Ford Ranger Raptor Successfully Defends Australian Desert Race Title

Ford Performance returned to Alice Springs in Melbourne, Australia, last weekend to successfully defend its Production 4WD class title at the 2024 Tatts Finke Desert Race with drivers Brad Lovell and his son, Byam Lovell.
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The Ford Ranger Raptor race truck won the Production 4WD class in the 2024 Tatts Finke Desert Race in Australia. // Photo courtesy of Ford Performance

Ford Performance returned to Alice Springs in Melbourne, Australia, last weekend to successfully defend its Production 4WD class title at the 2024 Tatts Finke Desert Race with drivers Brad Lovell and his son, Byam Lovell.

The Lovells covered the nearly 286-mile course in 05 hours, 58 minutes, and 23 seconds, in the same truck they piloted to victory a year ago, with a few key upgrades.

The changes made for this year’s event were focused on improving performance by reducing weight and optimizing suspension calibrations. The Ranger Raptor race truck retained the same suspension hardware and electronics as the standard road-going vehicle, but with a new Finke-specific damper calibration.

“The Ranger Raptor is Ford Performance’s global off-road racing platform, and we are proud to return to the vehicle’s spiritual homeland of the Aussie Outback to defend our 2023 victory,” says Mark Rushbrook, global director of Ford Performance Motorsports. “Our race truck still retains the same engine, transmission, and suspension components that roll off the showroom floor.”

Lovell, an off-road racing hall of famer, says, “The Finke Desert Race is truly unique, with a challenging combination of high speeds and seriously massive whoops.”

Vehicle servicing, event management, and logistical support were provided to Ford Performance by Walkinshaw Performance, sister organization of leading Ford Supercars team Walkinshaw Andretti United, with engineering support from U.S.-based off-road specialists Huseman Engineering.