return to the roads and the race tracks.
The GTE spec race car has participated in three tests, the first at Calabogie Motorsports Park back in May and then followed by Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and the Michelin testing grounds in Ledoux, France.
The first test was undertaken by Scott Maxwell and former NASCAR driver, Billy Johnson.
Ford is reporting that the car is making good progress ahead of its race debut at Daytona in January next year.
The car was predominantly built by Ford development partner, Multimatic, and features Aerodynamics designed by renowned engineer Mark Handford.
The FIA WEC efforts from Ford will be managed by George Howard Chappell, the former Aston Martin Racing boss and technically directed by ex-Lola LMP designer Julian Sole.
Ford’s Director of Performance, Dave Pericak, spoke to Motorsport.com
“Out of the box, we are very happy with the car,” said Pericak. “When you come out of the box, one of two things happens – either you are going to have a not so good effort, and that means you are going to struggle and then get to a good race car, or you are going to come out of the box with a really good car and you are going to get to a great race car.”
“We came out really good, so we are happy. The lap times are more than just in the ballpark and the handling of the car is phenomenal. It is running as predicated by our CFD analysis, so we are very excited and we’re off to a good start.”
The drivers of the programme are yet to be decided, however Kiwi Scott Dixon is one of the favourites for the seat.
“We are in the process of evaluating drivers and we meet on a regular basis with Multimatic and Chip Ganassi Racing as a cross-functional team looking at driver dynamics and what talent we need,” confirmed Pericak speaking to Motorsport.com.
“We are going to be on the track [racing] in January, so we are not dragging our feet and we are moving as quickly as we can, but we are also making sure we get the right people behind the wheel.”