Mc3794 2023 07 27

IMSA-Sanctioned Mustang Challenge Ready to Launch in 2024

The New Single-Make Series Will Feature the All-New Ford Mustang Dark Horse R

By Mark Robinson


DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – A herd of Mustangs are about to gallop onto IMSA race weekends in 2024.


Ford Performance and IMSA announced today that the Mustang Challenge, a single-make racing series featuring the new Ford Mustang Dark Horse R, will debut next year. The schedule will consist of six race weekends, each with a pair of sprint races for a total of 12 races throughout the season.


The Mustang Dark Horse R used by all competitors is a turnkey race car based on the road-going Mustang Dark Horse with enhancements including a fourth-generation, 5.0-liter Coyote V-8 engine capable of generating more than 500 horsepower. The Dark Horse R will join the Mustang GT3 and Mustang GT4 that are earmarked to begin competing in other IMSA series as well in 2024.


Mc2998 2023 07 27

“Mustang Dark Horse R bridges the gap between Dark Horse and Mustang GT3 and GT4,” said Mark Rushbrook, global director, Ford Performance Motorsports. “Production-based Mustangs have raced from the very beginning, all the way back to winning the 1964 Tour de France, even. Dark Horse R offers our passionate customers not just an attainable, factory-built race car, but also a racing series to compete with other Mustang enthusiasts.”


Each round of the Mustang Challenge will be sanctioned by IMSA and managed by the Ford Performance Racing School. Event weekends will consist of two practices, one qualifying session and two sprint races. IMSA partner Michelin is developing race tires specifically designed for the series.


“The new Mustang Challenge series is a perfect addition to our IMSA family, and we are grateful to our longtime partners at Ford for trusting us to be the sanctioning body for this spectacular new platform,” IMSA President John Doonan said. “When I was a little boy going to the racetrack, I vividly remember the rumble of the Mustang race cars and their V-8 power, so imagining a full field of Dark Horse Rs charging into Turn 1 for the first time on an IMSA race weekend will bring back a flood of memories and be awe inspiring.”


The complete 2024 Mustang Challenge schedule will be announced with the rest of IMSA’s 2024 series schedules next week at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Rushbrook assured that competitors will like the looks of it.


“Mustang Dark Horse R owners,” he said, “will have the opportunity to race and test their driving skills with other Mustang enthusiasts at some of the world’s most incredible tracks.”

(Photos: Ford Performance)