Ford Mustang marks return to Le Mans with podium finish

Ford’s No. 88 car scooped third place in its class. Picture: Supplied.

Ford’s No. 88 car scooped third place in its class. Picture: Supplied.

Published Jun 20, 2024


The all-new Ford Mustang GT3 did the Blue Oval proud on its return to the iconic 24 Hours of Le Mans, with all cars finishing the gruelling endurance race and the No. 88 car placing third.

In the toughest endurance sports car race in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) calendar, the Mustang GT3 took on the ultimate challenge and delivered in some of the toughest conditions in recent memory at the famous Circuit de la Sarthe.

All three Mustang GT3’s finished the race with the No. 88 of Dennis Olsen (NOR), Giorgio Roda (ITA) and Mikkel O. Pedersen (CAN) crossing the finish line third in the LMGT3 category. The No. 44 driven by Christopher Mies (GER), John Hartshorne (GBR) and Ben Tuck (GBR) finished in fourth place.

“Today’s podium performance shows that Mustang can come and compete on the global stage against the best sports cars in the world,” said Mark Rushbrook, Global Director of Ford Performance Motorsports.

“It is such a fantastic feeling to be able to do it in the first outing for Mustang at Le Mans. It’s a great testament to our company, our employees and all our fans who are celebrating Mustang’s 60th anniversary this year and all the great partners we have with Proton Competition, M-Sport and Multimatic Motorsports. We’re racing and winning all around the world, but to have a podium here at Le Mans is such a special moment.”

The No. 88 endured early challenges but showed resiliency throughout the race. Olsen climbed 13 places in the first hour of action to fourth place in a great display of speed and race craft.

From there, the team consistently competed within the class’s top-10, capitalising on a pit strategy that helped to propel the Mustang GT3 into the top-five throughout the race. A steady pace around Circuit de la Sarthe’s 13.626 km (8.467 mi) circuit eventually delivered a place on the podium.

“I’m over the moon with this result,” said Larry Holt, the Executive Vice President of Multimatic Special Vehicle Operations Group. “Le Mans is the biggest sportscar racing challenge in the world. I’ve had some great results here and I’ve also had some bad years here and I have to say that this is right up there with the greats.

“It wasn’t a win but a third-place podium, followed by a fourth place and total reliability gives us a lot to be happy about. We’ve engineered this car over the past 18 months and run it since Daytona. We’ve had ups and downs but when we ran at Le Mans last Sunday, I knew that it was going to be good.”

While the No. 77 of Ryan Hardwick (USA), Ben Barker (GBR) and Zacharie Robichon (CAN) experienced early challenges on the track during the race, their Mustang GT3 also shared in the overall team success. Barker recorded the fastest qualifying lap on Thursday, advancing to the Hyperpole. This marked the first Hyperpole by Mustang GT3 after four rounds of WEC racing so far in 2024.

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