Ford Authority

Ford Ranger Raptor Nabs Class Win At Finke Desert Race

The all-new Ford Ranger Raptor has been on sale in select international markets for some time now, and will soon launch in the U.S. for the very first time, too. However, The Blue Oval has also been out testing an essentially stock – save for necessary safety equipment – Ford Ranger Raptor at various off-road racing events, including the iconic Baja 1000, where it scored a class win, as well as the Simola Hillclimb in South Africa, where it also earned a class win. As Ford Authority reported in April, the next stop for the Ranger Raptor was the 2023 Tatts Finke Desert Race in Australia, which is precisely where the high-performance mid-size pickup continued its winning streak.

Ford Ranger Raptor 2023 Tatts Finke Desert Race - Exterior 004 - Rear Three Quarters

Brad and Byam Lovell of Lovell Racing managed to pilot the Ford Ranger Raptor to another class win at Tatts Finkehis time in the Production 4WD group. The truck that the duo drove is the same one that raced in Baja, and wound up making the 460 kilometer (286 miles) trek from Alice Springs to Finke and back in 5 hours, 56 minutes and 30 seconds. Even better, the team completed the second part of that journey in just in 2 hours, 51 minutes and 18 seconds, which is a Production 4WD class record.

“The Finke Desert Race is Australia’s toughest off-road race, set in what’s almost the spiritual home of the Ranger Raptor,” said Mark Rushbrook, Global Director, Ford Performance Motorsports. “The Finke track, and terrain around Alice Springs was a key proving ground for the Ford Performance and Ford Australia engineering teams as we developed the Ranger Raptor.”

Ford Ranger Raptor 2023 Tatts Finke Desert Race - Exterior 001 - Front Three Quarters

“This was Ford Performance and Ford Australia working together in a true global effort to showcase the Built Ford Tough nature of the Ranger Raptor. Combined with the expertise of the Lovells, Huseman Engineering and Walkinshaw Performance, this incredible team conquered Finke.”

Ford Ranger Raptor 2023 Tatts Finke Desert Race - Exterior 002 - Front Three Quarters

“The Finke Desert Race is one of the toughest events on the off-road calendar, and one that we’ve wanted to take on for a long time,” said Justin Capicchiano, Ford Performance and Special Vehicles Engineering manager, Australia. “To have been able to achieve what we have over the past few days is truly dream come true stuff for me, and for my team. We made it happen with some excellent and committed partners and a small and dedicated team, which grew as the program did. Our Ranger Raptor finished as well as it started, and seriously looked like we could drive back to Melbourne. It’s an incredible truck, and we are immensely proud of this outstanding result.”

We’ll have more on the next-gen Ford Ranger Raptor soon, so be sure to subscribe to Ford Authority for the latest Ford Ranger news, Ford Ranger Raptor news, and 24/7 Ford news coverage.

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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  1. c


    A Raptor vehicle has won yet another desert race because no one else is good enough to participate. Caroll Shelby will have more for you at 10.


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