THF Conversations Hosts Winning at Le Mans: Exploring the Ford GT’s 2016 return to the 24 hours of Le Mans’ Winner’s Circle June 15, at 6:30 pm

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A conversation with Ford Performance’s Mark Rushbrook, Ford GT driver Joey Hand and Multimatic Inc.’s Raj Nair moderated by The Henry Ford’s curator of transportation Matt Anderson

On June 15 at 6:30 pm, The Henry Ford will host Ford Performance Motorsports Global Director Mark Rushbrook, Ford GT driver Joey Hand and Multimatic Inc. President and Chief Operating Officer Raj Nair for THF Conversations, Winning at Le Mans: Exploring the Ford GT’s 2016 Return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans’ Winner’s Circle 50 Years to the Day of Ford’s 1966 Victory. Hosted over Zoom, the discussion will be moderated by The Henry Ford’s curator of transportation, Matt Anderson. To register for THF Conversations visit: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_2_zsiG7_SjiFd7M49pAK9Q

In 2016, Ford Performance, Multimatic Inc. and Chip Ganassi Racing joined forces to resurrect the Ford GT race program, with the ultimate goal of winning once again at the 24 Hours of Le Mans on the 50th anniversary of the company’s legendary victory over Ferrari in 1966. Together, the three organizations did just that, along with 18 other wins during the four-year program. Hand was behind the wheel during the race when the team took the lead for the final time, ironically passing a Ferrari on the way to victory.

During this THF Conversation, Hand, Nair, and Rushbrook will explore what it took to return once again to victory and why the 2016 Ford GT has earned its own place in American auto racing history.

Joey Hand, widely considered one of the best road racers in the world, was one of the main drivers for Ford Chip Ganassi Racing (CGR) and the Ford GT program from 2016-2019. He became a full-time driver for CGR in 2015, and along with teammates Sébastien Bourdais and Dirk Müller, took the Ford GT to a popular GTE Pro class victory at the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans. The three drivers also won the 2017 Rolex 24 at Daytona.

As global director of Ford Performance Motorsports, Mark Rushbrook is responsible for running all the division’s motorsport efforts, which includes NASCAR, IMSA, NHRA, and Formula Drift in North America and FIA WRC, and Australia Supercars overseas. Rushbrook joined Ford Performance in 2014 as an engineering manager for motorsports, a position he held until being promoted in 2017 to global director. During that time, he was part of the group that successfully relaunched the Ford GT into competition.

Raj Nair, President and Chief Operating Officer at Multimatic Inc., leads a global corporation providing engineered solutions to the automotive industry for components, systems, services, complete vehicles, and motorsports; including being Ford’s build partner for the road and race Ford GT programs. Prior to joining Multimatic, Nair spent 30 years at Ford Motor Company in a variety of executive roles including Executive Vice President Global Product Development & Chief Technical Officer, and President North America.

The 2016 Le Mans-winning Ford GT is currently on display inside Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation’s newest permanent exhibition, Driven to Win: Racing in America, presented by General Motors. The vehicle is part of the Sports Car Performance Center presented by Multimatic with support from Ford Motor Company and Brembo, where visitors can see actual data used from race day that helped the three organizations problem-solve and plan for the next race, the evolution of the design process from clay model to race day ready, and how closely the Ford GT production car resembles the one on the track. For more information on Driven to Win, visit thehenryford.org.

About The Henry Ford
Located in Dearborn, Michigan, The Henry Ford, a globally recognized destination, fosters inspiration and learning from hands-on encounters with artifacts that represent the most comprehensive collection anywhere focusing on innovation, ingenuity and resourcefulness in America. Its unique venues include Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation, Greenfield Village, Ford Rouge Factory Tour, Benson Ford Research Center and Henry Ford Academy, a public charter high school. Together with its online presence at thf.org, its national television series The Henry Ford’s Innovation Nation and Invention Convention Worldwide, the growing affiliation of organizations fostering innovation, invention and entrepreneurship in K-12 students, The Henry Ford inspires individuals to unlock their potential and help shape a better future.

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Melissa Foster
@thehenryford
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