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Ford’s Finke hero welcomes rival tilts

THE driver behind Ford Performance’s second successive Finke Desert Race class win has welcomed rival manufacturers to take them on.

A highlight of the 2024 event was the Ford versus Chevrolet showdown in the Production 4WD class.

With Craig Lowndes at the wheel and Dale Moscatt as his navigator, Chevrolet held the upper hand through Prologue and the Alice Springs to Finke leg before succumbing to suspension damage on the return journey.

That opened the door for Brad and Byam Lovell to swoop, the #773 Ranger Raptor having had a suspension issue of its own on the run to Finke before going on to win with assistance from Walkinshaw Performance, Walkinshaw Andretti United and Huseman Engineering.

“Winning the Finke Desert Race in the Production 4WD class two years in a row shows just how good the roadgoing Ranger Raptor is,” said Ford Performance Motorsports global director Mark Rushbrook.

Pic: Supplied

“It was designed and engineered in Australia to take on the most extreme challenges, and Finke pushed the car to its absolute limits.

“The entire team showed incredible grit and determination to bounce back and secure a strong result.”

Driver Brad Lovell echoed those sentiments and voiced his enjoyment of the competition presented by Chevrolet.

“Finke threw everything it had at us, but we held on, conquered the desert and came away with the win,” he said.

Pic: Supplied

“The run to Finke from Alice Springs was extremely testing, but we knew early on we had the pace required to win if we played our cards right.

“Starting the second day the pressure was on, and we had a job to do chasing down the Chevy guys. We made great pace as soon as we started, with the Ranger Raptor running flawlessly.

“Craig and the Chevy guys really kept us on our toes all weekend.

“It was fantastic to have some strong competition out there, and I hope that more people join the fun in the coming years.”

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