Months after winning its class at the Baja 1000 off-road race in Mexico, the Ranger Raptor developed by Ford Performance and their partners will take on Australia’s toughest off-road racing event – the Tatts Finke Desert Race - this June.
Ford’s first ever factory-backed entry at Finke will see the Ranger Raptor built by Kelly Racing, with final development by Lovell Racing and Ford Performance, compete in the ‘Production 4WD’ class. In this class, modifications from the stock vehicle are limited to essential safety items, like a tub-mounted fuel cell, underbody protection and crew protection, as well as off-road wheels and tyres.
“Bringing the Ranger Raptor to the Finke Desert Race is the next stage of Ford Performance’s strategic global racing plan,” explained Mark Rushbrook, Global Director, Ford Performance Motorsports. “Ranger is our flagship platform for global off-road racing, and after conquering the Baja 1000 in the Stock Mid-Size class, we decided the next stop should be back in Australia, where the production truck was developed, to tackle the toughest off-road race down under.”
The Ford Performance Ranger Raptor will be driven by father and son team, Brad and Byam Lovell, who in addition to their work at Lovell Racing, were part of the successful driving squad at the Baja 1000.
“The Finke Desert Race is one of the toughest events on the off-road calendar, and one that we’ve wanted to take on for a long time,” said Brad Lovell. “Byam and I make a great team, and I'm confident that our combined skills and experience will help us navigate the challenging terrain and finish strong. We know the truck is good. It ran faultlessly at Baja and we’re aiming for more of the same at Finke."
On-the-ground assistance for the Ford Performance factory entry will come from Walkinshaw Performance, who have previous experience in the Production 4WD class at Finke and the Australian Off-Road Championship generally.
The two-day, 450+km Tatts Finke Desert Race takes place on 9-12 June. For more details, go to: finkedesertrace.com.au