While the last-generation Ford Ranger Raptor continues to compete in a variety of global off-road races, FoMoCo is using an essentially stock version of the all-new mid-size pickup to great success as well. The new model has thus far scored class wins at the iconic Baja 1000, the Simola Hillclimb in South Africa, and the Tatts Finke Desert Race in Australia, while The Blue Oval has set its sights on competing at next year’s Dakar Rally as well. Now, that hot streak continues after the Ford Ranger team – piloting the last-gen model – scored a third-place finish at the recent Rally Du Maroc in Morocco.
Though it has changed names and organizers multiple times over the years, the Rally Du Maroc has essentially been around since 1982, and it has quickly become a flagship event on the Rally-Raid calendar in recent years. Perhaps more interestingly, it also serves as a bit of a precursor, or warmup for the Dakar rally, too.
Thus, a third-place finish for the Ford Ranger team – which is operated by Neil Woolridge Motorsports – is obviously good news for The Blue Oval’s debut at that upcoming event. Perhaps even more impressively, drivers Alex Haro and Nani Roma were both making their respective World Rally-Raid Championship debuts at this particular race, and still managed to make the podium.
— Ford Performance (@FordPerformance) October 18, 2023
Looking ahead, FoMoCo plans to team up with M-Sport and Neil Woolridge Motorsport to take on the Dakar Rally in the purpose-built previous-gen Ford Ranger Raptor in the Rally Raid T1+ category in Saudi Arabia next January. That race will simply serve as a “finish and learn” session, however, as Ford Performance and M-Sport are currently developing an all-new, custom-built Ranger Raptor T1+ race truck for the 2025 Dakar Rally.