Could Bill Ford Jr. As Le Mans' Starter Confirm The Ford GT Is Coming?

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Sportscar365 just confirmed that Ford executive chairman Bill Ford Jr. will be the starter for this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans. So, what might he bring with him to Circuit de la Sarthe? We’re hoping it’s the new Ford GT race car.

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We desperately want to see the Ford GT in race trim, and a Motorsport.com report claims that Ford’s newest racer will be revealed at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Of course, having Bill Ford Jr. wave the tri-color starting flag lends a bit more credibility to that report.

Bill Ford is the great-grandson of company founder Henry Ford. He had this to say to Sportscar365 about being named the honorary starter for this year’s race:

The history of my family is very closely linked to the legendary La Sarthe circuit event. Fifty years ago, the duel with Ferrari out on the track became one of milestone periods in the history of motorsport.

It’s a great honor to come to the Le Mans 24 Hours this year and drop the flag to start this legendary endurance race as my uncle [Henry Ford II] did back in 1966.

1966, of course, is the year when the original Ford GT40 swept the podium, claiming a decisive 1-2-3 finish at Le Mans. It’s speculated that Ford is aiming for a 2016 return to Le Mans to celebrate the 50th anniversary of that spectacular win, so all this talk of the ‘66 Ford GT certainly seems to suggest that Ford might be up to something this year.

While the FIA seemed to confirm that Ford was on the way to the World Endurance Championship (of which the 24 Hours of Le Mans is a part) earlier this year, Ford has yet to make an official announcement as to when they’re joining the series.

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We’ll have to pay close attention to all things Ford at Le Mans, that’s for sure.

Photo credit: Getty Images


Contact the author at stef.schrader@jalopnik.com.

DISCUSSION

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Also_Ran

I remember last year when Fernando Alonso started the race and a lot of people were awaiting the announcement that Ferrari was heading back to LeMans with an official and/or LMP1 entry. Not only are we still waiting, Alonso isn’t even with Ferrari any more.

While I admit there’s more chance of Ford entering with some sort of car - be it GT or LMP, official or supportive - that’s as much due to their current absence in any category, and it seems that announcement has already been expected to the point of it now just being a formality. Maybe it will be a tie-in with Bill Ford Jr.’s appearance, maybe not.