Ford Performance has announced its intent to participate in the prestigious Dakar Rally, marking a significant expansion of its global off-road racing endeavors. This audacious step will see an extreme racing variant of the popular Ford Ranger® leading the charge in the grueling competition, starting from the year 2024 and extending into the future.
While Ford Performance has amassed an impressive record of victories across renowned racing circuits like Le Mans, Monaco, Daytona, Bathurst, Finke, and Ensenada, it has yet to conquer one of the most arduous challenges known to motorsport enthusiasts—the legendary Dakar Rally.
To embark upon this ambitious endeavor, Ford Performance has laid out a comprehensive multi-year strategy, placing a strong emphasis on collaboration and knowledge acquisition. The initial phase of their plan involves partnering with two esteemed entities: M-Sport and Neil Woolridge Motorsport (NWM). Leveraging the expertise and experience of these long-standing associates, Ford Performance aims to optimize vehicle development, servicing, and event management, all while gaining invaluable insights and lessons along the way.
By venturing into the fiercely demanding terrain of the Dakar Rally, Ford Performance is embracing a monumental test of skill, endurance, and innovation. The formidable challenge presented by this iconic race will undoubtedly push the limits of both man and machine, providing a thrilling spectacle for motorsport enthusiasts worldwide.
With the Ford Ranger taking center stage as the dedicated off-road racing machine, it is evident that Ford Performance is committed to delivering a formidable contender capable of conquering the treacherous landscapes and unpredictable conditions that define the Dakar Rally. This bold move demonstrates the automaker’s relentless pursuit of excellence and their unwavering determination to leave an indelible mark on the off-road racing domain.
As we eagerly await the commencement of Ford Performance’s Dakar Rally campaign, the automotive world stands in anticipation of witnessing the fusion of cutting-edge engineering, expert collaboration, and raw racing talent that will shape the future of off-road racing. The Dakar Rally beckons and Ford Performance is ready to take on this ultimate test of skill and endurance, fueled by a desire to cement their legacy as pioneers in the world of motorsport.
“To lead the charge at one of the ultimate global off-road events – the Dakar Rally – has been a goal of ours,” said Mark Rushbrook, Global Director, Ford Performance Motorsports. “We cannot underestimate the enormity of the challenge ahead of us. We need to finish and learn first with Ranger T1+ and partners like M-Sport and NWM, who bring their expertise to bear. Together, we can do amazing things in the sand dunes of the Arabian Peninsula.”
Revving up the excitement for the upcoming 2024 Dakar Rally, slated to transpire in Saudi Arabia from January 5th to 19th, an exceptional contender will spearhead the competition in the Rally Raid T1+ category: a specially designed and high-performance Ford Ranger built exclusively for this challenging event.
Positioned at the forefront of the race, this purpose-built Ford Ranger embodies the perfect amalgamation of power, agility, and endurance, setting the stage for an exhilarating showdown amidst the unforgiving terrains of the Dakar Rally. With its remarkable capabilities and formidable presence, this extraordinary vehicle is primed to make its mark and leave competitors in awe.
As anticipation reaches a fever pitch, motorsport enthusiasts around the globe eagerly await the spectacle that awaits them at the Dakar Rally. The high-stakes battle of skill, strategy, and sheer determination is set to unfold, with the Ford Ranger at the vanguard, ready to conquer the challenges that lie ahead and make a resounding statement in the Rally Raid T1+ class.
The Dakar Rally’s unforgiving landscapes and grueling conditions demand vehicles that can endure the ultimate test of performance and reliability. Ford’s purpose-built Ranger, meticulously crafted to meet the exacting demands of this renowned rally, symbolizes the brand’s unwavering commitment to pushing boundaries and achieving excellence.
As the countdown to the 2024 Dakar Rally begins, all eyes will be on the resolute Ford Ranger as it embarks on an extraordinary journey. With its cutting-edge engineering, unwavering determination, and the indomitable spirit of the Ford team, this remarkable vehicle is poised to captivate enthusiasts worldwide and etch its name into the annals of Dakar Rally history.
When it comes to the esteemed realm of motorsport, two renowned entities have firmly established their positions as key players in the development and success of formidable racing machines. M-Sport, widely recognized as a leading innovator and campaigner in the FIA World Rally Championship, has garnered significant acclaim for its exceptional work with the M-Sport Ford Puma Hybrid Rally1. Additionally, their expertise extends to engine building for the Mustang GT3 program, further solidifying their reputation as masters of their craft.
Meanwhile, NWM (Neil Woolridge Motorsport) has played an integral role in the evolution of the Rally-Raid Ranger since its inception. With a dedicated facility situated in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, NWM has been instrumental in the development and construction of purpose-built units meticulously designed to meet the rigorous specifications of the Dakar Rally’s T1+ regulations. These units have been put to the test not only in the South African Rally-Raid Championship (SARRC) but also in races around the globe, showcasing NWM’s commitment to excellence on an international stage.
M-Sport and NWM’s impressive contributions to motorsport have earned them well-deserved recognition and respect within the industry. Their collaboration and unwavering dedication to pushing the boundaries of performance have resulted in remarkable achievements, propelling their respective racing programs to new heights.
As they join forces once again for the momentous Dakar Rally endeavor, the combined expertise and experience of M-Sport and NWM are poised to deliver a winning formula. Their shared commitment to excellence and relentless pursuit of perfection set the stage for an extraordinary display of racing prowess. The automotive world eagerly awaits the results of this dynamic partnership as M-Sport and NWM continue to make their mark on the global motorsport landscape.