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The forgotten racing version of the Ford Mustang

It’s fair to say the Ford Mustang had a few years in the doldrums during the 1980s, 1990s and the early 2000s, but by 2004 it had returned to its glory days as it also entered the European marketplace leading to a rare racing version.

GT3 was emerging in 2006 as a vastly popular category as manufacturer and privateer teams alike built of racing versions of various exotica. It birthed some odd yet successful models such as the Morgan Aero 8, Jaguar XKR, Ascari KZ1-R, Maserati Gransport against the likes of Ferrari, Porsche, Aston Martin, Chevrolet Corvette, Dodge, Lamborghini and many more.

Ford enjoyed two representatives in this formula as Swiss team Matech Concepts developed a GT GT3 and Ford itself with the help of respected American outfit Multimatic Motorsports developed a Mustang coined the FR500C.

The package was homologated for the 2008 racing season featuring a 5.0-litre ‘Cammer R50’ motor limited to 550hp and 570Nm mated to a Tremec T56 transmission provided a solid package following wins in the US under various different regulations.

This didn’t transfer to GT3 for the Mustang as it failed to gain any results of significance being very much overshadowed by the Matech Concepts GT, which went on to secure multiple race wins and a title in 2008.

In fact, the GT was further developed into a GT1 beast for a new global championship for the higher specification class leading to Le Mans starts.

Although unsuccessful the first time, Multimatic and Ford have continued to partner up by collaborating on the next model GT run by Chip Ganassi Racing, while the latest project has been to turn the seventh generation Mustang into a GT3.

The regulations have moved on quite a bit since 2007 as has the relationship ensuring the new Mustang is highly anticipated for the 2024 racing season.