Ford WEC Program Confirmed for 2018/2019 ‘Super Season’
The team was previously committed to two years of competition before the new schedule format was announced.
The freshly appointed head of Ford Performance's motorsport division, Mark Rushbrook, announced the team's World Endurance Championship program is confirmed only through the 2018/2019 season. After its 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans victory, prior to the series' schedule format change, the team had committed to two additional years of competition in the GTE Pro category. Now, with the race calendar spanning the course of two partial years, Ford has lowered its commitment to just one more WEC season.
Rushbrook explained to Sportscar365 that the team's former commitments remain tentatively the same including Ford's involvement with IMSA. The team is part of the North American series' GT Le Mans class and will race there for the next two seasons.
“We’ve said for the last year-in-a-half that we’re committed through 2019," Rushbrook explained. “So for IMSA, [it’s] 2018 and 2019. On the WEC side, at this point, we can say we’re committed through the ‘Super Season’ 2018/19.”
There is yet to be a timetable set for the Ford GT factory effort. When asked how much longer the manufacturer would continue with its car that won Le Mans last season, Rushbrook replied: "We’ve got a lot of time before we need to make any decisions on that." Some speculation has suggested that the team could enter LMP1/DPi competition in 2020, a rumor that Raj Nair, Head of Ford North America, has teased in the past.
Rushbrook took over for longtime Ford Performance head Dave Pericak, the man behind the Ford GT project's development. The initiative was originally taken on to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Ford's Le Mans triumph over Ferrari in 1966 and has since turned into a successful second run for the GT model line's history.