Ford will officially announce its return to the Le Mans 24 Hours with its all-new GT later this week to coincide with the 50th anniversary of its iconic win at the event in 1966.

Ford surprised the industry by pulling the wraps of the latest generation of its supercar earlier this year, the American giant proceeding to raise speculation of a return to the event by making persistent reference to the upcoming 50th anniversary.

Though it refused to confirm details at the time, Ford has scheduled a press conference in France on Friday, where it will formally announce a factory supported bid to win the GTE class in 2016 in both the World Endurance Championship and the blue riband Le Mans race.

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Set to be twinned with a United SportsCar Championship project, more details of its programme are set to be unveiled on Friday, though it is expected to be powered by a 3.5-litre EcoBoost V6 currently used in its Daytona Prototype cars in the USCC.

Ford's original GT attained iconic status on the back of its dominance in the Le Mans 24 Hours between 1966 and 1969. The revived MkII car competed at Le Mans in 2010 and 2011 in the GT class, albeit under the privateer Matech and Marc VDS banner.