Ford Performance Press Release
Almost a year to the day after Ford announced its return to top-flight sports car racing with the iconic Ford Mustang, Ford Performance is announcing a two-car factory-backed IMSA GTD Pro works team, managed by long-time partner Multimatic Motorsports that will feature Joey Hand, Dirk Müller, Harry Tincknell and Mike Rockenfeller.
The team will harness the power of the Mustang GT3 through its inaugural 10 rounds of intense action in the IMSA-sanctioned WeatherTech Sports Car Championship.
“We’re thrilled to embark on this exciting endeavor and to put our 58 years of global Mustang racing heritage and performance to the test against some of the world’s greatest manufacturers,” said Mark Rushbrook, global director, Ford Performance Motorsports. “We want to welcome Joey and Dirk back to the Ford family after a great few years with the GT program. Combined with Harry’s four wins during the Ford GT program and Mike’s impressive racecraft and résumé, this puts us in a strong starting position in the Mustang GT3’s debut season.”
Since the birth of Mustang back in 1964, sports car glory has never been far away, but now Ford is preparing to race Mustang all over the world as it looks to usher in a new era of success on the track and in the paddock. From the Mustang Dark Horse road car, through Dark Horse S and R and the Mustang GT4, plus the ultimate expression of Mustang – the Mustang GT3 – this is the most exciting time ever in the history of Mustang on the race track.
Driver Dream Team
Ford dared to dream in its return to the renowned 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2016 – 50 years after its statement victory in 1966. The dream became a reality in what was a historic return, with Hand helping deliver a victory. He now joins the refreshed Ford lineup, piloting the company’s latest vision in sports car racing. The California native participated in testing the galloping legs of the Mustang GT3 through its development stages.
“I’m super excited to finally announce this program and get going with it,” Hand said. “It’s been a long time coming – been working on this thing for over a year. I’m super thankful and proud to be involved in the early stages of testing the car. We’ve had it on-track a lot. I tell you, the first time I drove it, I really liked it. It’s one of those cars, for me, it just fits my style. I knew it right away. I think there are going to be a lot of great years of racing this car.”
Hand has competed alongside German talent Müller both globally and stateside, as the two spent four seasons (2016-2019) piloting the No. 66 Ford GT in IMSA – helping the team to five wins, 14 podiums and seven pole positions. The two shared a 2017 Rolex 24 class victory at Daytona – one year after the program’s debut – and they will be tasked to conquer the “World Center of Racing” once more during the Mustang GT3 program’s emergence.
“I’m happy, honoured and grateful to be part of this fantastic Mustang GT3 program with Ford Performance and Multimatic,” Müller said. “We’ve been working on the new car for a while now and I can’t wait to get out there and start racing. I’m really happy to be back with my buddy Joey (Hand); we are already great friends and we’ve enjoyed a lot of success together. I can’t thank Ford and Multimatic enough for this opportunity. Daytona is suddenly just around the corner so let’s get going.”
Tincknell also shared in the spoils of the Ford GT race program from 2016 to 2019, driving the No. 67 sister car in WEC with Multimatic Motorsports. The Englishman saw major series success, which included class victories at Silverstone, Fuji and Shanghai, and a runner-up performance in the 2017 24 Hours of Le Mans.
“I’m very excited to be back with Ford where the family feeling runs right through the organization,” Tincknell said. “I am working with my race engineer from the Ford GT days and many of the crew are old friends from that time and subsequent Multimatic race programs.
‘I’m looking forward to driving with Rocky (Mike Rockenfeller). When I was racing in European Formula 3 in 2013, German DTM was the headline event and that was the year that Rocky won the title. Now, competing at the same level as him is pretty surreal when I think back to those days.”
Rockenfeller will complement Tincknell’s elite driving abilities for the upcoming year, adding a wealth of both IMSA and world racing experience to the pairing. The German talent, like Hand and Müller, has stood on the top-step after some of sportscar racing’s most demanding endurance races stateside and globally, including Le Mans (twice), the 24 Hours of Spa and the Nürburgring 24 Hours. Stateside, he was best in class during the 2017 Twelve Hours of Sebring and overall winner of the 2010 Rolex 24 at Daytona.
“To have the opportunity to join Ford at this point in my career is fantastic and I’m excited to be part of a new program with a new car,” Rockenfeller said. “I drove the Mustang GT3 at Sebring a couple of months ago and I have raced against the Ford GT many times so I know I am joining a very strong organization.”
Learn more about the Ford Mustang GT3 here.