Chevrolet’s forced retirement gave Ford a clear path to victory at another tough Finke Desert race.

IN A HEAD-TO-HEAD battle, Ford Performance and General Motors Specialty Vehicles went toe-to-toe at the Finke Desert Race. Ford drivers Brad Lovell and Byam Lovell competed in the Ford Ranger Raptor against the Chevrolet Silverado ZR2, led by Craig Lowndes.

Across the challenging terrain of the Finke Desert Race, the Ford Ranger Raptor emerged victorious, clinching the Production 4WD class win for the second consecutive year, clocking a final time of five hours, fifty-eight minutes, and twenty-three seconds (5:58:23).

Lowndes initially took the lead, besting Lovell in the Prologue and extending his advantage in the first leg, setting the fastest time to Alice Springs. Lovell faced mechanical issues but remained in contention, trailing Lowndes as he reached Finke. However, vehicle problems struck Lowndes on the final day, forcing his retirement, leaving Lovell to cruise to victory.

The #773 Ranger Raptor did not have a straight-forward race either, with mechanical issues during the race including a broken left-rear suspension. However, the Lovell duo pushed through to sit atop the podium.

“Finke threw everything it had at us, but we held on, conquered the desert and came away with the win,” said driver Brad Lovell.

“The run to Finke from Alice springs was extremely testing, but we knew early on we had the pace required to win if we played our cards right. Starting the second day the pressure was on, and we had a job to do chasing down the Chevy guys. We made great pace as soon as we started, with the Ranger Raptor running flawlessly.

“Craig and the Chevy guys really kept us on our toes all weekend. It was fantastic to have some strong competition out there, and I hope that more people join the fun in the coming years.”

Justin Capicchiano, Ford Performance and Special Vehicles Engineering Manager added: “I couldn’t be prouder of the team. We had the best people possible with us at Finke, with the powertrain, suspension, and steering engineers for the Ranger Raptor part of the crew. Along with the mechanics from Walkinshaw Performance we were able to bounce back from a challenging run on the first day to secure back-to-back victory,”

With GM’s push into Australia we can expect Chevrolet to be back next year with an upgraded rig and fresh hunger for victory.


Monocoque 4X4s explained - Is this a good thing or not?


How to safely use a snatch strap off-road

About Author

Alex Rae

Alex Rae brings almost two decades’ experience, previously working at publications including Wheels, WhichCar, Drive/Fairfax,, AMC, Just Cars, and more.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Check Also