The #66 Ford GT broke cover at the Road America circuit today with drivers Billy Johnson and Scott Maxwell at the controls.
Multimatic, which is responsible for building the cars in partnership with Ford and Chip Ganassi Racing and running its European racing program, is conducting the test. CGR sports car team manager Mike O’Gara is also in attendance.
The Blue Oval’s 2016 IMSA and World Endurance Championship entry is sharing the track with a limited number of teams who are preparing for this weekend’s TUDOR United SportsCar Championship event at the beloved Wisconsin road course. Based on footage captured of the low-slung coupe in action, the ACO/FIA GTE-specification twin-turbo V6 Ford GT is already posting impressive lap times.
According to one source at the 4.0-mile facility, laps in the low 2m05s range have been produced so far which, for its first day of running at Road America, would compare favorably to the 2014 GTLM pole lap of 2m03.7s set by BMW’s Z4.
The Ford GT will partake in official ACO/FIA baseline testing next month in France where its Balance of Performance table will be established ahead of its dual WEC and IMSA programs.
Any lap times produced prior to the BoP table would not be considered representative of the GT’s eventual qualifying and race pace.
The test will continue for a few more hours, and according to Ganassi Racing managing director Mike Hull, shifting the Ford GT’s testing to a circuit where CGR and Multimatic can benchmark its performance against other GT cars is an added value.
“It’s terrific that we’re getting to test at not only a historical track, but one that we will race the GT car next year in the TUDOR Championship,” said Hull. “It gives us a fair comparison to learn as we go, and it’s always good to be testing Road America.”
The Ford GT is scheduled to make its competition debut in January at IMSA’s Rolex 24 at Daytona.