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Ford announces Finke campaign with Walkinshaw

FORD Performance will enter the 2023 Finke Desert Race with the Ranger Raptor it fielded at last year’s Baja 1000.

The Kelly Racing-built machine will be driven by father-son duo Brad and Byam Lovell, with Ford Performance to be assisted by Walkinshaw Performance in logistics, event management and vehicle servicing.

Walkinshaw stepped into the off-road racing arena last year with a campaign centred around six-time Bathurst 1000 podium finisher Warren Luff.

“Working with the Ford Performance and Ford Australia teams at Finke is going to be fantastic,” said Walkinshaw Performance business manager Gareth Brown.

“We have great experience in the Australian Off-Road Championship, and at Finke, so to bring that experience to partner with the might of Ford Performance and Ford Australia with the Baja 1000 (class) winning Ranger Raptor is sensational.

“We will do everything in our power to ensure the best possible result.”

Pic: Supplied

The June 9-12 event will mark Ford’s first appearance at Finke.

“Bringing the Ranger Raptor to the Finke Desert Race is the next stage of Ford Performance’s strategic global racing plan,” said Ford Performance Motorsports global director Mark Rushbrook.

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“Ranger is our flagship platform for global off-road racing, and after conquering the Baja 1000 in the Stock Mid-Size class, we decided the next stop should be back to Australia, where the production truck was developed, to tackle the toughest off-road race Down Under.”

Finke Desert Race president Antony Yoffa hailed the Blue Oval’s addition to the field.

“We are thrilled to welcome Ford Performance to the Tatts Finke Desert Race for the first time in 2023,” he said.

“Ford is a power in world motorsport, and its entry in our race reflects the Finke Desert Race’s position in the off-road racing landscape globally.”

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