2024 Ford Ranger Raptor T1+ unveiled to take on the Dakar Rally
Ford Performance is expanding its motorsport footprint with a specialised Ranger Raptor to take on the 2024 Dakar Rally
There aren’t many motorsport disciplines that Ford hasn’t tried its hand at, from Formula 1 to sports car racing, the World Rally Championship and Touring Cars, to one make series such as Formula Ford and the Fiesta Challenge. It even went pick-up racing with the Sierra P100. And talking of pick-ups, Ford Performance has announced it will enter the 2024 Dakar Rally with this: the Ranger Raptor T1+.
A multi-year programme, Ford Performance is once again teaming up with rally specialist M-Sport – which has developed the firm’s rally cars since the Focus WRC in 1999 – and event specialist Neil Woolridge Motorsports, which built and developed the Rally-Raid Ranger from their South African HQ.
“The Dakar Rally is truly among the pinnacle of global off-road racing events,” said Malcolm Wilson, M-Sport managing director. “We’ve achieved great success over the years with Ford in FIA WRC rally racing and can’t wait to apply this same level of focus, energy and effort to competing with Ranger in Dakar.”
Between them Ford Performance, M Sport and a NWW will develop and adapt the Raptor T1+, which is based on the previous generation Ranger Raptor and powered by a 3.5-litre Ecoboost engine. For 2025 an all-new Ranger Raptor will be developed based on the current model, using learnings from Ford’s participation in next month’s Baja Espana Aragon and the Rally du Maroc, which is held in October in Morocco. The team will then line up in the T1+ class at the start of the 2024 Dakar Rally, which will take place in Saudi Arabia between 5-19 January.
"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.”
Data gathered from the 2023 and 2024 events will aid Ford Performance and M-Sport in developing an all-new custom-built Ranger Raptor specifically for the Dakar T1+ category class.