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Dark Horse R Press Release

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Bill Pemberton

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Dear Vettish,

Quite a few of those Spec Series have Co-Drivers , so after you get the car give me a call, I would be happy to Co-Drive with you, ha!
 
Had heard rumors of the price months back and it convinced me to take a similar road to Biggsy. Not near that price range, but had the car been around 115K max. I might have just robbed a bit more of my retirement savings than I should. Concerned about the weight , the actual price, since I figure it will be quite bare and by the time one adds color, extra wheels and more , $160K might be more of the price.

Even if not as fast , the Boss 302S was one fun car and the old stick axle is proving to many it is far from dead!
Sold through multimatic so add 100k
 
Maybe I am just a cheapo dinosaur type who is stuck in the past... For me, even a stock S197 plus 40.000 grand in a new engine, transmission, wheels and a Cortex setup would probably be faster. And when some one crashes into you, you will not feel so terrible....

Those single car series might be fun for the drivers, but really don't like watching them. Much more fun watching different platforms fighting it out on the track.

Not to mention.... Dark Horse... really?? Must be better names out there.

Reading this, I sound like one of those old Muppets at the theater

Statler and Waldorf

View attachment 87921
I "identify" with he taller one.
I just read your post and laughed. I was chatting with the guy that I bought my car from. He's a Ford sales manager and said if I ever wanted to upgrade he would buy the car back and get me a deal. This was my reply.

"I still have many years of gowing into the handling and hp. No need for an upgrade. Sure I'd like a dark horse but that's like 15 sets of pads and rotors, couple motors, couple clutches, couple gear boxes, 20 sets of slicks and maybe 40 weekend of track entry fees plus oil changes and probably more....."
 
Without knowing how complicated the S650 electronics will be, this could be the only option to put something on track that you can tinker with. I agree that most can't just dump $150k in one shot for trackdays, but a lot have probably put that into a car over the years when you add up time, parts, failures- and those expenses related to going to the track when something failed. Yes buying a built race car and building it yourself put people in two very different brackets, but in todays world building it yourself is becoming harder and harder with new cars. I hope this may lead to a similar amount of parts and pieces from Ford Performance like for the Boss S/R that people could build their own cars up with, but you may not be able to do that one piece at a time like so many have done with S197s. Will be interesting to see what is in the Darkhorse S.

On the lack of aero on the car - I think its awesome and what is needed for its purpose of a single make series. Every other series either has seqentials and/or aero and the cars look too easy to drive. The looks and manual transmission reminds me of a Boss302R level car. 10 years later - that price isn't too bad considering everything else.
 
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I’m actually most excited about this graphic in the flyer - basically confirming the DH-S is still in the works for club racing, and I assume to be the Performance School car. The DH-R seems a bit exclusive with priority going to teams that will be racing the Mustang Challenge, which is east-coast biased for now. Hopefully the DH-S will be available in larger numbers and more readily available.

IMG_8821.jpeg
 
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I’m actually most excited about this graphic in the flyer - basically confirming the DH-S is still in the works for club racing, and I assume to be the Performance School car. The DH-R seems a bit exclusive with priority going to teams that will be racing the Mustang Challenge, which is east-coast biased for now. Hopefully the DH-S will be available in larger numbers and more readily available.

I wonder if there will be a way to rent a seat from some of the teams. I would love to come to states and race in such a series it looks way more affordable compared to a GT4 program in Europe.
 

Dave_W

Cones - not just for ice cream
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Looking at the cost structure, you're at $6,600 per weekend in tires (or $4,400 if you re-use a set from a previous weekend). The "season entry cost" is $22,175 for 5 races, so $4,435 per weekend. Car is $145K, and just spitballing an amortization over a 4-year lifetime with an addtional 20% (probably low) in repairs & consumables gives me $8700 per weekend with the current 5-race season. They say 2025 will add more events, which would bring that per-event cost down. So I'm at about $20K per race weekend in 2024, without paying for crew, hauler, workshop, fuel, etc.

40-car max field, only top 3 spots paying out for the weekend, from $1500 to $5K. So payout is nowhere near covering expenses. Even if you win all 5 races and take the "cash option" season champ payout of $40K (so $65K season winnings), you're still in the red. I do like that they have a "seniors" class within the overall series.

There's a live broadcast on imsa.tv and for NBC/Peacock subscription, and Ford will do some media work, so there is a marketing angle for sponsors. I'm guessing sponsor packages would be about the same as for the Carrera Cup series, which has the same media coverage. Might not even be able to get the same, as Carrera Cup is a well-established series with Porsche "halo effect" while Mustang Challenge is brand new. I have no idea how much teams are getting from sponsors in Carrera Cup - anyone know?

I'm guessing that it might be viable for someone like Kohr (who is already going to the venues for GT4 races) to add a DH-R car to their stable, for a driver that can bring some sponsor backing or pay out-of-pocket for a seat. Since one option for the season champ winnings is $100K towards a GT4 drive the next season, there is even a sense of using this as a "driver development pipeline" for someone like Kohr that also runs GT4.


$5,775 for an "IMSA credential package"??? For six grand, that photo ID better be engraved on a bar of sterling silver and hanging from a huge gold chain.
 

Bill Pemberton

0ld Ford Automotive Racing Terror
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Well, since most of us are looking at a couple sets of tires maxing out our budget I figure there will not be too many of us on here who will be in the Series , but who knows? Some decals and company Sponsorship from someone who owns their own business and all those costs become advertising ,ha.
Great info Dave_W , you may have saved someone a bunch of dough!
 
Without knowing how complicated the S650 electronics will be, this could be the only option to put something on track that you can tinker with. I agree that most can't just dump $150k in one shot for trackdays, but a lot have probably put that into a car over the years when you add up time, parts, failures- and those expenses related to going to the track when something failed. Yes buying a built race car and building it yourself put people in two very different brackets, but in todays world building it yourself is becoming harder and harder with new cars. I hope this may lead to a similar amount of parts and pieces from Ford Performance like for the Boss S/R that people could build their own cars up with, but you may not be able to do that one piece at a time like so many have done with S197s. Will be interesting to see what is in the Darkhorse S.

On the lack of aero on the car - I think its awesome and what is needed for its purpose of a single make series. Every other series either has seqentials and/or aero and the cars look too easy to drive. The looks and manual transmission reminds me of a Boss302R level car. 10 years later - that price isn't too bad considering everything else.
Im at the gt4 cost on my 350 and i still dont have motec/sequential….but mines faster than a gt4
 
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Im at the gt4 cost on my 350 and i still dont have motec/sequential….but mines faster than a gt4
To be fair is easier to be faster when not complaining to a racing rules or doing insane BOP like the GT4. Also in BOP form GT4's are 450 whp (very close to what we are building here on the forum power wise) so it's understandable.
 

JDee

Ancient Racer
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These costs are insane. No wonder there are so few cars racing now. Back in the 90s we had 100 - 150 cars for regional races. Now they're lucky to get 50.

Track days are a laugh though, we get everything from guys driving in with a totally stock car, running 6 sessions and heading home on the bottom end all the way up to tractor trailers puking out 4 or 5 rent a race cars for well heeled kids spending dad's money. I often wonder who has more fun....the rent a racers are so serious, as if they're heading for F1 stardom or something. Dreamers.

I unloaded my trailer last month and a whole pile of other track junk. Going to drive the Mach 1 to the track, run a few sessions and drive it home. It will be kept street legal and stock, only wheels and tires will be changed. Way simpler than what I was doing with the old car.

Used to take me half a day to load up and then unload all the crap after a track day. That was not fun, and if it's not fun what the hell is the point in doing it?
 
To be fair is easier to be faster when not complaining to a racing rules or doing insane BOP like the GT4. Also in BOP form GT4's are 450 whp (very close to what we are building here on the forum power wise) so it's understandable.
Oh trust me, id want a gt4 over building one myself. It sucks
 
320
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Exp. Type
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These costs are insane. No wonder there are so few cars racing now. Back in the 90s we had 100 - 150 cars for regional races. Now they're lucky to get 50.

Track days are a laugh though, we get everything from guys driving in with a totally stock car, running 6 sessions and heading home on the bottom end all the way up to tractor trailers puking out 4 or 5 rent a race cars for well heeled kids spending dad's money. I often wonder who has more fun....the rent a racers are so serious, as if they're heading for F1 stardom or something. Dreamers.

I unloaded my trailer last month and a whole pile of other track junk. Going to drive the Mach 1 to the track, run a few sessions and drive it home. It will be kept street legal and stock, only wheels and tires will be changed. Way simpler than what I was doing with the old car.

Used to take me half a day to load up and then unload all the crap after a track day. That was not fun, and if it's not fun what the hell is the point in doing it?

These costs are peanuts compared to a GS or GT4 program for a driver this $100,000 price towers a GT4 program is like half the budget or so even if you win the Mustang Challenge you will still need to come with a lot of money (probably by selling that lovely Dark Horse R) to actually be able to do a GT4 race program. I do find the whole idea very interesting though especially if there are teams that will offer arrive and drive deals for a weekend or a race. I think if not full entry this is possible for rounds 2 till 5th so It should be good.

Regarding the Street/Track car discussion I think the Mach 1/Dark Horse is a nice car to just keep stock (or close to) GT (me included) let alone of a Mach 1/Dark Horse so you can learn a lot from keeping your Mach 1 stock and going to track with. Actually this is what I did the first 2 season with my build and was probably the best fun I have with the car. And Mach 1 is much more capable car out of the showroom floor.
 

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