These Rangers are being prepared by Pietermaritzburg-based Neil Woolridge Motorsport, while logistics will be handled by German-based South Racing.
The driver line-up is also made up of local and international talent. Lucio Alvarez and Ronnie Gaue have been confirmed at the first driver crew. Both men are familiar with the Dakar race, having managed to finish in an impressive fifth place in 2012.
The second Ranger will be crewed by the all-South African team of Chris Visser and navigator Japie Badenhorst. Both are well known in South African motorsport, having won the 2011 South African Cross Country Championship. The pair is currently one of the leading contenders in the 2013 Donaldson South Africa National Cross Country Championship. This will be their first time competing in the Dakar.
“We are extremely proud to be sending these South African-built Rangers to the 2014 Dakar,” says Jeff Nemeth, president and CEO of Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa. “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 local and global expertise.”
Below is a breakdown of the Dakar Rangers’ impressive specification:
Base Vehicle: Ford Ranger 4x4 Double Cab
Engine: Ford Aluminium 5.0L-4V V8 with Twin Independent Variable Cam Timing
Power: 260kW@ 4 500rpm
Torque: 560Nm@ 4 100rpm
Rev limit: 5 500rpm
Fuel consumption: 90 litres/100km in sand and 28 litres/100km on normal roads
Top speed: 170km/h
Mass: 1 975kg
Gearbox: Sadev six-speed sequential; permanent four-wheel-drive
Cabin: Air conditioned