The Ford GT race programme will run for at least three more seasons in both the World Endurance Championship and IMSA, the American brand has announced.

Ford returned to global sportscar competition this year with the all-new GT car, also competing in and winning the Le Mans 24 Hours last month.

The cars are run by Chip Ganassi Racing, which announced on Saturday that Ford's programme has been extended through the 2019 season.

"We wanted to make sure everyone knows that we are committed to sports car racing globally with WEC and IMSA," said Raj Nair, Ford executive vice president and chief technical officer.

"The stated goal of our Ford GT programme was to win Le Mans, and we're very proud that we were able to do that in our first year. To commit to a full, four-year assault on both the IMSA and WEC championships shows how serious we are about taking Ford GT racing around the world.

"We are in motorsport to win races and championships, but just as importantly we are using it to develop our engineering expertise and help develop advancements for production vehicles like EcoBoost engines, advanced aerodynamics and lightweight materials that consumers can use in Ford production vehicles going forward."

Ford is racing with two cars in IMSA and another two in the WEC, and scored a 1-3-4 in the GTE Pro class at Le Mans.

"We're excited and feel the extension of this Ford GT race programme sends an important message to the industry and to enthusiasts that we are committed to global racing at Ford," added Dave Pericak, global director, Ford Performance.

"But we remain committed to doing racing the right way. And the Ford GT programme is a perfect example of how we are using our racing efforts to help improve the products that Ford consumers can drive every day.

"Developing the GT production car and the race car at the same time has been a challenging task for everyone, but it has also showed how the production vehicle side and racing side of Ford Performance can work together to benefit everyone."


Gallery: Ford commits to WEC, IMSA until 2019