Ford CEO Jim Farley to Race in First Round of New Mustang Challenge Series


If you plan to win one of the two inaugural Ford Mustang Challenge races this weekend at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, you’ll have to beat one of the biggest names in Ford Motorsports.

No, not a professional race car driver, but the chief executive officer at Ford, Jim Farley. It shouldn’t come as too big of a surprise that the company CEO wants to compete—Farley is no stranger to racetracks, especially historic racing, competing in cars from his collection that include a 1965 Ford GT40, a 1966 427 Cobra, and a 1978 Lola 298.

“This is an amazing time for Mustang as we grow our family to include grassroots racing all the way up to the Mustang GT3 which will compete at Le Mans next week,” Farley said. “Like all the racers this weekend, I have a lot to learn in a short amount of time, but I can’t wait to get out there and enjoy some close battles with like-minded Mustang racing fans.”


He’ll be racing the number 17 Mustang, with a livery that recalls the first Mustang to win a race at Mid-Ohio—Jerry Titus’ Trans Am victory in 1967 in a Terlingua Racing Team entry.

The new Mustang Challenge series was created last year by Ford, and sanctioned by IMSA. The one-make series features the Mustang Dark Horse R, powered by a 500-horsepower, 5.0-liter Coyote V-8 with a Tremec manual transmission, racing on 19-inch Michelin slicks. The engine has been upgraded with enhanced cooling and oiling, and has a Borla racing exhaust. The track-only Dark Horse R starts at $145,000.

There are two 45-minute races per weekend. Besides Mid-Ohio, the series will also travel to Watkins Glen International, Road America, Circuit of the Americas and the road course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

There are 26 entries for this weekend’s series kickoff. Farley will be driving a car owned and prepared by MDK Motorsports, which also has two additional cars in the field for drivers Tom Tait, Jr., and Gabe Tesch. MDK is owned by Mark David Kvamme, a venture capitalist based in Ohio and an experienced competitor. He has raced in the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona and at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Mustang Dark Horse R group
Ford/Marcus Cervantes

The original Mustang Challenge series launched in 2008, using the Mustang FR500S. It was the brainchild of the late Larry Miller, a Ford dealer in Salt Lake City, Utah, who built the Miller Motorsports Park outside the city. The cars, which sold for $75,000, were turn-key racers powered by a 4.6-liter V-8 and a Tremec manual transmission. You can watch a race here.

As with the new Mustang Challenge series, the original featured two 45-minute races per weekend. It was sanctioned by Grand-Am, which became IMSA, and it lasted for three seasons.

For information on the new Mustang Challenge series, click here.


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    A follow up story idea…
    “GM CEO driven to work in an EV while listening to Consumer Reports podcast”…. or something like that. 🙂

    How can you not love Jim Farley? He’s a car guy that heads one the worlds largest automotive companies …and he races. If there’s anybody to cheer for it’s gotta be him. You’ll hear plenty of P.R. speeches from other CEO’s reading off the teleprompter about – ‘our commitment to racing’- after they sauntered off the corporate jet , were taken to the track by limo and given their obligatory racing sport shirt to wear for the TV spot. Then – ‘Why’s lunch taking so damn long!’ While on the other hand, Farleys putting on or taking off the drivers suit and helmet.

    Yet GM stock is where and Fords is just hanging on?

    Jim had better focus on running the company as we are down to two American automakers and I would hate to lose Ford even if I drive GM.

    GM is working to enter F1 by creating a car and engine. Jim and Ford just psid to put their name on a car. Who is more committed here?

    Cadillac and Corvette again will be dominate at Lemans.

    Like. Bacon and eggs. The chicken is involved but the pig is committed.

    While it sounds nice if your an auto exec. to get an early tee off time at Oakland Hills, play the front nine and then stop for a roast beef club and at the club house for lunch, great count me in. But if it’s a habit and you’re not walking the course and always taking the kart instead ? A little too lackadaisical, or more than, especially compered to someone who spent the weekend doing seat time at the track. A little more young and spry shall we say and definitely more in touch. Certainly not a bad way to spend a Saturday for someone in Farleys position as it fits two functions. And as Brandeis said – ” I can do twelve months of work in eleven but not in twelve.”

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