This Is the 2024 Ford Mustang Race Car That’s Going to Le Mans
You didn’t expect the new 2024 Ford Mustang to stick to cars and coffee, did you? The seventh-generation Mustang is going racing, with Ford announcing a slew of new track-only variants including a GT3-spec racer that’s heading for Le Mans.
“Mustang is raced at all the great tracks around the world, but there is no race or track that means more to our history than Le Mans,” said Ford Executive Chair Bill Ford at the reveal of the seventh-gen Mustang. “It’s where we took on Ferrari and won in the 1960s and where we returned 50 years later and shocked the world again. Mustang will go back to Le Mans. Once again, we will go like hell.”
Few details about the new Mustang GT3 have been revealed, but it will be powered by a 5.4-liter engine based on the Coyote V8. Multimatic—the same folks who built the most recent Ford GT that won at Le Mans in 2016—will build the GT3 and GT4 racing versions of the new Mustang for numerous racing series worldwide.
Ford Performance Director Mark Rushbrook confirmed to Sportscar365 that the new Mustang GT3 will be eligible to compete in Le Mans in 2024. Its official endurance racing debut will be in IMSA, at the 2024 24 Hours of Daytona, with its fellow GT4-spec racer making its competition debut in the second half of the year. Ford plans to start testing later this year or in early 2023, and will officially homologate the new Mustang GT3 for racing in the third quarter of 2023.
Likewise, Multimatic will run Ford’s two-car factory Mustang GT3 program, which will compete in the GTD Pro class of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The factory team has no plans to compete in other GT3-spec championships with the car, but will offer the GT3- and GT4-spec Mustangs for purchase by customer teams, should you desire to start your own Mustang racing squad.
This is the first GT3 version of the Mustang ever built as well as the first GT3 car produced by Ford, no doubt building off of the popularity of Ford’s existing GT4-spec Mustang race cars as well as the ubiquity of GT3-spec racing series around the globe. GT3 is more popular than ever now that Le Mans also adopt the spec to replace its GTE cars, so frankly, it’s a no-brainer for Ford to build one.
In addition to the GT3- and GT4- spec racers and its Dark Horse track cars, Ford announced that new NHRA Factory X, Australian Supercars, and NASCAR Mustangs are on the way. Australian Supercars may actually be the first place to see a racing version of the seventh-gen Mustang on track, though, as it’s set to debut there next season.
So, brace yourselves now for another Ford vs. Ferrari marketing push around Le Mans—although this time, the Ford competing on track will look a lot more like the Fords we see in the Starbucks parking lot at home.
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