A Bathurst icon will make a surprise return to racing in this weekend's Bob Jane T-Marts Bathurst 1000 as, after an absence of more than 25 years, the legendary GT badge will once again roar around Mount Panorama in a special one-off V8 Supercar appearance.

Ford Performance Racing [FPR] has revealed the GT livery of the team's third entry in Sunday's 1000 kilometre classic, the FPV sponsored car now sporting FPV GT signage and badges for the biggest race on the V8 Supercar calendar.

Drivers Adam Macrow and Darren Hossack plan to re-ignite the passion created by the legendary Ford XR GT and the unbeatable GT HO models at Bathurst and beyond during the late 60s and 70s. Ford produced 12,475 GT Falcons in total, from the original XR model in 1967 through to the XB model in 1976. That figure included 962 legendary GT HO models in the XW and XY model series from 1969 to 1971.

More than 25 years since the last GT raced at Bathurst, the Grand Tourer model designation is once again an Australian success story, with more than 1000 produced by Ford Performance Vehicles since March. FPV has revived the legendary GT badge with this new range of high-performance cars, all of which are powered by the only V8 engine that has been developed and manufactured in Australia, the high-tech Boss 290.

According to FPV/FPR managing director David Flint, the decision to bring the GT back to Bathurst was in direct response to feedback received by FPV from racing fans and GT owners alike.

"This is a historic occasion," Flint admitted, "The GT badge is an Australian motoring icon that was born and bred on the hallowed tarmac of Bathurst. Its success on the racetrack made it an instant classic on the road.

"The new GT from Ford Performance Vehicles has re-ignited this passion for our customers, and it was only natural that we took the GT back to the racetrack."

Macrow and Hossack unveiled the new livery in the Bathurst pit-lane, the blue-and-white FPR Ford standing alongside the car that started it all, a pristine Ford XR GT - the first model that raced at Bathurst in 1967.

"This is a rare honour for any driver competing at Bathurst, and Darren and I will be doing all we can to do justice for the return of the GT to Mount Panorama after more than a quarter of a century," Macrow said, "The GT livery on our car will bring back many fond memories for the first and second generation of Ford GT fans watching the great race."

The CAT FPR Falcon being campaigned by 1996 Bathurst winner and triple champion Craig Lowndes with 20th anniversary driver and double champion Glenn Seton, along with the Ford Credit FPR Falcon driven by David Besnard and Owen Kelly, will also carry FPV GT badges to mark the return of the iconic marque to the mountain.

 

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