Ontario-built Ford GT Supercar wins the 2016 Le Mans 24-hour race in the LM GTE Pro category

The Ford Motor Company made history in 1966 by becoming the first American automobile company to win the famed Le Mans 24-hour race with the Ford GT40. Exactly 50 years later, Ford was once again at the top of the podium, this time with a ferocious Ontario-made Ford GT Supercar.

Ford entered four GTs in the 2016 Le Mans race. They were numbered after each of the company's consecutive wins in the 1960s: no. 66, no. 67, no. 68 and no. 69, honouring a period of American dominance led by legendary drivers such as Bruce McLaren and Mario Andretti.

The Ford vs. Ferrari rivalry shifts into high gear

After exchanging the lead with Ferrari's no. 82 car throughout the race, Ford's no. 68 car emerged from under the Dunlop Bridge, turned a corner and opened up along the famous Mulsanne Straight, passing the Ferrari on the outside. It was the 20th hour of the race; the Ford GT never looked back.

Ferrari wasn't the only victim of this marvel of engineering. The Ford GT Supercar left a string of legendary cars in its wake, including the Chevrolet Corvette C7.R, the Porsche 911 RSR, and the Aston Martin V8 Vantage GTE.

Ontario: Engineering genius

Ford first announced the revival of the Ford GT program in 2015 with aspirations of recapturing victory at the world's oldest active sports car race. Ford gave the nod to Ontario-based Multimatic as the parts and manufacturing firm to lead the ambitious project. They were chosen for their specialized expertise in carbon fibre production and assembly. Given the incredible results just one year later, it has proved to be a wise decision indeed.

Watch and listen to the Ford GT Supercar pass no. 82 Ferrari 488 GT and speed toward the finish line at the 2016 Le Mans 24-hour race

Disclaimer: this video links to a third party source. This video is not hosted by the Government of Ontario and there may not be a French version or transcripts available.

Ford GT program gets the green light for another four years

After the win, Ford vice-president Raj Nair announced, "The stated goal of our Ford GT program was to win Le Mans, and we're very proud that we were able to do that in our first year." Ford's executive went on to commit to an extension of the program. The team's success was a statement performance for the American car company, and one in which the Ontario-based parts manufacturer, Multimatic, played a starring role.

Learn why Ontario is synonymous with high-end, high-quality automotive production

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