Ford Authority

Ford And M-Sport Brought Back Carlos Sainz For His Expertise

In early April, M-Sport Ford was reportedly in talks to sign champion rally driver Carlos Sainz on for the organization’s W2RC racing program. That deal has since been finalized, and now, The Blue Oval can benefit from Sainz’s extensive experience behind the wheel of a rally car for its Dakar Rally efforts, according to a recent report from DirtFish. 

Ford Ranger Raptor T1+ Dakar Rally - Exterior 003 - Front Three Quarters

Sainz – not to be confused with his son, Carlos Sainz Jr., accomplished F1 racer – first joined forces with M-Sport Ford in 1997 for the organization’s first World Rally Championship (WRC) program. He parted ways with The Blue Oval for a few seasons to drive a Toyota in the division before returning to drive a Ford Focus race car. Now, he’s ready to take Ford back to the top.

“If I didn’t think I could win,” Sainz said, “I wouldn’t be competing.”

Sainz has four wins at Dakar, and while M-Sport Ford could use some more experience in the event, Sainz and his team are confident that they’ll at least be a threat. The veteran racer brings a fresh set of eyes to the development of the vehicles that will ultimately take to the track in January 2025, offering insights that migh have otherwise been overlooked. In fact, he’s concerned himself with even the most minute details, including the height of spare wheels, the width of roof vents, and insists that everything be tested.

2025 Dakar Rally Ford Raptor Teaser - Exterior 002 - Rear

“Just when you think you’ve thought of everything… Carlos thinks of something else,” said technical director David Lapworth. “Then wants to test it.”

M-Sport Ford recently pulled the veil off the new Ford Raptor racer that will dive into the dirt come January. Sainz will race alongside Nani Roma at Dakar, which will be his 18th start in the event.

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

Alexandra is a Colorado-based journalist with a passion for all things involving horsepower, be it automotive or equestrian.

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