Wednesday, March 17, 2010

DTM Ford Mustang GTs

You love watching early 90s footage of DTM races.  You've got your BMW M3s and Mercs.  You sometimes see a Ford RS500, an Audi, maybe even an Opel.  But sometimes, hold on, is that a Ford Mustang GT?

Blink and you'll miss it.

Yes.  I am convinced that in every old timey DTM montage on Youtube, there is three milliseconds' worth of footage of privateer-entered Mustangs.  I can hardly find anything on them on the net, and my inability to navigate German fan sites is a huge handicap.  All I know is that:

  • there were a few of them; 
  • they have either a white or black livery (how about that for journalism?); 
  • one of them was towed to the tracks by a Jeep Comanche pick-up truck sporting Cherokee limited edition gold rims; and 
  • they were not very successful.  
Still, it's cool just to think that American V8 muscle was running with those kraut mobiles around them 'rings.

Top photo was captured from this HD video of a DTM reunion in 2009.   The second photo was captured from this video which you've no doubt already seen thrice.  Bottom photos are from this guy.


Anonymous said...

Mustangs were driven in the 90s bei Gerd Ruch (white Mustang), and sometimes by his brother Juergen. They were not very successful, but a highlight for den DTM-Fans. Gerd Ruch started at nearly 100 DTM-Races.

On the Nordschleife, the Mustangs were nearly undriveable at the limit ;-)

However, it was a nice and special car in a great racing era.

Anonymous said...

The Mustangs were the most powerful cars in the DTM grid. I own the DTM yearbooks of '88, '91, '92, '93 and '95, so I tell you the best facts about the Mustangs.

The main team that prepared the Ford Mustang GT was Ruch Motorsport from Berlin. Gerd Ruch made his debut with a Ford Mustang at the last race of the 1988 season (Hockenheim). He qualifed 45th (only one BMW behind him), with 10 seconds behind the Ford Sierra Cosworth of Armin Hahne. In 1991, Ruch's teammate was Fred Räker, who participated already in the DTM in 1984. He drove the Mustang #41, Ruch got #40. On the Avus, the home circuit of the white Ford Mustang GT, Gerd Ruch's younger brother Jürgen Ruch made his debut in the DTM. The team missed the first two races. The best place on the grid was made by Gerd Ruch at the Avus, where he qualifed 32nd out of 38 cars. In that qualifing race, there were some accidents (ex. K. Thiim, D. Quester, P. Oberndorfer), that improved the qualifing position of the Mustang driver. The cars were very unreliable and Ruch/Räker didn't finished the races very often. The best place for Gerd Ruch was the 21st place at airfield Wunstorf with two laps down. Fred Räker was classified 17th at the chaos race at the street circuit of Singen, where many privateers scored their first points of the season. There was also a non-DTM race at Brno, where Ruch finished 17th, but there were not all regular cars on the grid.
In 1992, Ruch Motorsport participated in all races. In addition to that, Jürgen Feucht set up his own team with a black Ford Mustang GT with red stripes and the #51. He started in 8 races, but never finished one. Gerd Ruch made a better job this time. In his Ford Mustang with the #33, he finished 10th in the last race of the season at Hockenheim. It was a chaos race with a lot of retirements and only 11 cars classified. 10th place means 1 point, so Ruch was 23rd in the overall standings. The second white Mustang was driven this time again by Fred Räker (#34) and sometimes by Jürgen Ruch (#66).
In 1993, the mustang riders Feucht and the Ruch brothers were again in the grid. In addition to that, Franz-Josef Bröhling drove at the Nordschleife, where he qualified 23rd with 8 cars behind him (on the terrific Nordschleife, just imagine!). In general, the time differences from the first to the last car weren't so big as in the past. That was an advantage for the Ford Mustang GT and on the tracks with long straights like Norisring and Avus, they performed very well. The best grid position of a Ford in that year was a 16th place by Gerd Ruch on his home race at the Berlin Avus (out of 31 cars). A miracle says, that he overtook Nicola Larini, the 1993 DTM champion in his Alfa Romeo 156 V6, on the straight (I didn't read this in the yearbook, but someone commented it on Youtube). At the Norisring, Ruch scored a point through finishing in 10th positon at Norisring. It was a very good season for the Mustang teams with some results in the top-20. In 1994, the Mustangs were again on the grid, but 1995, when DTM was partnered with ITC, Gerd Ruch raced in a Mercedes C-Class, but scored no points.

Here I have the specifications of the Ford Mustang GT. It seems, that Ruch made some changes at his Mustang in 1993.
Power: 520 HP (1993: 540 HP)
Cubic Capacity: 4961 ccm
Length: 4,549 meters
Width: 1,755 meters (1993: 1,800 meters)
Height: 1,260 meters (1993: 1,220 meters)
Tank Capacity: 120 litres
Weight: 1100 kg

Maxichamp said...

@Ceedrun: Thank you for the info!