Ford’s array of factory-backed experiences for owners expands with the coming Mustang Experience Center. Opening later this year adjacent to the Charlotte Motor Speedway, Ford previews it as “the destination for all things Mustang.” A museum-style Heritage Gallery will take visitors on a tour of 60 years of Mustang, the obligatory retail shop full of merchandise mementos to take the memories home. The Ford Performance Racing School will host its Mustang Unleashed track day courses at the speedway complex, these aimed at the EcoBoost and GT Trims that finally get their own modules after the Dark Horse Track Attack. Students who want to upgrade their personal rides to match their new skills will be able to buy aftermarket parts at the Mustang Experience parts shop. For the truly horse crazy, the facility is ready to host corporate events and weddings, too. 

One year ago, there were rumors of a new road course at Charlotte Motor Speedway that ex-Formula 1 driver Alex Wurz was helping to design. Nothing official’s been heard about the addition since, but Ford’s release mentions a new 1.7-mile road course that’s going to open this quarter. If so, it would give the Ford Performance school and other track visitors a kinder track day experience than the infamous Charlotte Roval that, akin to Rolex 24 at Daytona, combines an infield infield road course with the traditional NASCAR banked oval.

On the other side of the tracks, Ford has showed its initial livery for the new factory-backed Mustang GT3 IMSA racers that will campaign in the IMSA SportsCar Championship. Called the Champion Spirit Livery, it honors eight Mustang competition cars that saw action from the years 1964 to 1997. The chosen honorees:

  • The Alan Mann Racing-prepped Mustangs that took first and second in the 1964 Tour de France, only five months after the Mustang’s debut;
  • The Shelby GT350 that won the 1965 SCCA B-Production Championship;
  • The 1966 Shelby American Mustang that won the inaugural SCCA Trans-Am Series season;
  • The 1970 Mustang Boss 302 that Parnelli Jones and George Follmer used to win that year’s SCCA Trans-Am Series;
  • The turbocharged 1981 Zakspeed Mustang that represented Ford’s return to sports car racing;
  • The 1985 Roush IMSA Mustang GTO that won nine IMSA races on the way to the driver’s and manufacturer’s championships;
  • The 1987 Roush IMSA Mustang GTO that won the Daytona 24-hour race;
  • And the 1997 Mustang Cobra Trans-Am that claimed the SCCA Trans-Am season with 11 consecutive victories.

The Ford Multimatic Motorsports team will enter the Mustang GT3 IMSA in its first race next month, the Motul Course de Monterey Powered by Hyundai N at Weathertech Raceway Laguna Seca. The Champion Spirit Livery will then fly to Detroit for the Detroit Grand Prix. After that, the team will convert to its standard livery from Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen in June until the end of the season.



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