Despite its 'rally' name, The Dakar is an off-road endurance race, properly called a rally raid rather than a conventional rally. The terrain that the competitors have to face is much tougher and the vehicles used are true off-road vehicles and not just some modified on-road vehicles used in rallies. Most of the competitive special sections are off-road, crossing dunes, mud, camel grass, rocks and erg among others. The distances of each stage covered vary from short distances up to 800–900 kilometers (500–560 mi) per day. However, the challenge doesn’t lack competitors, and in 2014 one of them will be Ford. The brand will be present with two models of Ford T6 Ranger 4x4 Double Cab.
The two Ford Rangers are prepared by Neil Woolridge Motorsport. They are powered by 5.0 liter V8 engines producing 349HP (260 kW) at 4,500RPM and 560Nm (413 lb-ft) of torque at 4,100RPM. The engines are linked to Sadev 6-speed sequential gearboxes that work together with a permanent four-wheel drive setup. The fuel consumption differs between 28 liters / 100 km and 90 liters / 100 km, according to the racing conditions the vehicles are facing.
The two Ford Rangers ride on a set of 16 inch Evocorse wheels wrapped in 245/85 Michelin rubbers. They are stopped by a Brembo system that has front air-cooled and rear water-cooled brakes. The total weight of a vehicle is 1,975 kg. The Rangers will be driven by two teams. One vehicle is controlled by Lucio Alvarez and Ronnie Graue and the second one by Chris Visser and Japie Badenhorst. The Dakar starts in Argentina on 5th January and ends in Chile on 18th January, having a 8,500 kilometers length.
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