Ford At Le Mans Classic 2008 : Outstanding Performance For The Model T And The Capri!
Two unique and specially restored Ford race cars have returned to the famous Le Mans 24 Hours circuit for the 2008 Le Mans Classic. After painstaking restorations, the two cars, a 1923 Model T Montier and a 1973 Ford Capri RS2600, took to the track to compete again at the iconic Sarthe circuit under the 'Ecurie Ford France' banner.
* After a heroic race, Ford Model T- Montier, the oldest car entered in the race, has finished in 49th position out of 63.
* Ford Capri has won the Performance index and has finished in 17th position in the scratch classification.
Celebrating the Model T Centenary
2008 is the one hundredth birthday of the Ford Model T, the car that literally put the world on wheels.
Without the Model T, the car would never have enjoyed such phenomenal growth in the early 20th century. Over fifteen million Model Ts were produced using methods which were revolutionary for the time. It was the first people's car - a "low cost" vehicle before its time, born from the determination of a visionary, Henry Ford.
The founder of the modern automobile industry, Ford was also a pioneer in motorsport, a symbol of the dynamism of an enterprise and the engine of technological development.
Ford as a company has never lost its passion for competition. So to celebrate the centenary of the "Car of the 20th century", Ford has entered a superbly restored T-Montier in the fourth Le Mans Classic on July 12 and 13, 2008.
This significant car took part in the very first Le Mans 24 Hour race in 1923 and takes its name from the man who entered it – Charles Montier. Never before has such an old car participated in this prestigious biennial meeting of Le Mans Classic.
After a heroic race, where drivers and mechanics have excelled themselves, and despite tiredness and lack of sleep, the model T - Montier has finished at the 49th position under the applause of the 81.000 spectators.
For its centenary, there could be no better tribute to the Model T which was produced around the world, including in France, at Bordeaux and in the Parisian suburbs.
The rebirth of Ecurie Ford France
Le Mans Classic 2008 will also be the occasion when the iconic Ford Capri takes to the track again in the traditional blue and white livery of Ecurie Ford France.
A major player in touring car races in the early 1970s, the Capri RS2600 with its V6 engine developing almost 400 HP still looks stylish and dynamic. The car has entered into Grid 6 of the 2008 Classic, covering models which took part in the Le Mans 24 Hours between 1972 and 1979.
After a painstaking restoration the Capri, which originally competed in the 1974 Le Mans 24 Hours but failed to finish, has be driven by a team of three led by Jean-Louis Schlesser. Schlesser is a multiple-title driver in disciplines as varied as the World Endurance Championship and Rallye-Raid.
Winning positions after each round, the Capri finished at the 17th position and, above all, has won the Performance Index, illustrating the performance of its V6 engine and the talent of its drivers.
The drivers of the Ecurie Ford France were :
Ford Model T – Montier 1923 : Pascal MARTIN (FRA), Etienne BRUET (FRA), Robert COUCHER (UK)
Ford Capri RS 1973 : Jean-Louis SCHLESSER (FRA), Yves BEY-ROZET (FRA), John BARKER (UK)