The Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 was made famous by the late Caroll Shelby, a Texas chicken farmer-turned race car driver turned race team manager and car builder. The iconic GT has been reborn for this season, and will get a chance to once again live up to its name this weekend at Watkins Glen International. The race-ready version of Ford Performance’s new icon, which originally made a name for itself in 1965, will return to the SportsCar world in the IMSA Continental SportsCar Challenge.
The GT350R-C shares aggressive bodywork and most of its parts with the production Shelby, per series rules. This includes its 5.2L V8, which features an exotic flat-plane crankshaft and is set to pump out 526 horsepower in street tune.
The one thing that is sure to make a difference this time around with the return of this legendary Ford Mustang is the tech.
“We have a lot of new technology including a lot of aluminum, a double ball front suspension, independent rear suspension and an all new powertrain that will include technological advances that very few people in the world will have an opportunity to experience,” said Eric Zinkosky, Ford Dynamics Suspension Technical Specialist.
Ford-supported Multimatic Motorsports, which is the competition end of Multimatic Engineering out of Canada, will power the return of this legendary beast with drivers Billy Johnson, Scott Maxwell, Austin Cindric and Jade Buford.
Since its racing debut in the early 1990s, this SportsCar team has been turning heads, which includes being the only Canadian based team to win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2000. The question remains: Is the return of the original Shelby race-ready GT going to take this team back to the winner’s circle?
“American muscle cars have a storied history in the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, and we eagerly anticipate the start of a new chapter with the introduction of the Shelby GT350R-C,” said Scott Atherton, president of IMSA. “Mustang has earned icon status through its racing heritage going back to the competition Mustangs of the 1960s, and this new race car will undoubtedly add to the legend.”
However, the GT350 isn’t the only Shelby beast with a bit. The Shelby GT500 has a 5.8L beast V8 engine which puts out 662 horsepower and 613-lb of torque. And while it’s weight and size nixes current race readiness, it is still a big, beautiful beast with a lot of on track potential.
So, while we wish the best of luck to the returning icon, let’s just take a quick glance at something with just a bit more torque that we at RacingJunk.com hope to also see competing again very soon.