Ford considering return to Le Mans with new EcoBoost LMP2Mon, 21 Jul 2014 11:31:00 EST
If you want to see a Ford racing prototype, you need look no further than the United SportsCar Championship, where the Blue Oval fields two Daytona Prototypes powered by an EcoBoost-branded 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6. But according to the latest rumors, that may not be enough for Ford, which has as much brand to promote overseas as it does back home.
That could be why Racer magazine is reporting that Ford may be poised to return to Le Mans in the coming years. As we all know, Ford competed at Le Mans in the mid-through-late '60s, bringing home four consecutive overall wins with the legendary GT40. The new program would not, according to Racer, seek to relive those glory days, but would instead compete for class wins in the LMP2 category.
Currently, LMP2 regulations are somewhat split between the United SportsCar Championship in North America on the one hand and ACO-sanctioned series like the European Le Mans Series, Asian Le Mans Series and FIA World Endurance Championship on the other, but plans are underway for the regulations to be unified in time for the 2017 season. That could be when Ford is targeting its return, allowing it to compete on both sides of the Atlantic to maximize its exposure.
Canadian chassis constructor Multimatic Motorsports, which built the Daytona Prototype for Ford, could be contracted again for the LMP2 program. But then with the ACO announcing the new LMP3 category with a V8 engine supplier yet to be announced, we can't help but wonder if this is actually what Ford has in mind. Either way, the prospect of Dearborn's return to European endurance racing should have racing fans excited, especially after a proposal to field a Mustang in the GTE category was reportedly shelved.
By Noah Joseph
See also: Former Ford president, Jaguar chairman Nick Scheele dead at 70, 1979 Dodge Li'l Red Express in Generation Gap showdown with 1933 Ford Pickup, 2015 Ford Mustang vs. Camaro and Challenger [w/poll].