This Ford Ranger Raptor Will Run Wild at 2023’s Baja 1000, Promo Vid Looks Stunning
The Baja 1000 is the most grueling off-road race in the Western Hemisphere. If not for the Dakar rally on the other side of the world, it might as well be the most brutal in the world. That’s why it’s an impact statement on the part of Ford to send their next-gen Ranger Raptor to the race that’s like the LeMans of the dunes.
According to Justin Capicchiano, a Special Vehicle Engineering manager at Ford Performance, it’s all about testing the limits of Ford’s most international pickup truck. “It’s is one of the toughest races in the world, and we think the race itself is a really good proof point for us to show what the car’s capable of.” Said Capicchiano in a video press release from Ford Performance on YouTube.
In spite of Ford’s new Raptor Baja truck’s purpose-built race truck looks, Todd Kelly of Kelly Racing reveals how in truth, the biggest modifications come not under the hood but in the bare basic safety upgrades like a roll cage and a racing fuel cell. Other than that, there was almost as much disassembly as there was assembly going on to get this OEM-fresh Ranger Raptor ready for Baja 1000 competition.
Though Ford maintains a presence in Baja-style off-road racing around the world, it’s been quite some time since the Ranger family’s seen some major dunes in competition. The last time this took place was all the way back in 1995. Safe to say, the Ranger line looks radically different than it did almost 30 years ago. Though North Americans may not be able to get their hands on a Ranger Raptor, watching one rip across the sands with the steering wheel on the “wrong” side of the truck is at least entertaining to watch. Best of luck to the Ford Racing team.
Article Credits: Benny Kirk