Last year, the Ford GT conquered Le Mans. Ford's factory team took first, third, and fourth positions in the GTE-Pro class on its first trip back to the legendary 24-hour race since beating Ferrari 50 years earlier. Testing is currently underway for the 2017 24 Hour race, and it seems as if Ford is actually falling behind.
According to , the factory Ford GTs were slowest in their class during Sunday's testing session at Circuit de la Sarthe. The cars followed Chevy's C7.Rs and Porsche's mid-engine Porsche 911 RSRs, which led the group, and placed two seconds behind the slowest of Ferrari's three factory 488s.
Sportscar365 also points out that Ford's fastest recorded lap so far—3:57.536—is six seconds slower than the team's pole time last year.
So why is Ford performing so much worse? Well, it's all about balance of performance, or "BoP." You see, the FIA distributes weight ballasts and restricts power output in such a way that no teams have an unfair advantage, giving everyone an equal chance at victory while still allowing teams to build their own cars.
For this year, the Ford GT was hit with a 44-pound weight increase and a reduction in turbo boost pressure . This means Ford's cars are heavier and slower than before, which explains the lackluster times.
While that might be a heartbreaker for you die-hard blue oval fans, don't worry, the BoP can be changed any time before the race at the FIA's discretion if they see any kind of disadvantage. So if race officials think they overestimated Ford's balance, it can be adjusted.
Le Mans is less than two weeks away, so it's only a matter of time before we see how Ford handles the new modifications.