Ford Confirms Running in 2014 Dakar Rally



1 Dakar Team II

Team Ford Racing has confirmed it will enter two South African-built Ford Rangers in the grueling 2014 Dakar Rally, taking place in January in South America.

The Rangers are being prepared by Pietermaritzburg-based Neil Woolridge Motorsport while logistics will be handled by German-based South Racing. Similarly, the driver lineup is made up of international contenders, including South American native Lucio Alvarez and South African Chris Visser.

"We are extremely proud to be sending these South African-built Rangers to the 2014 Dakar," said Jeff Nemeth, president and CEO of Ford Motor Co. of Southern Africa, in a statement. "Dakar is the ultimate test of man and machine, and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to participate with a phenomenal team comprised of [South African] and global expertise."

Ford's Global Products Development division assisted with designing the Rangers.

"A complex jigging system was used in the manufacturing process in order to ensure that each part is built to achieve the perfect fit on each of the vehicles built," team manager Neil Woolridge said in a statement. "Although the two new Rangers are [South African] built, we received tremendous support from our global counterparts, including the likes of Ford's SVT [Special Vehicle Team] division in the U.S."

One of the Rangers is already completed and will start exhaustive testing in August. The second is expected to be complete by the end of October. They will be supported by a team of 24 full-time staff in the quest for the top honors in the Dakar race.

2 Dakar side II

Alvarez and Ronnie Graue have been confirmed as the first driving crew. They are part of a younger generation of drivers coming up in the sport and have delivered impressive results during previous Dakar races. South African Cross Country Championship competitors Visser and Japie Badenhorst make up the second Ranger team. The pair is currently leading the 2013 South Africa Donaldson Cross Country National Championship. This will be their first time competing in the Dakar.

The 35th running of the Dakar Rally begins Jan. 5, 2014, in Rosario, Argentina. This sixth successive South American running of the event will end Jan. 18 in Valparaiso, Chile. Drivers compete in 13 stages and cover more than 5,000 miles. The 2014 Dakar Rally continues its exploration of the Andes Mountains regions and travels through Bolivia for the first time.

Ford fans can keep track of the team's preparation for the race as well as the race itself on the Ford South Africa Facebook page. They also can join the conversation on Twitter and Instagram at #FordAtDakar.

4 Dakar front II

6 Dakar frame II

3 Dakar gauges II

5 Dakar susp II

7 Dakar welds II


Capture iii


That’s great to hear I hope the Ford truck does well. You can never be too careful with these things. The biggest challenge for the Team is to try and find a truck that has had all the recalls wouldn’t want to be racing and it starts to rain and the ECOBOOST (or should I say ECOBUST) stops on you (did anyone say turbo laaaaag).

Remember Team rummage the country high and low and try to find a Ford’s that actually runs properly. That won’t be easy but if you do actually find one somewhere, modify the heck out of it. Don’t forget you need to check everything FORD is usually 1 or 2 years behind on’s hard for the Dealers to keep up! If you can do all that, the race will be won. Good luck and God speed. TROLL,

They are using the All-aluminum Mustang 32-valve 5.0-Liter V-8
with twin independent variable cam timing.

Hope Toyota whoops the crap out of this Ford junk.

Hey Ford; if we can't have the trucks, and you won't mod them here either, at least give the name back to us. Way to (annoy) your customer base.


Go figure?

What a way to junk up a really cool race. Blah.

Wy they don't use ecoboost ?????

Now that's a sharp race truck.

That's a 1,000 lbs of fuel!

They missed one weld already. Somebody better call them. Not me.

This is "Fords Hilux". A South African team with 4.5 Litre Toyota V8, came 2nd in the last Dakar Rally/Race just behind the winning "Mini" of Stephane Peterhansel.
The Raptor was entered about two 3yrs ago by Sue Mead, and finished 41st. There have been other South American entries but they went nowhere as well.
This will be he first SERIOUS attempt by Ford to try and win outright.
Another interesting aspect of this team is the back up logistics will be coming from a German team and they will be sponsored and using MAN trucks now owned by VW

Engine Management Magneti Marelli. Ford management is not good enough ? They have to use Italian company?

Way late to the party PUTC... .

I love watching the Dakar and have for years. While I drive a Tundra, I think that it is great that Ford is fielding a (potentially) competitive team--the more manufacturers in the field, the more interesting the race.

I get bored with some series that I really like (MotoGP) cause 1 or 2 manufacturers simply dominate.

"They missed one weld already. Somebody better call them. Not me."

Those are production pictures, do you really think they would not weld, judging by your idiotic comment, you probably do think that would just leave as is.

@johnny troll,

Where is GMs junk?

Frank GM is so good they don't even have to enter to beat Ford, But them Fords are sure eating SH%^ in Nascar. How about GM matching Fords profits while GM has older products last quarter. Frank Suck on that sh$t stick stirrer. Go back to you're hole and take V8 HEM TARD with you.

Well, if those are really production pictures and not preproduction one, you should really call them.

zveria, You are wrong, too. It is not pre-production either as that comes after and means mass-produced.

You know what Frank meant. Frank means they are still working on it.

I know I said they looked high and low and couldn't find a real truck engine in all of the fleet. So they decided to use a car engine.

You see Miath even Ford is smart enough not to put an Ecobust into this might rain and get wet....then

Miath is sick in the head. Before the LD shootout he was asking why Ford didn't use the 5.0 Now he's asking why they didn't use EB. I love how Frank goes in on these pathetic drones.


Considering how GM is the largest auto maker and have more products than Ford and just keeping up in sales shows how pathetic GM really is. They should be leading in sales with all the choices they have, but aren't. Pretty embarrassing the smaller Ford outsells the larger GM. Pathetic!

@JIM Ford Motor Company doesn't make more sales then GM. Also GM as you said is larger company which means move over head cost. All in all GM has good management finally, Ford is in trouble :)

@johnny, NEWS FLASH! G.M. has been in trouble! The U.S. government still owns them. Taking up the rear in the latest test's. :( with a brand new truck lol.

Hemi V8/Johnny you are both right at Ford Quality is Job None and Government Motors is just as bad. They both produce garbage. That doesn't make the Fiat 1500 any better....with their weekly recalls and they had to be bailed out of financial trouble as well.

I say stay way from the 2 domestic automakes and Fiat..they are all going the way of Detroit...bankrupt in new ideas, quality and customer service. Good work UAW for killing off these American automakers!

Doesn't really look like a Ranger, maybe a Suzukie Samari with a one foot bed.

Who cares what it looks's not coming to America. Ford would rather rip-off its customers selling the F150 than bring it here. They milk more money selling F150 EcoBust lemons to domestic suckers..why bring the Ranger here...and hurt the bottom line?

And according to johnny up above it really is all about sales:
"....embarrassing the smaller Ford outsells the larger GM..." Don't drop the soap in the shower Johnny....that's a FORD executive standing behind you.

Nice work FORD...glad to see you are showing off the Ranger that we can't get!

I still don't understand why everyone's bitching about nobody binging the "midsizers" here. They're not that small and they look like crap. An SUV with a 2 foot bed.

@ Bob - Tex

1 gallon of gasoline equals 5.8 to 6.5 lbs

using 6.25lbs at around ~72 degrees F, that's 825lbs of fuel.

You see, this isn't a Ranger. Its a full on custom vehicle with a tube frame. I hope this isn't allowed into the manufacturer class or anything.

Realistically Ford's entry should be with the Raptor with a roll cage welded in, not with a custom vehicle. Let the independent teams run tube frame customs, don't let manufacturers run stuff they do not build.

Glad to see Ford running the Dakar. It is much better than trying to win in the fixed Nascar/GM series.

"Realistically Ford's entry should be with the Raptor with a roll cage welded in, not with a custom vehicle. Let the independent teams run tube frame customs, don't let manufacturers run stuff they do not build."

The outright contenders for the Rally have been "Funny Cars" except for the Great Wall modified stock Chinese pickup that finished 6th last year.

Stock vehicles do run in a variety of classes. Slightly modified Raptor's , Tundraa and Dodge RAMS have competed , Best result was Sue Meads 41st placing. A South American Tundra finished 38th or there about the rest DNFed or finished in the 50's


Ford is in trouble? LOL! Ford has 3 vehicles in the top ten in sales YTD thru July! (F-series, Fusion, Escape) GM has one! (Silverado) Keep thinking Ford's in trouble and GM isn't :-)

@Johnny feels that it is important to explain that FORD is not in financial trouble. This is the same guy that shops at Walmart and says that they sell great top of the line product because Walmart make lots of money off of the boneheads who shop there….lol

Look at the picture of the Ford team….they look scared….I would be! They all had hair before joining the Team...heeeeeeheeeeeee

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@Marcus - The Dakar "Rallye Raid" is big internationally and has a very small fan base in the USA. It would be incredibly stupid to use a truck like the Raptor since the rest of the world knows little about USA only trucks.

It would be like running a Dakar (Global) Ranger in the Baja 1000 as most Americans would be clueless or "care less" about the global Ranger.

Before all of you " wise guys" pass judgement on race teams, have any of you tried to enter the Dakar or put a race team together, if not keep your negative remarks to yourself!!!

You do make it up Sue Read finished 41st overall in her Raptor
So what did ford do, replace the Raptor which was a real slug, with a South African Official Ford entry was running 3rd at one stage in the 2014 event

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