The buzz in the sports-car racing scene for the past few months has been that the next generation of Corvette C8.R would acquire a high-profile crosstown competitor in 2024. Ford announced today that the Mustang would compete in both GT3 and IMSA’s GTD Pro classes in two years.
Ford will manufacture and race the cars in collaboration with Multimatic. If you know that name, it was involved in the development of both the current Ford GT road car and the GTE-class race car that ran from 2016 to 2019. Multimatic is best known for building race cars, such as the future Porsche and Audi LMDh racers that will compete for overall victories at Le Mans, but it has also managed whole racing programmes, such as the European Ford GT and American Mazda DPi operations. Its most recent project will be a two-car factory GT programme for Ford, similar to the Mustang’s equivalent to Corvette Racing’s famed yellow-and-black factory vehicles.
IMSA has replaced its long-running GTLM category with a GT3-based class named GTD Pro, which will debut at tomorrow’s Rolex 24. Any team interested in competing must follow a global GT3 rule set, which generally requires firms to manufacture at least 30 total cars and sell many of them to private consumers. Customer Mustang GT3s will be available when the automobile launches with its factory operation in 2024, and Ford will be no exception.
Joey Hand, a Le Mans class champion as a Ford factory driver from 2016 to 2019, has been brought on as a test driver for the programme. He will also continue to work as an internal development driver for Ford’s whole racing programme. He’ll compete in NASCAR Cup Series road races this year as part of that component of the job.
M-Sport, the firm that produces and races the Ford Puma in the World Rally Championship, will power the new Mustang racers with a derivative of the 5.0-liter Coyote V-8. In addition to the GT3 version, Ford also plans to build and sell a successor to its current Mustang GT4 racer, also built with Multimatic and available to customers since 2016.
While no mention was made of what Mustang this new racing car would actually represent, the two-year window before the program rolls out leaves plenty of time for Ford to debut the newest generation of a car that has been in production since 2015.