The Ford Ranger Raptor has started its tenure as this year’s official recovery vehicle for the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship with this weekend’s Rabble Club Sandown 500, which should last at least for every event in this year’s race calendar.
It’s still unknown if the Raptor will actually be tasked with pulling cars out of trouble spots, but this Recovery Vehicle will be equipped with the necessary additional equipment to be a part of Race Control’s arsenal, replete with GPS and timing apparatus, at the ready for the rapid responders should something happen.
On board, specialist communications equipment includes radio fitment, in order to maintain constant contact with Race Control, while a Dorian Timing Transmitter – as used in the Safety and Course cars – enables the Recovery Ranger Raptor to monitor the position of each race car on the track for swift, efficient recovery, as needed. The transmitters also allow the Recovery Ranger Raptor to pinpoint the location of medical and course vehicles for maximum effectiveness from the Supercars Recovery Team.
“We’re immensely proud of the Ranger Raptor, and we’re so excited to have the opportunity to show off its capability and strength while supporting the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship,” said Kay Hart, CEO and President of Ford Australia and New Zealand.
“It’s a vehicle that we know will be able to tackle the serious challenges presented by one of the most exciting race series on the planet. We can’t wait for it to be crossing sand traps and rescuing stranded Supercars – preferably while Fords are out in front, mind you.”
The most distinguishing feature to set it apart from the Ranger Raptors available at showrooms is obviously its exterior treatment, prominently featuring the words ‘Recovery’ emblazoned on its side in a fluorescent yellow.
The rest of the livery theme is inspired by the customer-optional ‘Rockslide’ splash graphic, which for the Ranger Raptor Recovery Vehicle extends forward to the front guards and bonnet. Ford Performance banners top the windscreen and rear cabin glass to proudly communicate Raptor’s place atop the formidable Ranger lineup.
Other modifications include even more unique livery courtesy of Ford Performance as well as a roof-mounted light bar and side mount lights and additional side working lamps for use in night races such as the one due to be held at the Sydney Motorsports Park.
The powertrain and suspension package of the Ranger Raptor, though, remains unchanged, deploying a 2.0-litre bi-turbo EcoBlue diesel four-cylinder that generates 157kW and 500Nm to all four wheels via a 10-speed automatic transmission, heavy-duty reinforced chassis and FOX suspension that includes a unique Watts Link rear-end, and its standard 33-inch BF Goodrich all-terrain tyres.