Had some time to digest the new Ford Mustang? Like it? Either way, you’re about to see a lot more of the new pony car if you follow motorsport. The Blue Oval revealed six new Mustang racecars after the roadgoing model had been unveiled, one of which is going to compete at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The biggest-winged Mustang is the Le Mans racer, which is officially launching at the beginning of 2024. Ford won’t be able to have a factory team by then, though, as the current GTE category is being replaced by a GT3 category for customer teams with a mix of professional and amateur drivers. So Ford’s appearance at Le Mans hinges on a team choosing the Mustang.
2024 marks 60 years since Ford first took the GT40 to Le Mans. The Mustang, meanwhile, competed in the French endurance race in 1967 and 1997.
“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 Bill Ford, Ford executive chair, at The Stampede, the debut of the new seventh-generation Ford 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.”
The Ford Mustang GT3 is also designed for IMSA, WEC and other GT3 races globally. It brings a unique 5.4-litre version of Ford’s V8 motor. Another Mustang is for GT4 racing, which we might see in various GT4 and GT programmes around the world.
Below that are two currently unhomologated versions, called the Dark Horse S and Dark Horse R. The S is closest to the road car, but stripped down and fitted with the necessary racing bits like a roll cage, harnesses and safety nets. Compared to the road-going Mustang, it also gets upgraded brakes, tow pins, new dampers and an adjustable rear wing. The R adds seam welding and a larger fuel tank, and could be set up for some racing series. The S, though, is basically a track-day car.
The last two cars are ready for the Australian Supercars series and NHRA drag racing leagues, but Ford is remaining tight-lipped about these.