In June, Ford Efficiency introduced it will contest the Dakar Rally for the primary time, debuting the chosen trip as a camouflaged shorty Ford Ranger T1+ for the highest class. The truck’s primarily based on the previous-gen Ranger, powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6, developed with longtime World Rally Championship accomplice M-Sport and South African rally maestros Neil Woolridge Motorsport (NWM). The previous group hasn’t solely prepped the Ford’s rally automobiles, together with the present Puma HybridRally1, it builds the engines for the Ford Mustang GT3 automotive. NWM has been constructing T1+ class Rangers for 4 years, for quite a lot of sequence together with the South African Rally-Raid Championship. Here is our first have a look at the uncamouflaged Ranger T1+ that is going up towards a number of race winners in Dakar who shall be driving marques like Mini, Audi, Prodrive, and Toyota.
We do not have many specs on the truck but. We do know there is a Reiger suspension between physique and wheels that M-Sport technical director Chris Williams described as “a brand new damper and wishbone setup leading to an improved movement ratio and making full use of Reiger’s newest damper expertise, designed particularly for rally raid.” The brand new dampers and an enormous concentrate on cooling have been a part of greater than 6,000 miles of improvement testing from South Africa to the Center East. And that does not embrace the 2 Rally Raid races the three companions additionally used for improvement testing, Spain’s Baja Aragon and Morocco’s Rally du Maroc.
Crew drivers shall be Spaniard Nani Roma, who’s gained the Dakar Rally in a automotive in 2014 and on a motorbike in 2004, and Gareth Woolridge, who leads the brand new automobile meeting group at NWM and who gained this yr’s South African Rally-Raid Championship in an NVM Ford Castrol Ranger T1+. Within the Spanish rally Ford used for testing, Roma completed seventh; Toyota completed first and second, Carlos Sainz obtained his up to date Audi RS Q E-tron E2 throughout the road in third within the electrical racer’s first take a look at, however Audi’s unofficial entry wasn’t categorised on the ultimate outcomes sheet. In Morocco, Roma completed third behind two Toyotas, Audi ending ninth.
Good omens for subsequent month’s race, the place Ford, M-Sport, and NWM shall be competing primarily to complete and be taught. They’re going to spend 2024 constructing and testing a brand new truck on the all-new Ranger Raptor, aiming for Dakar victory in 2025. Within the meantime, search for the Ranger T1+ to sort out the dunes of Saudi Arabia from January 5 to January 19 subsequent yr.