2010 Ford GT GT1 By Matech Competition

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United Kingdom | Daventry, United Kingdom

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Chassis No.
MR10FORDGT1SN003
  • Accomplished racing history, competing in the 2010 and 2011 FIA GT1 World Championship seasons
  • Boasts the most successful Ford GT GT1 period history with four wins
  • One of just six examples built and four known to survive as ran
  • A technical tour-de-force featuring a bespoke 5.3-litre, four-valve, V-8 engine by Ford Motorsport with X-Trac sequential gearbox and complemented by full carbon-fibre bodywork
  • Benefits from a comprehensive, professional rebuild ready for the coming season
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Please note that this lot is sold on a Bill of Sale.

Matech Concepts was a Geneva-based motorsport team, founded by the late Martin Bartek in 2006. Forging a strong relationship with Ford Racing, they initially distributed the U.S.-built FR500 racing variant of the Mustang in Europe but the plan was always to enter the GT racing scene, and develop the then-current Ford GT—the modern day homage to the legendary GT40. Initially as a GT3 class entry, the outfit’s first car made its debut in 2007 and showed instant pace. The following season, Matech claimed the overall FIA GT3 European Team Championship.

With well-proven competence, Matech announced that the team would step up their efforts in order to compete at the highest level of GT racing; the GT1 category. While the existing Matech program was supported by Ford, the global company had previously insisted that any ACO or Le Mans-type homologation would not be possible with additional support and blessing. In March 2009, though, Matech received a letter from Brian Wolfe, Director of Ford North America Motorsports—for which there is a copy on file—in recognition of the team’s success to-date, and granted permission for Matech to construct a GT1 variant of the Ford GT supercar. There was a requisite that Ford Racing were to exclusively supply the engines through preferred “works” partner, Roush Yates.

The first year, 2009, was treated as a development phase. As such, Matech modified two GT3-type chassis to conform to GT1 regulations and used these in select races, while the GT1—all new for 2010—was developed from scratch behind the scenes.

The all-new GT1 had the chassis reworked and safety fabrication carried out by renowned German aerospace engineering company, Heggemann Ag, who have a long reputation of bespoke automotive projects at the highest level of the industry. Unique to the GT1, capacity of the “Cammer” engine was increased to a 5.3-litre unit by Roush Yates and this was transmitted via a six-speed, flat-shift transmission supplied by Xtrac, another leader in their field. Mated to the steel tub were carbon fibre body panels and there was even aerodynamic development carried out in Ford of Europe’s wind tunnel in Cologne. Shock absorbers were developed and supplied by Multimatic, brakes from AP Racing, a Magnetti Marelli ECU kept the engine in check while data, display units, and PDMs came from MoTeC.

The 2010 edition of 24 Hours of Le Mans was an emotional return for the Blue Oval—41 years after the last GT40 victory—with three GT1s entered. Their pace was well proven with a class pole translated into strong race pace, holding the class lead for eight hours until mechanical failure forced retirement.

The principle racing activity of the Matech GT1 programme was that of the FIA GT1 World Championship. The format of this Championship was that qualifying operated an F1-style knockout formula and this determined the start position for the qualifying race, in which only the top three finishers scored points. The trophy race—featuring the top 10 finishers scoring points—then commenced how the qualifying race finished, albeit there was success ballast added so to level the chances of success. In both races, there was a requirement for both a driver and tyre change, therefore tactics and teamwork were critical to the result. As to be expected, the Matech GT1s were consistently at the thick-end of proceedings in both 2010 and 2011, and picked up several victories.

As noted in the race history summary supplied by Marc VDS Racing Team, the team who ran the car in both seasons, chassis 003 always ran with the race number “41” and was driven by Finn, Markus Palttala, for the whole 2010 season, joined by the Belgian, Renaud Kuppens, for the first six rounds. The Italian driver, Matteo Bobbi, joined for the final three.

For 2011, the car was piloted all season by the sensationally talented Maxime Martin, with this arguably serving as the season of his making, as the Belgian has gone on to be regarded as one of the finest drivers of his generation. After his spell with Marc VDS, also competing in their GT3 and VLN programmes, Martin was picked up as a factory BMW driver and today is a factory Aston Martin professional. For the majority of the 2011 season, Martin was partnered with the equally talented French star Frédéric “Fred” Makowiecki.

With three points-scoring qualifying race wins at Abu Dhabi, Sachsenring and Ordos, and one trophy race win, again at Ordos, this chassis registers as the most victorious of the Matech-built Ford GT GT1s. Of note is the Ordos success in China where—against the odds of the regulations—Martin and Makowiecki doubled down to take both race victories of the weekend.

At the end of the 2011 season, chassis 003 was retired—along with its siblings—and has not raced since. After a stint in the U.S.A., it returned to Europe in 2019 and has since been retained in ownership in the U.K. The extremely successful and well-regarded team at BBM Sport were commissioned to carry out a comprehensive rebuild so to enable a track return, for which 003 is now widely eligible thanks to a resurgence in cars of this era being welcomed into contemporary historic motorsport.

Having been kept in running order, chassis 003 was checked through before being completely stripped and evaluated. The drivetrain was split, with the engine being sent to Mountune—operating as Roush in Europe as a wholly owned subsidiary—for evaluation and the Xtrac transaxle was stripped and assessed in-house. The engine proved to be in good order needing only a soft rebuild thus was given a clean bill of health and reassembled before being run on Mountune’s in-house dyno cell, where it recorded an impressive 577 brake horsepower at 7,000 rpm, and a thumping 648 nm of torque at 5,500 rpm while being kept at bay by the 32.6mm restrictors. The transaxle examination found the gearbox in good order but it did require a new crown-wheel and pinion to be made by Xtrac. Before reinstallation, a new clutch was fitted and both starter motors—the regular and reserve—were rebuilt.

All corners were fully stripped down, evaluated then sent away for crack testing before being rebuilt. The wheel bearings were renewed and then the uprights were reunited to the rebuilt brake system and shock absorbers were sent to Multimatic for servicing. The MoTeC PDMs were updated and a laptop was configured to be able to read the data from both the Marelli and MoTeC systems. The original fuel system was reputed to have suffered surge issues, therefore a new unit of same capacity was supplied by ATL featuring an intelligent baffle system. The decision was taken to relocate the fuel pumps from the engine bay into the cell. New belts have been fitted but the original driver’s seat remains in place leaving preference to the next owner. A fresh set of Michelin wet tyres adorn the car and an airfield shakedown in March 2022 proved all to be in fine order.

The history file features paperwork including operating procedures, a parts catalogue, homologation documents, and paperwork for the aforementioned rebuild work. Of particular note, there is a copy of the Matech Competition Limited Edition Boxed Set, numbered 53 of 99, made at the time by then-Matech Brand Manager & Photographer, Steve Nesta. There is also a book curated by Nesta that charts the whole of chassis 003’s racing exploits in the GT1 World Championship, itself an impressive hardbacked publication running over 400 pages. A generous spares package is also included.

Benefitting from its archetypal silhouette and with racing or track day opportunities aplenty on offer, this incredible brute from the legendary GT1 era is worthy of a place in the finest of racing stables.