A Matech Racing initiative…

A Matech Racing initiative…

06.03.2007: A Matech Racing initiative…

The Ford GT lands up in the FIA-GT3 championship !

This time the information is official; the Ford GT, worthy successor of the mythical GT40, will as from 2007 appear in GT3 version. And on top of that it will be competing in the European FIA-GT3 championship, all thanks to the initiative of an initial team entering 3 cars…

This impressive and somewhat emotional project is all down to Martin Bartek, owner of the Matech Concepts Company, located in Switzerland. And to see the project through to a successful completion the Swiss team, to be christened Matech Racing, have called on Christian Schumacher, well known at an international level as a Porsche tuning expert (amongst which the fiery GT2-R), apart from the numerous international and national participations throughout Europe.

This Belgian, whose workshops are now based in the Nürburgring region, has taken on the job of preparing the Ford GTs as also their homologation with the FIA. And as full proof of this project’s quality, Andreas Hainke, who last season was working for Race Alliance in the FIA-GT championship, has now also joined the technical team. Together with his staff he will be heading up the management and organisation of Matech Racing for the various FIA-GT3 championship events. Here we undoubtedly have a well structured team that will be going places….

"Technically, in its original state the car is rather extraordinary ", an enthused Christian Schumacher remarks."Nevertheless to make this into a racing beast there is a fair amount of work involved, and especially since we are starting out with a road going version. In fact the Racing adaptation promises to be a real jewel, simple and yet sophisticated. I’m already convinced that this Ford GT will be highly competitive…"

Original feature of this Ford GT in the FIA-GT3 class is the fact that no less than 4 cars had already been sold, even prior to the homologation being actual and the development programme put into motion. This GT can undoubtedly count on important seductive powers; all the owners being convinced that this GT3 version will in the short term retain ‘collectors’ value.

Even though Ford is not officially involved in the GT3 adventure, which remains a 100% private operation, Christian Schumacher and the entire Matech Racing team will nevertheless try to receive some assistance from Ford Motorsport Europe in the field of the car’s homologation. In the meanwhile work has started on the four chassis, and very shortly a prototype will take to the track for an initial evaluation of this Ford GT.

As for Stéphane Ratel, who presides over SRO, he is obviously delighted by the appearance of the Ford GT. He seems pretty convinced that a second team of 3 cars will shortly be strengthening the ranks of the European competition. "It is what I would call a new cult model, and in addition a new make showing an interest for the GT3 regulations", Ratel commented.

"That Ford is really close to my heart. I look back on my first motorsport emotions, when at the age of 6 or 7 I used to dream whilst looking at the pictures of those GT40s at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. This Ford GT is going to stir quite a few people. As an example I have been trying since last year to convince a friend of mine to drive in GT3. But he wasn’t that keen…Since then he’s heard about this Ford GT, and he jumped in at the deep end and bought one!"

Thanks to Matech Racing, Ford becomes the 8th manufacturer interested in the GT3 class. A new arrival that undoubtedly will pleasantly excite quite a number of aficionados and bring back nostalgic memories, all only too keen to be interested in this great series…

- Vincent Franssen - also photo

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/fia-gt-matech-racing-ford-gt-gt3-championship-martin-bartek-christian-schumacher-andreas-hainke-stephane-ratel-sro-photos---19625.html

06.03.2007 / MaP

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