Ford Performance came back victorious from this year’s International Baja 1000 race with a rally-prepped Ranger Raptor finishing first in the stock midsize class where it was the only contestant. After the tough 1,000-mile off-road race, the pickup drove back to Riverside, California, proudly exhibiting its dirty livery on public roads.
According to Ford, the Baja-ready Ranger Raptor was “race-prepped but remaining stock and street legal”. Besides the racing stickers, exterior upgrades included the snorkel, bull bar, skid plates, LED light bar, new wheels, and tires, plus two full-size spares, a larger tank, and extra equipment mounted on the rear bed.
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A low-carbon biofuel from Shell was used for the race, without any changes to the twin-turbo 3.0-liter EcoBoost V6 petrol that produces 392 hp (292 kW / 397 PS) and 583 Nm (430 ft-lb) of torque in Australian specification. The heavy-duty suspension with Fox shocks was also left stock.
Despite the hurdles of the 1,000-mile race in the Baja Peninsula California, the truck didn’t have any major incidents or repairs and finished in good condition. This allowed the team to drive it back to base, without needing a trailer for the transport. This is the second time Ford achieves this after their 2017 Bajar 1000 effort with an F-150 Raptor.
The team was managed by Curt Leduc who has quite an experience in off-road races. Four driver and co-driver pairings stepped into the Ranger Raptor including Brad and Byam Lovell (Lovell Racing), Jason Hutter and Paul Blangstead (Fire Guys Racing), Loren Healy and Eric Davis (Fun-Haver Off-Road), and Andy and Danny Brown (ARB).
Brian Novak, Off-Road Motorsports Supervisor at Ford Performance, said: “Ford Performance Australia put their heart and soul into this project with Kelly Racing to start us off. When we took it over on the North American side with Lovell Racing and Huseman Engineering, it all came together seamlessly. There’s just so many people that came together to do this, and I couldn’t be prouder.”