| 29/07/2013 | 0 Comments

Team Ford Racing has confirmed it will enter two South African-built Ford Rangers in the gruelling 2014 Dakar, taking  place from 05-18 January 2014 in South America.

Ford_Daka_1The design team responsible for bringing Ford’s Dakar contender to fruition    includes a mix of South African and global minds. The purpose-built Ford Rangers are being prepared by Pietermaritzburg-based Neil Woolridge Motorsport while logistics will be handled by German-based South Racing. Similarly the driver line-up is made up of both international and local contenders including South American native Lucio Alvarez and South African Chris Visser.

Ford_Dakar_2The Dakar is a truly international showcase of off road machinery. Last year 745 competitors participated, representing 53 nationalities. We are pleased to have put together a global team that represents exceptional knowledge of the event as well as the Ford Ranger, which is built at the Silverton Assembly Plant in Silverton” says Dave Schoch, Group Vice President and President, Asia Pacific.

Ford_Dakar_5The newly designed Ford Rangers were built in Pietermaritzburg with assistance from Ford Motor Company’s Global Product Developments division. Every aspect of the new Ranger has been carefully considered and built with precision and performance in mind. One of the two Ford Rangers is already complete and will start testing this August. The second is under construction with planned completion at the end of October. They will be supported by a dedicated team of 24 full time staff in their quest for the top honours in the Dakar battle.

Ford_Dakar_6The logistics and European operations are being managed by South Racing GmbH, based near Frankfurt, Germany. South Racing is owned and managed by Scott Abraham who has worked as team manager for X-raid BMW/MINI and Overdrive Toyota. He was integral to the launch of the Toyota Dakar project and thus has a wealth of relevant knowledge and experience.

Ford_Dakar_7South Racing will be supplying the team logistic structure including the MAN 6×6 Service Trucks, MAN T4 Race Trucks and service equipment. In addition to the   vehicles and equipment South Racing will manage all logistic and administration requirements for the team including the relationship with ASO.

Ford_Dakar_4Lucio Alvarez and Ronnie Graue have been confirmed as the first crew. They are part of the younger generation of drivers coming through the sport and have delivered impressive results on previous runnings of the Dakar. In their first outing in 2011 they finished 17th overall, in 2012 they managed to finish in an impressive fifth place, while in 2013 they were lying third overall before mechanical problems dropped them down to 27th place. They demonstrated their determination and abilities by fighting their way back up to tenth position at the finish.

Ford_Dakar_3The second Ford Ranger will be driven by South African Chris Visser and his co-driver Japie Badenhorst. This will be their first time competing on the Dakar, but the team is well known in South African motorsport scene having won the 2011 South African Cross Country Championship and currently they are on the top at this year’s Donaldson South Africa National Cross-country championship as well.

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Category: NEWS, SPORT

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