“Let me tell you, it’s a race car that means business.”Richard L'Abbe, Ford GT Owner
We were invited for a ride in one of the first 2017 Ford GT cars delivered in Canada, that belonging to Richard L’Abbe’s. For the occasion, we happily ventured to Calabogie Motorsports Park, about an hour west of Ottawa, Ontario. As an added bonus, all three generations of the Ford GT greeted us at the track: a 1967 Ford GT 40, manufactured from 1964-1969; a second-generation Ford GT, manufactured from 2004-2006; and the current generation 2017 Ford GT.
L’Abbe was involved in innovation and creativity throughout his career. It is little wonder why the new Ford GT captivated him from its inception.
“The love affair for me started when this car was introduced in the exact same colour as (my) car, at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show,” said Richard L’Abbe, as he stood proudly next to his new GT. “My wife and I were going to the Formula 1 race in Shanghai. One of the main reasons for me to go to the (Shanghai) auto show was to see this thing live because I hadn’t been to Detroit.” L’Abbe wanted to sit in the car to make sure he would fit — at six-foot two-and-a-half inches tall, fitting into a compact race car can prove a challenge. Although Richard fits, he is looking into a custom seat to allow him more headroom.
Richard L’Abbe, Ford GT Owner
“Fast forward to the summer of last year and, as you know, we all had to apply for this car, and the application was quite lengthy,” explained L’Abbe. “They wanted to know more about you, the applicant, they wanted to know what your history with Ford was, what your history with Lincoln was. Do you have a racing pedigree? Do you have a philanthropic profile? All sorts of things. And at the end, you had to submit a one-minute video of yourself. ‘Hi, I’m Richard L’Abbe, and I want to have a GT for whatever reason.’”
“So, I filled out the best I could… I sent my application in and in September  I received an email back that ‘Mr L’Abbe, congratulations! You’re going to be one of the proud new owners of the Ford GT.’”
“The Ford GT ordering kit is a critical piece in the purchase process,” Henry Ford III, global marketing manager, Ford Performance recently stated. “This high-quality kit is a hands-on tool for Ford GT customers to enhance their ordering experience. Authentic colors, finishes and materials will provide them an intimate, tactile way to discern the multitude of choices to configure their ideal supercar.”
Ford GT Order Kit
“The race car in a lot of ways was simpler to develop [than the road car] because all you’re looking for is outright speed and reliability,” said Maxwell. “Whereas [with] a street car there are different compromises. It has to be a comfortable car to drive for anybody.”
When asked how many laps Maxwell has logged around Calabogie Motorsports Park in the Ford GT he responded, “We did some tests where we would do 10 laps in a whole day, it depended on what we were going after and what was going on. There were other weeks when we would have to do a 24-hour durability test where you’re putting in hundreds and hundreds of laps over a 24 hour period. For sure we’re into thousands of laps and thousands of miles.”
Logging thousands of miles in a new GT around a race track sounds like a dream job to us! We had the privilege of logging a couple of laps on the track, and we loved every minute of it. “Let me tell you, it’s a race car that means business,” L’Abbe commented. We couldn’t agree more.
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