June 16, 2024

Ford debuts Ranger Raptor in Australian off-road endurance race

Ford is making a comeback to the Finke Desert Race with a purpose-built Ranger Raptor. Renowned as the toughest off-road race in Australia, the event will challenge participants with a round-trip journey across the Outback.

The Ranger Raptor participating in the race has a history at the Finke Desert Race. Brad Lovell and Byam Lovell, a father-and-son team, will be driving the same truck that they raced in the 2023 edition of the event. The truck secured first place in the Production 4WD category in the previous race but narrowly missed out on the overall victory. Notably, the senior Lovell was also part of the team that raced this exact truck in the 2022 Baja 1000, where it clinched victory in its class.

For the upcoming race, Ford Performance has made notable changes to the suspension system’s calibration to suit the rugged terrain of the Finke Desert Race. The truck features enhancements such as a robust front skid plate, a snorkel intake, and auxiliary lights at the base of the windshield, among other modifications. Inside, the truck is equipped with front sport seats, a roll cage, and minimal trim pieces.

Despite the modifications, the Ranger Raptor retains many stock components. The twin-turbocharged, 3.0-liter V6 engine, the 10-speed automatic transmission, and most of the suspension system’s hardware are off-the-shelf parts. This allows the truck to compete in the Production 4WD category alongside a Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 and a 76-Series Toyota Land Cruiser.

The 2024 edition of the Finke Desert Race is scheduled for June 9-10, starting in Alice Springs, leading racers to Apatula, and concluding back in Alice Springs, covering a total distance of approximately 285 miles. In the 2023 race, the Ranger completed the course in 5 hours, 56 minutes, and 30 seconds.


Q: What category will the Ford Ranger Raptor be racing in at the Finke Desert Race?

A: The Ford Ranger Raptor will be competing in the Production 4WD category.

Q: How many other vehicles will be racing in the same category as the Ranger Raptor?

A: Two other vehicles, a Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 and a 76-Series Toyota Land Cruiser, will also be racing in the Production 4WD category.


The Ford Ranger Raptor’s return to the Finke Desert Race brings excitement and anticipation for fans of off-road racing. With its purpose-built design and modifications for the harsh terrain, the truck is poised to deliver a thrilling performance in the challenging Australian outback.

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