In case you haven’t noticed, the recently unveiled 2024 Mustang is rocking the headlines. Ponies, pixels, funky e-brake, gasoline—huzzah! If you prefer Mustangs of a more track-oriented variety—ones with wings, stripes, and slicks—then the six new racing Mustangs, and the Mustang Dark Horse, for that matter, should be at the top of your seventh-gen release notes.
During Wednesday night’s unveiling, Ford made it abundantly clear that where there is racing, there will be a Mustang. Ford’s iconic muscle car will compete on a national level in a variety of sports car, drag racing, and stock car series.
Among the new fleet of Mustang racers, perhaps the most anticipated is the Mustang GT3. In 2024, the Blue Oval will return to GT3 sports car racing with an all-new car, a purpose-built, aero-improved Mustang road racer with a 5.4-liter Coyote-based V-8 behind the galloping chrome horse. In addition to making the new Mustang available to customers, current GT4 partner Multimatic will manage a two-car GT3 team for Ford’s factory-backed efforts. The motorsports outfit famously helped put the Ford GT back in Le Mans’ victory lane.
Speaking of the French endurance race, the recent announcement revealed that the new car will also be eligible to compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, come 2024. “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 executive chair Bill Ford at the debut. The Blue Oval looks to “shock the world again,” this time in America’s storied, front-engine muscle car.
Even sooner, a new Mustang GT4 car will be available for race teams as early as 2023. Consider the coupe a diet GT3; the car will be eligible to compete in its respective sports car classes in IMSA, SRO, and FIA GT, banging doors with Porsche 718 Caymans, BMW M4s, and McLaren Arturas.
Also for 2023, a new version of the Mustang will debut in the Australian Supercar series. There, the Mustang has been a front-runner since it replaced the Falcon in 2019.
The new Stang will also appear at the strip in the coming years for NHRA’s newest run group, Factory X (FX), joining the Cobra Jet, COPO Camaro, Challenger Drag Pak, and other approved coupes produced after 2019.
As for you circle-track devotees, you’ll have to wait a bit longer to see any seventh-gen Mustang stockers (though if you look close in the shots provided, we do see the new grille applied to what looks like a Next Gen Cup car).
Ford’s switch to pony-only motorsports didn’t happen overnight. Glance back just 15 years, and its auto racing landscape looked entirely different. One of the biggest shifts arrived in 2010, when Ford opted to use the Mustang as its model for NASCAR Xfinity Series competition. Up until that point, the Blue Oval utilized business coupes and sedans among the stock car ranks. The prized Mustang was reserved for GT sports cars and drag racers. Since then, Mustangs have galloped into seemingly every circle track series, Australian Supercar, Formula Drift, and now top-tier GT3 sports car racing.
Visit a race track next year, and you’re more likely than ever likely to spot a Mustang on the grid.