Ford’s GT40 is one of the most important and successful American racing machines to ever hit tarmac. It is then no surprise that when Ford introduced the GT to commemorate the brand’s 100th anniversary in, folks decided that that car should do some racing as well. Thanks to the organizers of the 2022 Mugello Classic, we now have a chance to watch as the beloved Ford GT1 by Matech reminds us what a proper V-8-powered GT can do on track.
Matech’s relationship with the Ford GT began in 2007, when the Swiss race team entered a GT3-spec GT into the FIA European Team Championship. The car was immediately a standout, managing to secure a class victory during the following 2008 season. This success accelerated Matech’s goals for the program, with the team then asking Ford for permission to build a car for the top-flight GT1 class. Ford ultimately agreed to allow the build to take place, though the automaker insisted that Matech utilize a Roush-Yates engine. The project would begin during the 2009 season, during which the team would field a pair of GTs riding on modified GT3-spec chassis. These cars did not compete in every event on the calendar, with Matech instead opting to use the season as an extended development test. A clean sheet GT1-spec racer would arrive for the 2010 however season, complete with the prerequisite 5.3-liter Roush Yates V-8. The engine was restricted to 600 hp and 470 lb ft of torque per class regulations, with all that power being sent to the rear wheels via an Xtrac six-speed sequential ‘box.
This content is imported from YouTube. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.
Four examples of the GT1-spec Ford GT were ultimately built and raced by the Matech, Marc VDS Racing, and Belgium Racing teams. The Ford “GT1” never saw the same amount of success as its GT3 counterparts, but that doesn’t make it any less of an awesome race car. Drivers Philippe Scemama and Éric Hélary certainly don’t seem to be having a bad time in this clip.
Regardless of its late career lull, this particular race-ready Ford GT remains an absolute treasure to behold. The styling remains true to the icon it celebrates, yet the addition of modern aero elevates the look. The exhaust note is also exactly what you’d want to hear coming out of the back of something wearing that famous nameplate. While there’s no denying the current-generation GT is a mighty successful race car, it just doesn’t bring the same viewing and listening experience for fans. Thankfully it seems the GT1’s current caretakers in Esprit Competition have no problem sharing it with the rest of us.
This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io