Ford gave its first look at the new Mustang GT3 during the launch event for the 2024 Mustang lineup and race cars on Wednesday night in Detroit.
Previewed in a one-minute video featuring six different Mustangs for race or daytime track, it breaks down both the new GT3 and GT4 Multimatic cars, along with Mustang examples of NASCAR, NHRA and Australian Supercars.
The Stampede event also saw the surprise reveal of the Mustang Dark Horse, which will be available as a production car and daily race vehicle with Dark Horse S and R models.
The Mustang GT3 is gearing up for its official debut at the 2024 Rolex 24 in Daytona, with the GT4 version set to begin racing in the second half of next year according to Ford Performance global motorsport boss Mark Rushbrook.
“Ford Performance is an important part of our company and what we stand for in terms of Ford’s motorsport heritage and performance,” Rashbrook told Sportscar365.
“The Mustang sees itself as an important vehicle for our company. It is an iconic vehicle with a great history.
“what or what [tonight] It was all about telling the world that it would continue for the foreseeable future, both on the road and on the racetrack.
“There is a lot of excitement within our company, to be able to tell the world what we’re doing, especially from our senior leadership who is so excited about what we have.”
Rushbrook said the global thrust around the Mustang, in his view, is of more importance to the ex-factory’s GTE specification program with the Ford GT highlighted by the GTE-Pro’s victory in the GTE-Pro class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2016.
Going to Le Mans in 2016 to 2019 with [Ford] The GT was a huge deal because of the history and what that car means to us and what the current GT means to us,” he said.
“But I think what we’re doing now with the Mustang…is a bigger deal. The Mustang has always been a consistent part of our company. It’s a special car.
“Now that we have the opportunity with GT3 to race the car we sell really everywhere, being able to race everywhere is a huge deal.”
Rushbrook hasn’t confirmed whether the new GT3 will be based specifically on the Dark Horse.
“This seventh-generation platform is the foundation of all of these cars,” he said.
He added: “I think the purpose of the Dark Horse as a road-legal car, is more capable on the racetrack than ever before.
“You can take it on the track and not have any concerns about the temperature, d rates. It’s a good track car as a road legal car.”
The Mustang GT3 could start testing later this year
Rushbrook noted that the Mustang GT3 is currently slated to begin development on the track either late this year or early 2023, with “a lot of testing” taking place before it is approved in the third quarter of next year.
While Multimatic will operate its factory two-car GTD Pro in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, there are no current plans for any business efforts in the other GT3 championships.
“We are still on the right track to do so [the factory program in GTD Pro]Rashbrook said. “Everywhere else customers are racing.
“We love the fact – with the GTE/GTLM gone now with everyone focused on GT3 – all manufacturers and series, we can now sell Mustang GT3s around the world…as a customer racing program.
“We have had a lot of interest and we will sell a lot of these cars. We have a lot of interest from existing teams and new teams that want to be involved in this series and race these cars.
“This is important to us, as the Mustang is the best-selling sports car in the world, we now have the opportunity with the GT3 and GT4 to truly compete around the world.
“Yes, we want to race in IMSA. Yes, we want to race in all SRO series around the world and also in WEC and at Le Mans but as the customer’s efforts.”