Back in late July, the all-new Ford Mustang Dark Horse R was revealed as the latest track-ready pony car following the debut of the GT3 and GT4 racers. A more hardcore version of the also-new Dark Horse S, the Dark Horse R is powered by the naturally-aspirated Ford 5.0L V8 Coyote engine, which produces 500 horsepower and 418 pound-feet of torque and is mated to a six-speed manual transmission. However, the Dark Horse R also marks the dawn of a new one-make racing series – the Mustang Challenge – and now, Ford Performance has released the inaugural 2024 schedule for this new motorsport event, too.
The 2024 Mustang Challenge will consist of five rounds and a total of 10 races, and is officially sanctioned by the IMSA. The season is set to kick off at the Mid-Ohio Sportscar Course in Lexington, Ohio on June 7th-9th, after which it will travel to Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, New York on June 27th-30th, Road America in Elkhart, Wisconsin on August 2nd-4th, Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas on August 31st-September 1st, and Charlotte Motor Speedway – the home of the Ford Performance Racing School – on as-of-now undermined dates.
Each round consists of two practice sessions, one qualifying session, and two sprint races. The top finishers in each race will receive contingency payouts, while an overall series champion will be crowned at the conclusion of the season.
To even the playing field, all cars competing in the Mustang Challenge will be equipped with the same racing slicks, which were developed specifically for the series by the folks at Michelin. Pricing for the Dark Horse R starts out at $145,000, and deliveries will begin in preparation for the start of the Mustang Challenge season in 2024.