- Ford returns to factory-backed GT3 racing at the legendary Rolex 24 at Daytona with two all-new Mustang GT3 IMSA race cars created by Ford Performance and Multimatic Motorsports in the GTD Pro class
- Proton Competition to also field a Mustang GT3 in the GTD class, giving Mustang three spots on the grid for the 62nd running of the iconic endurance race
- Mustang GT4 to run in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge and the IMSA VP Racing Sports Car Challenge, making Daytona the first official running of the all-new Mustang GT3 and GT4 in both specifications
DAYTONA BEACH, Fl., Jan. 19, 2024 –Ford Mustang, the iconic sports car that created the pony car segment, is leading Ford’s return to global sports car racing at the Rolex 24 at Daytona as Ford Performance kicks off its sports car 2024 racing season.
Mustang will compete in multiple races at the legendary endurance event, with Mustang GT3 race cars competing in the GTD Pro and GTD classes of the headline Rolex 24 at Daytona and Mustang GT4 competing in both the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge and the IMSA VP Racing Sports Car Challenge.
All of the cars have been developed as part of a joint program by Ford Performance and long-time racing collaborator Multimatic Motorsports.
“We are ready to unleash the Ford Mustang GT3 and GT4 cars during a very exciting time for the sport,” said Mark Rushbrook, Global Director of Ford Performance Motorsports. “Daytona International Speedway has been the site for many remarkable moments through our history, and we can’t wait to return to IMSA competition.”
In GTD Pro, Ford and Multimatic are fielding a two-car, factory-backed GT3 team. Drivers Chris Mies, Mike Rockenfeller and Harry Tincknell will campaign in the No. 64 Mustang while Le Mans winners Joey Hand and Dirk Müller are joined by Frédéric Vervisch racing in No. 65. The numbers for both factory-backed cars honor Ford Mustang’s 60th anniversary.
“The first race for a new car is always the most challenging,” said Larry Holt, Multimatic Special Vehicle Operations Executive Vice President. “Daytona is the culmination of two years of intense work by Multimatic, Ford and M-Sport, with no effort spared in creating a car capable of taking on the legendary twice around the clock contest. We are ready!”
Mustang GT3 customer Proton Competition is entering its GT3 in the GTD Class with drivers Dennis Olsen, Corey Lewis, Ryan Hardwick, and Giammarco Levorato piloting the No. 55 car.
At Daytona, two customer teams are set to launch the all-new Mustang GT4 in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge series and the IMSA VP Racing Sports Car Challenge.
KohR Motorsports will see the return of Luca Mars and Bob Michaelian in the No. 59 Mustang GT4, with Mars simultaneously competing in VP Racing Sports Car Challenge. McCumbee McAleer Racing also celebrates the exciting next chapter of Mustang, welcoming back the No. 13 of Chad McCumbee and Jenson Altzman to Michelin Pilot Challenge.
The Rolex 24 at Daytona has been the scene of multiple racing successes for Ford Motor Company, from the first victory in 1966 to Ford’s most recent win: a class victory for the Ford GTLM in 2017.
Racing gets underway at the 24 Hours at Daytona on Saturday, January 27.
Hear from the Ford Factory Drivers:
Harry Tincknell #64: It’s time to go racing! We’ve been through an incredibly rigorous test program since the Mustang GT3 was revealed, continually optimising the car with every run. We’ve gathered a huge amount of knowledge, and I think we’re now in a good window. Lots of different drivers have tested the car, on different tracks, with different tires and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Any small thing that we’ve had to optimise or improve is now on the car for Daytona so we are as ready as we will ever be.
The fact that we are developing a car not only for the factory team but also the customer teams worldwide is very special. We’re not just focused on what we want but also what the customers need. The Mustang will be running in the cold and wet at Brands Hatch, to the heat of Bahrain and everywhere in between. I’m really enjoying being part of the development process, and it’s great to see that there is real excitement for this program throughout Ford. To race the Mustang, which is the beating heart of Ford, is a real privilege.
Mike Rockenfeller #64: We’re ready to get out there and represent Ford with the new Mustang GT3. You can really feel the energy in this program, and I am excited to be part of it. The next big step for us will be the Roar and then we go straight into the Rolex 24, our first race. It’s a tough 24-hour race and the challenge is even greater when you have a new car. That said, I have been impressed by how reliably the car has run in testing, and we are feeling pretty happy with it. I’m really enjoying working with the team, which is super professional, and also getting to know my teammate (Tincknell).
We are carrying a lot of hopes on our shoulders going into Daytona, but we become stronger with every session. Daytona is a big race where sometimes little things can bite you, but we’re ready for the challenge.
Christopher Mies #64: I’m really looking forward to kicking off our new partnership with our first race together, especially as it is at Daytona. It is a special place and one I am very happy to come back to. We have completed extensive testing there, and the car has been great. So, I can’t wait to go up against the competition. The team has been very welcoming, and I’m excited for our new adventure to begin.
Joey Hand #65: With any new program, the challenges is always about going the distance, especially when you are starting with a 24-hour race at Daytona. We have had two really good running cars throughout pre-season testing and that’s so important. We have got a feel of the car now; what the tires will do over long stints, how fuel load reacts over long stints and so on.
Daytona is a special race. From the moment you roll in for the test, there are Ferris wheels, corn dogs and a ton of people camping. People come from all over to watch this big race and that really gets us amped up. The fact that people come to watch us race is one of the coolest things about being a race car driver. This year it’s a real honor for us to bring the Mustang GT3. Everyone has seen it on social media, but in real life the car is something else – it looks good, it sounds good, it’s the full package.
It’s great that we go into this with the continuity of Dirk and myself as team mates, and the team from Ford to Multimatic, but what makes this really special is the Mustang itself. We’re bringing a car to race that so many people drive on a regular basis. It’s going to resonate with people, because so many people can say, ‘I drive a Mustang. I’m rooting for the Mustang.’ Whether those people follow us online, on television or at the races, we know they are supporting us, and that gives us so much motivation to succeed. This is just the beginning, and we can’t wait to get started.
Dirk Müller # 65: It’s great to be back! I feel really pumped to be back at the track with Joey, Ford and Multimatic. As we get closer to the actual race, we will see how everything has been dialed-in. Once the flag waves, it’s go time, and we’re here to win. We know our competitors are strong, and we certainly do not underestimate them. It’s a tough championship ahead, but we’re here to win races and win the title. I think we have all the ingredients to do so.
Endurance races are so tough to win. It’s not like in the past, where you can bring the car home and get a podium. Now, it’s a sprint race from the beginning to the end. People say ‘just stay on the lead lap and it’ll all come down to the final three or so hours’ but it’s a big hustle to stay on the lead lap, maintain position or be the lead in this field. Joey and I have always had a saying, even when we won Le Mans, that we want to control the race from the front. That mentality is even more crucial at Daytona so many cars, speed differences and a very long night. You never know what this race will throw at you. The year we won with the Ford GT, we had a lot of rain. It was very tricky to stay on track and not make any mistakes. That’s the key, to have a mistake-free run. We have smart brains around us from Ford Performance and Multimatic Motorsports. We have all the ingredients to put on a good show!
Frédéric Vervisch #65: I feel very proud to be racing at Daytona as a Ford factory driver. It really is an honour to race such an iconic American car at an iconic American track. I competed in this race back in 2019 and finished third, so I’m looking forward to getting out there again. Everything is new and exciting, with a great team and great team-mates. Anything can happen at Daytona, so we will push hard on every lap and hope for a top result.