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The new Ford Ranger will make its global racing debut in the opening round of the 2013 Cross Country championship, the RFS 400 on 1 and 2 march in the Magaliesburg area.
The newly-designed racing Rangers were built in Pietermaritzburg with assistance from Ford Motor Company's Global Product Development division. Every aspect of the new Ranger has been carefully considered and built with precision and performance in mind.
Team manager Neil Woolridge said: "We've been working on the design and development of these bakkies for two years and we’ve had overwhelming support from our Ford colleagues around the globe.”
“They’re as eager as we are to see them in action."
A complex jigging system has been used in the manufacturing process to ensure that each part is built exactly as designed for a perfect fit on every vehicle built.
The new Ranger has a five-litre V8 engine with variable cam timing, managed by a Magneti Marelli ECU system. A lightweight body and chassis design, allow for a low centre of gravity, running on independent front suspension and a solid rear axle, eight state-of-the-art BOS dampers, and front and rear anti-roll bars.
Brembo brakes, an air-conditioned cabin, and an advanced onboard computer system complete the specification.
Woolridge said: "This has been a tremendous team effort. We believe we have the right team, the right car and the expertise to mount a strong challenge in this year's championship."
The RFS 400 has been a happy hunting ground for the team in the past with Ford taking a 1-2 finish in this race last year.
The route is expected to be difficult, with long grass challenging the leading crews by hiding potentially hazardous obstacles, but Chris Visser and Japie Badenhorst have high hopes after their winning performance last year. Team mates Lance Woolridge and Ward Huxtable will also be looking to challenge as they get to grips with the new vehicle.