Ford ready to battle Finke 2024 in a Ranger Raptor

By Evan Spence 3 Min Read

The Finke Desert Race is Australia’s toughest off-road endurance race, covering a total distance of over 460 kilometres between Alice Springs and Aputula (Finke). It runs across the weekend of June 7-10 2024.  Brad and Byam Lovell return to defend their Production 4WD class victory at Australia’s toughest off-road race in Ford Ranger Raptor.

The vehicle 

For this 2024 Finke race, the Ford Ranger Raptor being used is the same vehicle that competed, and took the class victory, at both the 2022 SCORE-International Baja 1000 and 2023 Tatts Finke Desert Race. 

In 2023 the Ranger Raptor raced at Finke in a similar specification to Baja, while the changes made for this year’s event are focused on improving performance at the higher speed Australian event, by reducing weight and Australian based suspension calibrations.

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Changes for 2024

The Ranger Raptor race truck retains the same suspension hardware and electronics as the standard road-going vehicle, but with a new Finke-specific damper calibration.

Vehicle servicing, event management and logistical support will once again be provided to Ford Performance by Walkinshaw Performance, sister organisation of leading Ford Supercars team Walkinshaw Andretti United, with engineering support from US-based off-road specialists Huseman Engineering.

“We have an exciting challenge ahead of us for Finke in 2024. Last year we came close to securing the overall class record and this year we return against a strong set of new competitors,” said Justin Capicchiano, Ford Performance and Special Vehicles Engineering Manager, Australia.

“Finke has an average speed nearly 35km/h faster than Baja, and by retuning the suspension and cutting weight, the Ranger Raptor will be the perfect weapon for Brad and Byam to defend their title.”

What the team has to say

“The Ranger Raptor is Ford Performance’s global off-road racing platform, and we are proud to return to the vehicle’s spiritual homeland of the Aussie Outback to defend our 2023 victory,” says Mark Rushbrook, Global Director, Ford Performance Motorsports.

“While the team has been hard at work improving the Ranger Raptor for the 2024 event, our race truck still retains the same engine, transmission, and suspension components that roll off the showroom floor.”

“The Finke Desert Race is truly unique, with a challenging combination of high speeds and seriously massive whoops,” he says. “I’m looking forward to facing off against a stronger field of competitors this year and showing what the Ranger Raptor is capable of.”



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