Rally Raid - Ford confirms 2014 Dakar participation

Team Ford Racing has confirmed it will enter two South African-built Ford Rangers in the 2014 Dakar Rally.

Rally Raid - Ford confirms 2014 Dakar participation

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Dakar 2014, generic (AFP)

“We are extremely proud to be sending these South African-built Rangers to the 2014 Dakar,” said Jeff Nemeth President and CEO of Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa.

“Dakar is the ultimate test of man and machine and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to participate with a phenomenal team comprised of local and global expertise.”

Lucio Alvarez and Ronnie Graue have been confirmed as the first driver crew - and have prior Dakar Rally pedigree.

In their first outing in 2011 they finished 17th overall, in 2012 they managed to finish in an impressive fifth place. While in 2013 they were lying third overall before mechanical problems dropped them down to 27th place, but they fought their way back up to tenth position at the finish.

The second Ford Ranger will be crewed by South African cross-country competitors Chris Visser and navigator Japie Badenhorst.

The pair are currently one of the leading contenders in the 2013 Donaldson South Africa National Cross-Country Championship - this will be their first time competing on the Dakar.

The 2014 Dakar Rally will be the 35th running of the event and the sixth successive running in South America.

The event will start in Rosario, Argentina on January 5 and finish in Valparaiso, Chile on January 18 after thirteen stages of competition, which will comprise a total distance of over 8,500 kilometres and will incorporate a visit to Bolivia for the first time.

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