We’ve said it before, and no doubt will come out with it again: anyone disillusioned by modern motorsport could do an awful lot worse than watch a GT3 race. To see front-engined AMG V8s battle rear-engined 911s, M4s duke it out with R8s, Huracans howl and Vantages rumble really is a treat for all racing fans. Now it looks set to get even better, as Ford continues its Mustang motorsport assault - which has already seen a NASCAR and a Supercar for Australia - with a GT3 car. Watch out World Endurance Championship.
This reveal is bigger than just a Mustang GT3, however, as the Blue Oval has also taken the opportunity to rebrand its racing efforts; they will still race under the Ford Performance banner, but expect to see more of this ‘FP’ logo - a ‘cleaner, simplified look’, says Ford - on upcoming racers, merch, parts, apparel - everything. The livery here, almost art car-esque, has been done by Troy Lee.
As for the car itself, there’s a lot to be excited about. As with so many Ford motorsport projects (think GT and Puma WRC), Multimatic and M-Sport are involved, this Mustang is said to represent an extension of the relationship with both long-term partners. Derived from the road-going Dark Horse, the GT3 (or ‘powerful new pony’, as Ford whimsically calls it) gets a 5.4-litre version of the much loved Coyote V8. That’s how the engine bay of a race car should look! Additional bits include a rear-mounted transaxle gearbox, ‘short-long arm suspension’ and a predictably punchy aero package for maximum downforce. Looks like the BMW might not have the meanest car on the GT grid come 2024.
With the engine to be built by M-Sport and Multimatic assembling the finished car (as well as supporting race teams), the Mustang will initially be offered to private outfits for global GT3 competition. The first such operation is Proton Competition in Germany, which aims to compete with two Mustangs in next year’s World Endurance Championship.
Ford isn’t leaving it all up to the customer teams, however, as there’s going to be an IMSA factory race program as well, with a pair of GT3s competing in the GTD Pro class. Multimatic will manage that campaign, which kicks off at 2024’s running of the Daytona Rolex 24. It’s easy to imagine Ford making quite a big deal of that debut. Then, of course, there will be a GT3 class at Le Mans next year, which the Mustangs will be part of, though it’s not clear yet who beyond Proton Competition will be there. Ford is accepting enquiries now from interested parties…
Ford CEO Jim Farley is certainly pulling no punches: “Ford and Le Mans are bound together by history. And now we’re coming back to the most dramatic, most rewarding and most important race in the world. It is not Ford versus Ferrari anymore. It is Ford versus everyone. Going back to Le Mans is the beginning of building a global motorsports business with Mustang, just like we are doing with Bronco and Raptor off-road.” Sounds quite a lot like a plan for world domination via Mustangs, which could be quite the spectacle. Assuming the GT3 gets the all-clear from the WEC, expect final sign-off of the race car later in 2023. And even better GT3 racing come ’24…
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