American muscle cars have never really been a common sight in off road rally racing. Cars such as Subaru’s and other smaller all-wheel-drive vehicles are generally the choice for most. There are however, two-wheel-drive classes where a vehicle such as the Mustang can be competitive. Mike Hurst, who is the technical director of Rally America, formerly piloted an ’86 Mustang in the series. It was then sold to his friend Mark Utecht, who is one of Rally America’s finest competitors in the two-wheel-drive series and still races the car today.

As with most racing friends, competition is always in the air, and the two aforementioned drivers got into the seat of identical 2010 Ford Mustangs. It was a test to see who would come out as the better driver on the Ojibwe Forests Rally course, according to MustangBlog.

Photo courtesy of: Ford.

J.B. Niday, who is the managing director of Rally America, was excited to see a pair of 2010 Mustangs competing at one of his events, as this was a first time experience for him. The Mustang performed surprisingly well in the rough terrain, nothing quite like the pavement oriented racing that the Mustang is typically associated with. The dirt, gravel, and even some roughly paved areas made this a unique challenge. The Mustang did not suffer from any mechanical failures throughout the whole event and turning in some respectable times.

Both Mustangs appeared to be very close to stock with the exception of some interior trim removal and a set of more off road oriented tires. The cars competed in 4 short stages. The final overall times - Mark Utecht ran it in 11 minutes, 23 seconds which was enough to outperform competitor Mike Hurst who came in a miniscule 9 seconds slower.

Could we possibly see the Mustang take more of an off road following after this? Surely this example shows the car is ready for it, but will there be drivers and sponsors willing to take the leap into Mustang off road racing?

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