On-board 360-degree VIDEO on Ford’s return to Le Mans. Join Ford Chip Ganassi Team USA driver Joey Hand as he takes on a lap at speed at La Sarthe.[Not a valid template]
We’re guessing there aren’t that many people unaware that Ford has made its official return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans this year (even my mother has mentioned it to me in passing). And given that the Team USA GTs locked out the LMGTE-Pro category front row in qualifying, there also can’t be that many people rooting against Chip Ganassi Racing to produce a fairy-tale result on the 50th anniversary of THAT 1-2-3-4 finish in 1966.
To get the Ford Performance masses properly psyched up, the team has now posted a 360-degree lap of Le Mans on-board the #68 GT, with American Joey Hand on driver detail. While we’re aware that 360-degree videos have rather played their hand now, we couldn’t help but watch this particular 5min instalment a couple of times back-to-back. For starters, there’s that lunatic burst of speed down the Mulsanne Straight, the almost terrifying amount of commitment required through the fast-paced, left-right-left at the Porsche Curves, and the ‘stand on everything’ heavy-braking into Mulsanne Corner, where Anthony Davidson’s hefty accident a few years ago reminds us what can happen if that corner goes wrong.
But more than anything else, there’s the sound made by that 3.5-litre twin-turbo EcoBoost V6, a deep, sonorous note that just builds, builds, builds into a higher-pitched metallic bark through the upshifts. You’ll want to turn the speakers up for this one: your headphones earpieces might not thank you, but believe us, it’s worth it.
*Shots courtesy of Eric Fabre