To say Ford’s drivers in next year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans will be under the gun is an understatement as the Ford GT returns to the race on the 50 year anniversary after its 1,2,3 win in 1966.

Ford has announced the return of the all-new Ford GT to the 24 hour race that made it famous in the first place. The Ford GT race car is based on the all-new EcoBoost powered Ford GT which goes on sale next year.

The Ford GT will make its competitive debut first next January at the Daytona Rolex racing series with two Ford teams headed up by Chip Ganassi Racing and Felix Sabates who together will field four cars.

The Ford GT race cars are being built by Multimatic Motorsports and Roush Yates Engines will build the racing versions of their 3.5 liter EcoBoost V6’s. Ford said other partners include Castrol, Michelin, Forza Motorsport, Sparco, Brembo and CGRFS.

Returning to the limelight on the 50 year anniversary of the original Ford GT is no coincidence, a move which serves to launch the new Ford Performance brand that replaces and encompasses all which came before it globally.

Ford Racing, SVT, and ST are all now rolled into the Ford Performance umbrella. The new Ford Performance brand will launch more than 12 new production vehicles in the coming 5 years in addition to being the go-fast parts house for Ford.

And don’t forget, in September you can also download the new Ford GT in Forza Motorsport 6 on your Xbox gaming consoles. That’s the big race we can all drive in.