Ford Mustang, the iconic sports car that created the pony car segment, will lead Ford’s return to global sports car racing as Ford Performance prepares a new GT3 race car for competition in 2024.
Ford Performance has unveiled plans for its all-new Mustang GT3 race car that will compete in the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) 2024 racing season, including the 24 Hours of Daytona.
Announced ahead of this weekend’s Rolex 24 at Daytona, the new Mustang effort will be a joint program between Ford Performance and longtime racing associate Multimatic Motorsports. It will feature both a factory-supported IMSA GTD Pro factory two-car team operated by Multimatic, as well as customer Mustangs for the GTD class from Daytona in 2024.
“Mustang was born to race from the ground up and we are excited to introduce the GT3 version to take on some of the biggest manufacturers in the world,” said Mark Rushbrook, Global Director of Ford Performance Motorsports. “With 58 years of global heritage in endurance racing, including NASCAR and Australian Supercars today, we are poised to take the Mustang to the next level of global performance.
“There is no doubt that Multimatic Motorsports is the perfect partner for us on this project,” said Rushbrook. “Not only have they worked with us to develop numerous Mustang customer programs in the past, but their work on the Ford GT program and the new Bronco® DR customer racing programs has shown that together we can deliver championship-level racing programs for Ford and its customers.”
“We are excited to work with Ford Performance on this new IMSA and GT3 customer program,” said Larry Holt, Executive Vice President, Multimatic Special Vehicle Operations. “We have a long, wonderful working relationship with each other, both at the highest level of professional sports car racing and developing competitive racing programs and vehicles for customers. We appreciate their trust in us, and together we can’t wait to show the world what’s on the road with Mustang.”
The new Mustang GT3 racer is powered by a Ford 5.0-litre Coyote-based V8 engine developed by Ford Performance and built by M-Sport of Cumbria, England, a long-time race associate and world championship-winning team.
The two organizations have a rich history in the FIA World Rally Championship and have recently collaborated on the development and preparation of the Ford Puma Hybrid Rally1, which finished 1-3-5 last weekend in its debut race at the Monte Carlo Rally.
“We are delighted to broaden our relationship with Ford and expand into the world of racing after a highly successful 25 years together in the World Rally Championship, delivering stunning results again with the Puma Hybrid Rally1,” said Malcom Wilson, owner of M -Sport. “M-Sport has a wealth of knowledge and expertise in track racing, in particular our GT3 program which used an M-Sport developed V8 engine for GT3 which propelled us to victory in the Bathurst 12 hour race of 2020 and in 2019 1000 km from Paul. ricard.
“Our most recent engine project has made us the official engine supplier to the British Touring Car Championship, which also uses Ford engine architecture,” added Wilson. “We are very excited to be working directly with Ford Performance and Multimatic on the Mustang GT3 and will be working very hard, leaving no stone unturned as we join forces to compete for more wins around the world.”
The race-specific powerplant will continue the heritage of powerful naturally aspirated V8s on the Mustang platform. The engine will carry the heart and soul of the world-renowned Ford Coyote® and has undergone performance and packaging changes to prepare the championship for world-class GT3 endurance racing.
The new Mustang GT3 race car will feature custom Short-Long Arm front and rear suspension, a rear-mounted transaxle gearbox, carbon fiber body panels and a unique aerodynamic package developed to meet GT3 goals.
Ford and Multimatic will make both factory and custom GT3 Mustangs available to teams beginning with the 2024 season.
Joey Hand, one of the winning drivers in the 2016 Le Mans 24 Hours GTE Pro class in the Ford GT, will be one of the test drivers for the new program, and will also continue in his role as development driver and coach for Ford Performance. As part of that, he will also drive six NASCAR Cup races on the road in 2022 in a Rick Ware Racing Ford Mustang.
“It’s great to be on the ground floor of another great sports car racing program with Ford,” said Hand. “As much as I love to compete and win on the track, I also enjoy being a part of the development of new racing vehicles like this Mustang. We’ve had a lot of testing with the Ford GT program, so it will be great to work with many of the same people at Ford and Multimatic again to get this car ready for competition.”
New Mustang GT4 also on the way
While the Mustang GT3 is new to IMSA, Ford and Multimatic have confirmed that the successful Mustang GT4 customer racing program will continue into the future, with a new Mustang GT4 expected to debut in the 2023 season.
“It is important for us to continue to support the Mustang GT4 efforts as well,” said Rushbrook. “We have had great success with the current Mustang GT4 both here and in Europe and we look forward to offering our customers a brand new car for competition in the GT4 category from next season. We will have more to say about that in the near future.”
The new sports car racing Mustang announcements add to a lineup of new racing Mustangs coming to Ford Performance in the near future. The 2022 Next Gen Ford Mustang will debut on February 6 in the NASCAR Cup Series at the LA Coliseum and two weeks later at the Daytona 500. And Ford Performance is developing its new Gen 3 Mustang for the Supercars Series that debuts in early 2023.
Ford Performance PR