Mustang GT3’s Impressive Le Mans Debut Echoes Ford GT’s Historic 2016 Victory

    The Mustang GT3’s remarkable performance in the LMGT3 class at the prestigious Le Mans 24 Hours has been hailed as an “equivalent” achievement to the Ford GT’s debut win in 2016, according to the car’s builder Multimatic.

    “If we’d won, I would say bigger than 2016. I can’t, because the podium is not a win. So I’d say equivalent, because it’s really cool to come here and do that.” – Larry Holt, the boss of Ford’s technical partner Multimatic

    The last new Ford to debut at Le Mans, the Ford GT, had previously claimed its first victory in the IMSA SportsCar Championship before its class triumph at Le Mans in 2016, where Dirk Muller, Sebastien Bourdais, and Joey Hand’s Chip Ganassi Racing-run car emerged victorious in the GTE Pro category, a fitting tribute to the Blue Oval’s maiden overall win 50 years prior.

    While the Mustang GT3 had yet to reach similar heights in either IMSA or the WEC, Holt’s comments suggest the LMGT3 class podium finish was a remarkable achievement, given the car’s relative immaturity and the team’s ongoing efforts to optimize the FIA’s mandatory torque sensors.

    Holt expressed his “euphoria” at the Mustang’s pre-event promise, which saw Ben Barker top the Wednesday qualifying session, being followed up with a trouble-free run for two of the three entries. While the #77 car shared by Barker, Zacharie Robichon, and Ryan Hardwick was delayed by a steering rack failure, the #88 crew of Dennis Olsen, Mikkel Pedersen, and Giorgio Roda finished a remarkable third, with the invitational #44 machine driven by Christopher Mies, Ben Tuck, and John Hartshorne finishing fourth.

    The result was not entirely contingent on reliability, as the Mustang GT3 produced its best showing of the year to date, having made progress on its understanding of the torque sensors, while its center of gravity disadvantage relative to other GT3 cars was masked by the characteristics of the Le Mans circuit.

    “It was a lot of work to do, to develop the car, it took a year-and-a-half, and like it is with every new racecar, it’s a bit of a slog to get it to a point where you can rely on it that it’s gonna be reliable,” – Larry Holt

    The impressive debut of the Mustang GT3 at the iconic Le Mans 24 Hours, with its podium finish echoing the historic victory of the Ford GT in 2016, has undoubtedly set the stage for the car’s future success in the WEC, IMSA, and other prestigious GT racing series.

    ๐Ÿ”— Source