- The journey to the 2024 Dakar Rally starts here as the Ford Performance and M-Sport Ranger departs on the long journey to the starting line in January. The team is excited to get started on this epic adventure as they seek to finish and learn ahead of their 2025 challenge in one of the toughest races in the world.
- According to Mark Rushbrook, global director of Ford Performance, Ford will use 2024 as a learning experience before bringing a Ranger Raptor–based truck and going for a win in 2025.
Ford Performance is adding the 2024 Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia to its race calendar. Working in collaboration with M-Sport and Neil Woolridge Motorsport (NWM), FoMoCo will take on the grueling off-road competition with a race-prepped Ford Ranger in the Rally Raid T1+ class.
Currently, the NWM-built competition trucks use the same twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V-6 EcoBoost engine as the F-150 Raptor. The harsh terrain of Saudi Arabia makes suspension a vital part of the truck. On the NWM Ranger, that means suspension making use of 3.0-inch-diameter single dampers on each corner, which provide up to 13.8 inches of wheel travel to cushion the landing when cresting desert dunes. Stopping power is handled through a set of 13.9-inch Brembo disc brakes, complete with water-cooled calipers to handle extreme heat.
Using what they learn in the 2024 event, Ford and Rushbrook plan to mount the offensive in the following year. “We will prepare and build and test and develop an all-new truck through 2024. That we will take back to race in January of 2025, with the intent of competing for the win,”
The 2024 Dakar Rally will take place from January 5-19, 2024, across Saudi Arabia.
Ford Performance has yet to take on the Dakar Rally in an official capacity. A near-stock F-150 Raptor entered privately by off-road journalist Sue Mead impressed fans back in 2011, while Neil Woolridge Motorsport more recently partnered with South Racing and Ford South Africa to run a T6 Ranger back in 2014. NWM and Ford will once again utilize a Ranger T1+ based on the outgoing model, slated to be powered by a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 engine. NWM revised its Rally Raid Ranger T1+ racers back in 2022, with new carbon-fiber and aramid weave bodywork and a revised suspension setup. Output of those trucks was 402 hp and 442 lb-ft of torque. That said, Ford, NWM and M-Sport are still in the middle of development testing for the upcoming racer, which could see additional improvements moving forward.
(T6 Ranger in 2014 Dakar Rally)