Having taken on the Baja 1000, a near-stock Ford Ranger Raptor will this weekend check its mettle on the Finke Desert Race within the Northern Territory.
The Raptor shall be piloted by American father and son group Brad and Byam Lovell, who had been additionally a part of the group that drove the identical automobile to victory on the Baja 1000.
“This in comparison with Baja, there’s much less hazards right here so you possibly can push exhausting,” mentioned race driver Brad Lovell, who mentioned he’ll run the automobile predominantly in four-wheel drive.
“Right here the speeds are greater as a result of the terrain… is extra constant. It’s an endurance race, however it’s actually extra of a dash race than the Baja 1000.”
The race itself will happen over June 11-12 and consists of two sections, every roughly 226km in size.
In contrast to the Baja 1000, the place the ute had no competitors inside its class, there’s a handful of different autos in its class at Finke.
Though it’s competing within the Manufacturing Class and has an unchanged powertrain, the racing Raptor has a number of key variations to the Rangers obtainable to the general public.
Together with the requisite motorsports and security package inside, the Finke racer options correct off-road wheels and tyres, additional lighting (however lower than it had for Baja), plastic rear home windows, harder underbody safety and bash plates, and a 160-litre gas cell within the tray.
“We’re enjoying round with the game mode setting on it, so once you put the shocks into sport mode, it locks the dampers out in full extension,” mentioned Ford Efficiency and Particular Automobile Applications supervisor Justin Capicchiano.
“So once you’re recovering out, it doesn’t roll up onto the wheel as a lot, it mainly simply holds them down, forces the tyres into the bottom,” he added, although he dominated out plans to place this type of restoration mode in a manufacturing Raptor.
Different modifications for the reason that ute tackled the Baja 1000 embody completely different tow straps and modifications to the gas filter. It is also operating with a tailgate right here, which it didn’t in Mexico.
At launch, Ford mentioned the body within the Raptor had been so closely strengthened relative to the common automobile (and its predecessor) it was nearly a novel platform.
Apart from house owners pushing exhausting on again roads, and the occasional punter eager to leap their automobile, clearly a few of that reinforcement was aimed toward readying the Raptor for the desert.
Underneath the pores and skin, the street automobile’s suspension includes aluminium higher and decrease management arms, long-travel entrance and rear springs, and a refined Watt’s linkage outfitted with coils on the rear.
There are additionally 2.5-inch Fox Stay Valve position-sensitive dampers linked to the drive modes. These shocks – billed because the “most subtle ever on Ranger Raptor” – are full of Teflon-infused oil to chop friction by a claimed 50 per cent.
They provide most damping power within the final 25 per cent of shock journey to guard towards extreme backside outs, resembling on touchdown. Ford provides the system may also stiffen the rear dampers to stop the Raptor from squatting below exhausting acceleration.
Energy within the road-going Raptor comes from a 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged V6 making 292kW of energy and 583Nm of torque, despatched to all 4 wheels via a full-time four-wheel drive system.
The automobile shall be serviced and managed by Walkinshaw Efficiency, which Ford says is a sister to the Walkinshaw Andretti United Supercars group that not too long ago switched from Holden Commodores to Mustangs.
As for what occurs to this specific car after it completes the Finke, Ford says the tip sport is for it to turn out to be a museum piece.
“No matter we do with it after this, it’s by no means going to get crushed,” mentioned Mr Capicchiano.
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