After last weekend's IMSA and World Endurance Championship races at Sebring International Raceway, a few teams stayed behind in Florida to get practice laps ahead of the next rounds. One of those teams was Ford Performance. It didn't partake in the racing, the crew instead spending this year getting the S650 Ford Mustang Dark Horse GT3 ready for entries in IMSA and FIA WEC in 2024. Ford CEO Jim Farley uploaded a video to Twitter showing the racing 'Stang putting in work around a few corners and making noises we like to hear.
According to Muscle Cars & Trucks, reported team drivers Joey Hand and Harry Tincknell were limited to a max of 6,500 RPM while at the track. We don't have specs on the race mill derived from Ford's Coyote 5.0-liter V8 and built by Ford's competition partner M-Sport, but we know redline in the street version of the 5.0 runs up to 7,500 rpm. As engineers turn up the heat this year, we expect they'll be turning up the volume, too. The all-America factory team battle coming to race tracks will be between the Mustang GT3 and Corvette Z06 GT3.R and their V8 soundtracks.
Farley added a provocative question to his tweet: "Should we make a road version?" We're sure Ford would find buyers for such a ride. And wouldn't it be ironic for the street-legal Mustang to be getting more rowdy than ever as its GM competition is going on hiatus and its Dodge competition is going electric.
A better question might be, with Ford putting the 2024 Mustang in so many global competitions, why wouldn't the automaker share some of that with the public? Mustang Dark Horse racers are headed to NASCAR, the NHRA, Australian Supercars, FIA GT4, IMSA, WEC, and a one-make spec series. On top of that, Ford Performance will sell two non-street-legal racing versions, the Dark Horse S and Dark Horse R. The Dark Horse S is closest to the road car, stripped of most creature comforts and equipped with Multimatic DSSV shocks in place of the MagneRide suspension on the standard Dark Horse. It gets upgraded brakes, adjustable aero and adjustable ride height and camber settings, an FIA-compliant safety cage, window nets, racing seats with harnesses, full electrical disconnects, a fire suppression system, and the barest of control interfaces.
After all that engineering, Ford's got to be nine-tenths of a way to a road version already. We expect to see the GT3 and GT4 models hit the track in earnest late this year.
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