THIS weekend’s Rabble.Club Sandown 500 will provide the first opportunity for punters to catch a glimpse of a Ranger Raptor in a new livery, as the off-road performance Ford has been named as the official recovery vehicle of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship.
The Ford Asia Pacific team based in Melbourne designed the bespoke livery of the Raptor you’re ogling right now, with the crew placing emphasis on the fluorescent yellow “recovery” branding and the ‘’Rockslide” splash graphics applied fore and aft.
“The purposeful looks of the Ranger Raptor are a standout in any crowd, but in the colourful and intense environment of a Supercars race event, the primary objective is high visibility for the safety of the competitors,” Ford Asia Pacific Design Director, Todd Willing, said.
“Working on Ford Performance products such as Ranger Raptor always invokes passion beyond the normal within the team in Broadmeadows,” he said. “Creating a livery that will focus the attention of an eager audience to the awesome new Ranger Raptor is icing on the cake.”
Further modifications include a roof-mounted light bar, specialist side mount lights, night working lamps and specialist communications equipment; otherwise the Ranger remains unchanged.
The Raptor, with its 157kW/500Nm bi-turbo engine, 10-speed auto transmission and Fox suspension, will be an apt vehicle for the demands of trackside recovery, according to Alastair Walker, the head of recovery for Supercars.
“The Recovery Raptor needs to able to respond to incidents at a moment’s notice, whether they be on the race track itself or off-track in the mud, gravel or sand,” Walker said.
“It needs to be able to operate on any surface and be flexible in allowing the driver to quickly shift between the different types of surfaces and different modes of recovery, where you may need to engage 4WD Low Range to pull something out of a fence or gravel trap, for instance.
“I’m looking forward to getting used to the vehicle and really stretching it to its full capacity. I’m sure it will provide an excellent tool to assist the team and me moving forward,” he said. “The standard factory tow points front and rear will be of great assistance to undertake some of the work we do, such as rolling vehicles back over or straightening vehicles up prior to loading them on trucks.”
The Sandown 500 starts this weekend, September 14-16.