When Ford first debuted the Ford GT in 2002 there were no intentions to take it racing, nor was it developed for racing. Thankfully, this didn’t stop Matech Concepts and owner Martin Bartek from developing a version for the FIA’s GT3 class. The new car took advantage of the GT’s sporting engineering and was highly successful, winning the championship in 2008.
Lead engineer Andreas Hainke’s biggest task was to make the car competitive by lowering the weight significantly and developing an aerodynamics package. Fitted was a new wing, front splitter, diffuser and rear hood vents. The back half of the chassis was also revised. Hainke fitted in a tubular steel component that also attached the FIA-spec roll cage.
Team Boss Christian Schumacher debuted two cars at the 2007 RAC Tourist Trophy in May. One of these was driven by Thomas Mutsch and Matech founder Martin Bartek. Romain Bera and Campenhoudt shared the second car but neither failed to finish at the first two rounds of Silverstone. Campenhoudt and Bera got the cars first win at Round 3 in Bucharest, but it was frequently beaten Martini Callaway Racing’s Corvette Z06R GT3.
2008 was the turning point for Matech as they became won the FIA GT3 European Teams Championship. At the Silverstone opener Thomas Mutsch and Khan won both rounds and set a trend for the rest of the season. Despite added ballast added by the governing body, Mortimer and Ellis managed another double victory at Rounds three and four at Monza. Pirri and Von Gartzen took Round five at Oschersleben, but the Ford GT was finally beat in round six by the Callaway Corvette Z06R GT3.
At Bruno, Mutsch & Khan one a single round, but the added ballast each sucessive win had taken their toll. Matech-Fords were were beaten both rounds at Nogaro and at the sole round at Dubai.
These results left Matech GT Racing well ahead of the competition, wining the FIA GT3 European Teams Championship, by 30 points over Hexis Racing and last years champions Martini Callaway Racing by 43 points.
Based on one of the most powerful V-8 in Ford’s modular engine family, the Ford GT engine produces 550 hp and 600 Nm of torque. Both figures are comparable to those of the 7.0L engine that won the
24 hours of Le Mans in 1966 and 1967.
The chassis is featuring control arms of unequal-length and coil-over spring damper units allowing the car to reduce its ride height to the minimum. Braking is led by 4 piston aluminum Brembo monoblock
calipers with cross-drilled and vented rotors at all 4 corners.
The Ford GT features also many new and unique technologies, including super-plasticformed aluminum body panels, roll-bonded floor panels, a friction-stir welded center tunnel, a capless fuel filling system, one-piece door panels and an aluminum engine cover with a one-piece carbon-fiber inner panel. The Ford GT of the 60’s was a legendary race machine with an impressive history. Matech Concepts is about to give this car the
opportunity to make a spectacular comeback on the international racing scene by participating in the FIA GT3 European Championship.