June 14, 2024 New York

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This Week In Motors - ThisWeekInMotors > Blog > World Rally Championship > FORD HINTS AT BIGGER AMBITIONS IN OFF-ROAD MOTORSPORT


Mark Rushbrook, the global director of Ford Performance, has delivered a resoundingly positive message for off-road motorsport, especially with regards to Ford’s involvement. The recent announcement of a formidable driver lineup for Ford Performance and M-Sport’s Dakar program, featuring Carlos Sainz and Nani Roma, underscores Ford’s serious commitment to off-road racing.

Rushbrook leaves no room for doubt regarding Ford’s stance on off-road racing, emphasizing its central importance to the brand’s ambitions. He highlights the unparalleled scale of Ford’s off-road racing aspirations, particularly evident in their bold decision to challenge the Dakar rally with the Ford Raptor.

Acknowledging the enormity of this challenge, Rushbrook praises the caliber of talent assembled, including engineers, designers, team members, navigators, and drivers like Nani Roma and Carlos Sainz Sr. Their wealth of experience and success in Dakar history bodes well for the continued development of the Ford Raptor.

Despite past speculation about Ford’s off-road participation following its exit from the World Rally Championship, Rushbrook’s remarks underscore Ford’s ongoing commitment to off-road racing. Ford has continued to invest significantly in motorsport, notably in the WRC, with major technical contributions to recent World Rally Cars and the current hybrid Puma.

Amidst concerns raised by Ford’s return to Formula 1 as an engine supplier in 2026, Rushbrook’s emphasis on Ford’s “unparalleled ambition” in off-road racing is particularly heartening. This signals a promising future for off-road motorsport, bolstered by Ford’s unwavering dedication and collaboration with partners like M-Sport.

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