Ford is going back to Le Mans this year, with the intention of driving one of four new Ford GT entrants to victory over Ferrari in the GTE-Pro class – much like the Ford GT40 taught Enzo’s team a lesson at the 24-hour road race five decades ago.
In order to understand the significance of Ford’s Le Mans effort in 2016, some historical context is required. It’s for that reason that we share the video above, in which Randy Richardson, former President of the LA Shelby American Auto Club, hosts a slew of original crew members who were active during the Ford GT40’s historic 1966 win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The crew members that we get to meet here include:
- Charlie Agapiou – Crew Chief, Mechanic
- Mike Donavan – Crew Chief, Mechanic
- Ron Butler – Crew Chief, Mechanic
- Jim O’Leary – Engine Builder
- Allen Grant – Team Driver, Mechanic
- Kerry Agapiou – Crew Chief, Mechanic
- Ted Sutton – Fabricator, Mechanic
The Ford GT40 was originally spawned in 1964 – some two years before the car would achieve its now-legendary 1-2-3 finish at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans. It took numerous people and countless man hours to hone the car into a machine capable of defeating Ferrari in one of the world’s biggest, most famous road races. The story is quite different today, as Ford is trying to mold its new GT into a Le Mans-winning race car within its very first season of competition – although the IMSA Ford EcoBoost/Riley DP did serve as a test-bed of sorts.
Get acquainted with the original Ford GT40 crew and their experiences at the 1966 Le Mans race in the video above.