When Ford’s big boss, Jim Farley, decided to turn the Mustang GT3 race car into a street version, he went all covert. He put together a top-secret team, complete with non-disclosure agreements, and kept everything under wraps. The transformation of the Mustang GTD went from hush-hush meetings to a hidden aluminum shed, where Mustang Dark Horse chassis sneaked their way to Multimatic, the big-shot manufacturer handling both GT3 and GTD projects.
The public only got wind of the GTD on March 21, 2023, when Farley dropped a video on X (formerly Twitter) featuring Joey Hand test-driving the Mustang GT3 at Sebring. On the same day, Farley playfully responded to his own tweet with a rhetorical question, “Should we make a road version?” Little did we know, the GTD was already well into development.
Should we make a road version? https://t.co/LxaK6AjvD6
— Jim Farley (@jimfarley98) March 22, 2023
To unravel the GTD mystery, we took up Ford’s invite to tour the Multimatic facility in Charlotte, North Carolina, where they craft the Mustang GT3 race cars. Our adventure stretched to the Rolex 24 at Daytona to see these beasts in action, trying to figure out why Ford went all-in on both projects.
Mark Rushbrook, the bigwig overseeing Ford Performance Motorsports globally, gave a straightforward answer to our question. With Mustang sales soaring in Europe and the 60th anniversary of the nameplate approaching, Ford aimed to create a global connection with fans. This connection meant having Mustangs tear up tracks worldwide every weekend. It also signaled Ford’s comeback to GT3 racing, a scene it left after the GT’s exit in 2019. Larry Holt, the brains behind engineering and motorsport operations at Multimatic, credited it all to Jim Farley’s genius for the GTD.
The Mustang GT3 starts its journey on the production line, just like any other GT3 race car. Stemming directly from the Dark Horse road car, Larry Holt and his Multimatic team use reverse engineering, translating lessons from the GT3 into the road-ready GTD. “From road to race, and race to road,” clarified Rushbrook.
The family resemblance between the two cars is clear as day. Whether it’s the beefed-up front fenders, the twin air vents on the hood, or the gooseneck wing mounts at the rear, the shared DNA is undeniable. Dive deeper into the undercover evolution of the Mustang GTD and its connection to the GT3 race car at Multimatic’s state-of-the-art facility.