Test Drive Tuesday review: 2010 Ford GT-R GT2
When in 2005 Ford unveiled the GT, homage to the legendary GT40, many were wondering if this car was also to replicate the racing achievements of its ancestor. Sadly, Ford never funded an official racing campaign for the supercar. But that didn’t stop privateers from doing it anyway.
In 2010, Ohio-based Duran Enterprises adapted a car to the GT2 regulations, with hopes to pursue the quest of the original GT40 to fight European manufacturers in the biggest endurance race in the world, the 24 hours of Le Mans.
Heavily modified, the GT sported various aero modifications, aluminum chassis and carbon-fibre body, and was propelled by a 5.0-liter V8 developed by Roush Yates.
And the first thing that strikes you when you take it to the track is that engine. It is, without a doubt, one of Simraceway’s best sounding engine. It would win over any petrolhead in a heartbeat.
But this car doesn’t revolve solely around that engine. The GT-R feels light and direct, though maybe not as much as a GT3 would, which is I think mostly due to the regulations in place. It’s also worth remembering that this car was designed to win in one of the fastest tracks in the world, the Le Mans circuit. And as such, it’s only natural that its handling would be slightly angled toward stability at high speeds.
But be assured: it’s nothing like the GT40. The rear-end moves around constantly, and it will rotate easily under braking. It might be a bit too much to some, but I for one quite like it. It’s actually controllable if you know how to use the throttle to balance the car on its edge, even if braking for Turn 1 at Daytona RC can be quite the adventure. Again, this can be seen as a dangerous habit to some, especially if you like a stable corner-entry. But, and everyone will be pleased about that, the brakes in themselves are immense. Powerful and usable, it’s one of the high points of the car.
Mid-corner, the nose can feel a bit numb, and a hint of understeer can appear. But it’s nothing serious, and anyway, the best is yet to come.
Because if you get the entry right, keep the back under control and use it to counter the mid corner (relative) hesitation, you can then put all of the 500 hp to the ground and thunder away with only a minor movement from the rear. Getting that Holy Trinity right is key to enjoying all of the car’s potential, of which there’s much more than I expected.
Sure, it won’t beat a more nimble GT3 at Brands Hatch, but even at this tight and demanding track it’s still a joy to drive. Yes, it can be bit too loose, and even hairy for some. Yes, it will overheat its tires in no time, which can lead to some problems in long corners. And no, it’s not the last word in GT, and can feel a bit unsophisticated compared to something like the Audi R8 LMS. But the GT-R GT2 oozes character, and although I need some more track time with them to be perfectly sure, to date I’d have no other GT2s over the Ford. I’d never give up THAT sound, anyway…
Here is the link to the Test Drive Tuesday Leaderboards: https://goo.gl/ATr6mF