Ford has given a first look at its new Mustang GT3 during the launch event of the 2024 Mustang production and race car lineup in Detroit on Wednesday evening.
The new Multimatic-built GT3 and GT4 cars broke cover for the first time, along with Mustang examples for NASCAR, NHRA and Australian supercars, previewed in a one-minute video featuring six different Mustang race or track day cars.
‘The Stampede’ event also saw the surprise reveal of the Mustang Dark Horse, which will be available as both a production car and track day vehicle with the Dark Horse S and R models.
According to Mark Rushbrook, director of Ford Performance Global Motorsports, the Mustang GT3 is set for its official race debut in the 2024 Rolex 24 at Daytona, with the GT4 version set to begin racing in the second half of next year.
“Ford’s performance is an important part of our company and what we represent for Ford in terms of our motorsports legacy and our performance,” Rushbrook told Sportscar365.
“The Mustang itself is an important car for our company. This is an iconic car with such a great history.
“what [tonight] was telling the world that would continue for the foreseeable future, both on the road and on the race track.
“There is a lot of enthusiasm inside our company, to be able to tell the world what we are doing, especially from our senior leadership who are very passionate about what we have.”
Rushbrook said the global push around the Mustang is, in his mind, more important to its previous factory GTE-spec event with the Ford GT, which the GTE-Pro class victory highlighted at the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans. did.
“Going with Le Mans from 2016 to 2019” [Ford] The GT was a huge deal because of the history and what that car meant to us and what the current GT means to us,” he said.
“But I think what we’re doing with the Mustang now is a big deal. The Mustang has been a constant part of our company for so long. It’s such an iconic car.”
“Now that we have the opportunity to truly race that car with the GT3 that we sell everywhere, it’s a big deal to be able to race it everywhere.”
Rushbrook would not confirm whether the new GT3 car would be based exclusively on Dark Horse.
“This seventh generation platform is the basis for all these cars,” he said.
He said: “I think the purpose of the Dark Horse as a street-legal car is to be more track-capable than ever.
“You can literally take it on the track and you don’t have to worry about the temperature, the D-rates. As a street-legal car, it’s a good track car.”
Mustang GT3 could start testing later this year
Rushbrook indicated that the Mustang GT3 is currently scheduled to begin an on-track development phase later this year or early 2023, with “a lot of testing” to take place before its homologation in the third quarter of next year.
While Multimatic will operate a two-car factory GTD Pro effort in the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship, there are no current plans for any work efforts in other GT3-based championships.
“We’re still on track to [the factory program in GTD Pro],” Rushbrook said. “There is customer race everywhere.
“We love the fact – with the GTE/GTLM now focused on the GT3 – all manufacturers and series, we can now sell these Mustang GT3s around the world… a customer racing program In form of.
“We’ve taken a lot of interest and are going to sell a lot of these cars. We’ve got a lot of interest from existing teams, new teams that want to join these series and race these cars.
“This is important to us, with the Mustang being the best-selling sports car in the world, we now have the opportunity to truly race around the world with the GT3 and GT4.
“Yes, we want to run in IMSA. Yes, we want to run in all SRO series around the world and also at WEC and Le Mans but as a customer effort.”