AS IMSA CELEBRATES ITS 50TH ANNIVERSARY, FORD PAYS A SPECIAL TRIBUTE TO THE SERIES GOING BACK IN TIME WITH HISTORIC LIVERIES.
During the Roar before the Rolex 24, the Ford GT could be seen in white. For the Rolex 24 at Datytona, Ford wants to commemorate IMSA’s anniversary in retro style.
“We’re excited to show off our Ford GTs in a new way, and at the same time join IMSA in celebrating its 50thanniversary,” said Mark Rushbrook, global director, Ford Performance Motorsports.
The No. 66 Ford GT of Joey Hand, Dirk Müller and Sébastien Bourdais will wear the colors of the Roush Racing Motorcraft Ford Mustang that John Jones, Wally Dallenbach Jr. and Doc Bundy drove to a GTO victory at the Rolex 24 At Daytona in 1985.
Canadian driver John Jones, originally from Thunder Bay ON, won the IMSA driver’s championship title with that colour scheme in the GTO category after dominating the competition that year.
The Motorcraft name bings back childhood memories for Joey Hand.
“It’s always cool to have something new after running the same colors for three years. I love the red, white and blue, but it’s always cool to have something new,” Hand said. “Just having the cars in all white at the test, they looked great. I think it’ll be fun to have a throwback Motorcraft theme on the car, with those colors, I think people are really going to love it. For me, it’s kind of funny, because it’s a throwback theme, but at the same time, my grandpa owned an auto parts store and so did my dad, so I remember seeing the shelves full of Motorcraft parts and selling those parts to customers as they came in, then going back and getting parts off shelves and looking at parts numbers. It works out for me that I’ll drive a Motorcraft car at the Rolex 24.”
The No. 67 of Richard Westbrook, Ryan Briscoe and Scott Dixon will carry a throwback tribute to current race team partner Castrol. The iconic green and red stripes are accented with the Castrol Edge logo and adapted to the Ford GT’s lines.
“Ford and Castrol had a lot of successful history in those years”, says Richard Westbrook. “So for the two to come together and do something as eye-catching as these new liveries, I’m going to be really proud driving that car. I’ve seen enough footage of cars in that livery going around Daytona before the bus stop chicane was put in, which was a very iconic period of IMSA racing, so to be in an iconic car in that livery trying to defend our title will be something really special.”
For Ryan Briscoe, The Castrol livery has a very special meaning.
“Castrol was one of my first official sponsors ever, when I started racing karts,” Briscoe said. “It’s been great to have them on our Ford GT as a partner, but to run a Castrol livery like this is really something special. It would be amazing to get a win for them.”
The Ford GTs will revert to their traditional red, white and blue liveries following the race.
Image credit: Ford Performance and PMstills Photography
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