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Ford Mustang GT3 Makes a Stunning Debut at the 24 Hours of Le Mans

The 24 Hours of Le Mans is renowned for testing both the durability of machines and the skill of drivers, and this year’s race was no exception. Among the high-profile automakers vying for top honors in the hypercar class, the debut of the Ford Mustang GT3 was highly anticipated, and the results were nothing short of remarkable for its maiden outing.


A Triumph in the LMGT3 Category

Not only did all three Mustangs complete the grueling 24-hour challenge, but the No. 88 car secured a well-deserved third place in the LMGT3 category. This achievement underscored the Mustang’s competitive spirit on the global stage, especially poignant 60 years after the Ford Mustang’s first win in the Tour de France.

The Circuit de la Sarthe presented some of the toughest conditions ever seen, but all three Mustang GT3s crossed the finish line, demonstrating their resilience and reliability. The No. 88 Mustang, driven by the trio of Dennis Olsen (Norway), Giorgio Roda (Italy), and Mikkel O. Pedersen (Canada), emerged as standout performers, clinching a hard-fought third-place podium finish despite numerous hurdles along the way.

The Journey of the No. 88

The No. 88 faced a tough start, with Olsen showcasing exceptional skill and race craft by climbing 13 positions in the first hour to secure fourth place. The team’s strategic pit stops kept the car consistently within the top ten, eventually propelling it into a top-five position. Their steady pace and tactical prowess throughout the 24 hours secured them a coveted spot on the podium.

“I’m over the moon with this result. Le Mans is the Everest of sports car racing, and this result ranks among the greats. It wasn’t a win, but a third-place podium finish, followed by a fourth place, and total reliability for all three cars. That gives us a lot to be happy about.” – Larry Holt, Executive Vice President of Multimatic Special Vehicle Operations Group.

Performance of Other Mustangs

The No. 44 Mustang, driven by Christopher Mies (Germany), John Hartshorne (Great Britain), and Ben Tuck (Great Britain), finished in a respectable fourth place. Although they narrowly missed the podium, the team celebrated their overall success and the Mustang GT3 program’s reliability.

“Once again, the car had zero technical issues, which is incredible after Daytona, Sebring, and now Le Mans,” said Mies. “We finished fourth, and while I’m bummed because we were so close to the podium, that’s the nature of racing. In the end, we maximized our potential.”

The No. 77 Mustang, driven by Ryan Hardwick (USA), Ben Barker (Great Britain), and Zacharie Robichon (Canada), faced early setbacks but contributed significantly to the team’s success. Barker’s performance in securing the fastest qualifying lap on Thursday and propelling the No. 77 into the prestigious Hyperpole was a highlight for the Mustang GT3 in the 2024 WEC season.

Teamwork and Driver Praise

The Mustang GT3’s success at Le Mans was a true team effort. Dennis Olsen, driver of the No. 88 Mustang, praised the team’s growth and unity:

“We’ve all been on a journey together. We had to build rapport at the beginning of the year, but we capitalized on the time we had. Here we are, standing on the podium at Le Mans. This is a shared victory for Ford Performance, Multimatic Motorsports, and Proton Competition. I’m incredibly proud of everyone.”

Mikkel O. Pedersen emphasized the seamless communication within the team:

“The communication between Ford Performance, Multimatic Motorsports, and Proton Competition is flawless. We address any issues immediately and collaboratively. There’s a tremendous sense of teamwork between all of us.”

Chris Mies of the No. 44 Mustang highlighted the car’s potential:

“The Mustang was phenomenal to drive. Honestly, I believe it deserved a clean sweep of the podium. Hopefully, the next big races will bring us more podium finishes and, ultimately, a win.”

Ben Tuck, a Le Mans rookie, was thrilled with the experience:

“If you’d told me I’d be part of a top-five finish in my very first Le Mans, I would have thought you were joking! I’m absolutely thrilled with this result. It definitely leaves a bittersweet taste, knowing we were so close to the podium. But hey, there’s no room for complaints.”

Looking Forward

The Ford Mustang GT3’s debut at Le Mans was a resounding success, with all three Mustangs finishing the race and the No. 88 car achieving a podium finish. This accomplishment highlighted the Mustang’s global competitiveness and reliability. Teamwork and impressive driving skills were crucial to this victory, laying a solid foundation for future triumphs. With this impressive debut, the Mustang GT3 program roars into the future with momentum and promise.

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