DEARBORN, Mich., March 16, 2007 – The world’s most popular “pony car,” the Ford Mustang may soon make its European road racing debut. Ford Racing Technology confirmed today that it has begun the process of homologation of both its Mustang FR500C and FR500GT race cars for FIA competition.
The Mustang FR500C, a championship-winning entry in the U.S.-based, Grand-Am KONI Challenge Series, is being homologated for FIA GT4 competition, while the new Mustang FR500GT, which has not been in competition yet, is being homologated for FIA GT3 competition.
“Mustang has been a winner, both on the track and in the marketplace since it made its debut in 1964,” said Dan Davis, director of Ford Racing Technology. “We have always said that Mustang was ‘born to race,’ and it has been a championship-winning car for Ford in such places as IMSA, SCCA, NHRA and now Grand-Am.”
The Mustang FR500C just started its third year of competition in the KONI Challenge Series, where it has already captured seven wins and the 2005 championship. Fourteen Mustang FR500C race cars lined up on the grid in the 2007 season-opening race at Daytona.
“With that kind of success, we’re excited about the prospect of both our Mustang FR500 race cars being approved for FIA GT competition,” said Davis. “Based on interest we’ve seen from teams in Europe, we see this as an excellent commercial business opportunity to sell additional complete, ready-to-race Mustangs.”
The Ford Mustang is, and always has been, a uniquely American product that has worldwide appeal, and it has a proven racing heritage that makes it even more attractive to teams and race fans.
Davis emphasized that the homologation of the two Mustang products is a Ford Racing North America project, although Ford’s European racing operations, led by Jost Capito, are aware of, and support, the program.
“Much like our successful Grand-Am KONI Challenge Series program, we see this as purely a customer program for private teams that want to race competitive Mustangs,” said Davis, who noted that this is not a first step for Ford to go “factory” road racing in Europe. “The success of the Mustang FR500C has shown that we can design and build ready-to-win race cars for customers.”
The homologation process is being handled by Ford Racing Technology’s partner in the Mustang FR500 race cars project, Multimatic Motorsports of Canada. Multimatic currently has versions of each of the cars in Europe undergoing thorough testing, with a goal of final sign-off by the FIA in April.