Ford to unleash ranger at Finke Desert Race

Ford has announced a strategic partnership with Walkinshaw performance which will see a race-ready Ford Ranger compete in this year’s Tatts Finke Desert Race.

After recently conquering the 2022 SCORE-international Baja 1000 back in November, Ford will continue its global motorsport campaign by competing in one of the most challenging desert races in the world.

The ever-versatile Brad Lovell will be behind the wheel of the same Ranger he picked up a class victory at the Baja 1000 in, with Byum Lovell alongside him as the super-pair contest the Production 4WD class.

Known as Australia’s toughest off road challenges, the Tatts Finke Desert Race attention from all around the world, while the 2023 edition will mark the first time the Lovell’s tackle the famous 200 kilometre course between Alice Springs and Aputula.

Global Director of Ford Performance Motorsports, Mark Rushbrook was excited to bring the Ranger down under for their next step in their strategic plan.

“Bringing the Ranger Raptor to the Finke Desert Race is the next stage of Ford Performance’s strategic global racing plan,” Rushbrook explained.

“Ranger is our flagship platform for global off-road racing, and after conquering the Baja 1000 in the Stock Mid-Size class, we decided the next stop should be back to Australia, where the production truck was developed, to tackle the toughest off-road race down under.”

“Ford Performance will continue to work with Ford Australia to truly embrace their global efforts of promoting and improving its new machine.

“We know this truck has all the requirements to be successful at this event, but we’re not going to be resting on our laurels. This will be a full Ford Performance effort to ensure we are putting our best foot forward for this event.”

Helping Ford bring the car prepare for the event is Walkinshaw Performance, who will provide vehicle servicing, event management and logistic support throughout the event.

The team is in familiar territory working alongside Ford – not only is it the sister team of the leading Ford Supercars team in Walkinshaw Andretti United, but have also got experience competing in the Production 4WD class themselves.

Walkinshaw Performance General Manager Gareth Brown was looking forward to working with Ford.

“Working with the Ford Performance and Ford Australia teams at Finke is going to be fantastic,” Brown said.

“We have great experience in the Australian Off-Road Championship, and at Finke, so to bring that experience to partner with the might of Ford Performance and Ford Australia with the Baja 1000 winning Ranger Raptor is sensational.

“We will do everything in our power to ensure the best possible result.”

The 2023 Tatts Finke Desert Race will take place near Alice Springs and Aputula on 9-13 June.