Ford Ranger T1+ to compete in the 2024 Dakar Rally

Ford Performance has raced and won from Le Mans to Monaco, Daytona to Bathurst and Finke to Ensenada. Now it’s going after the toughest and most iconic race on the planet, the 2024 Dakar Rally.

An extreme racing version of the Ford Ranger will lead the expansion of Ford Performance’s global off-road racing to include the famed race next year, and beyond. The first step in the multi-year plan to compete in the Dakar Rally is to finish.

From there, the team will learn, in collaboration with long time partners M-Sport and Neil Woolridge Motorsport (NWM) for vehicle development, servicing and event management, in hopes it can win in the future.

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For the record, M-Sport is well regarded as a leading developer and campaigner of the M-Sport Ford Puma HybridRally1 in the FIA World Rally Championship, as well as engine builders for the Mustang GT3 program.

NWM has played a pivotal role since the infancy of the Rally-Raid Ranger, as the team developed units at its facility in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, specified to compete in full Dakar T1+ regulations.

“To lead the charge at one of the ultimate global off-road events – the Dakar Rally – has been a goal of ours,” Ford Performance Motorsports global director Mark Rushbrook said.

“We cannot underestimate the enormity of the challenge ahead of us,” he added.

“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.”

Leading the charge into the 2024 Dakar Rally, taking place January 5-19 in Saudi Arabia, will be a purpose-built, high performance Ford Ranger racing in the Rally Raid T1+ category.

The joint Ford Performance, M-Sport and NWM team has implemented a series of development phases through 2023 and continues testing with the Ranger T1+, based on the previous generation global Ranger, with a 3.5-litre EcoBoost engine.

Test races are expected to include Spain’s Baja España Aragón and Morocco’s Rally du Maroc this July and October respectively, before tackling the Dakar Rally next year.

“Our first time in Dakar will be a learning adventure that will help inform how we compete in the future,” Rushbrook said. “But as with all racing, we’re not just racing to win, we’re also racing to help build better products for our customers.”

For the 2025 Dakar Rally, Ford Performance and M-Sport are developing a new, custom-built Ranger Raptor designed and built to Dakar’s T1+ class regulations.

News Desk
News Desk
The News Desk is the hub of Exhaust Notes Australia. It's from here that our team of writers journalists and photographers bring you the latest happenings from the world of motoring.


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