Dakar Rally 2024: Ford Unleashes Sainz and Roma for Prestigious Event

    In a move that has the motorsports world buzzing, Ford has unveiled its formidable driver lineup for the prestigious Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia next year. Legendary racers Carlos Sainz Sr. and Nani Roma will be two of the four Ford representatives competing in the grueling off-road event.

    This announcement marks Sainz’s fourth stint with the American automaker, having previously raced Ford’s cars in a storied World Rally Championship (WRC) career spanning nearly two decades. The Spanish driver made his WRC debut behind the wheel of a Ford Sierra RS back in 1987 before joining the factory team for several events the following season.

    Sainz, a two-time WRC champion, returned to Ford in 1996, securing three victories over the next two seasons before moving to Toyota. With Toyota’s withdrawal from the sport in 1999, the door opened for a third stint with Ford from 2000 to 2002, during which he added two more wins and a third-place championship finish.

    Now, Sainz will be targeting a fifth Dakar victory, having previously conquered the event with Volkswagen, Peugeot, Mini, and most recently, Audi, where he steered the German marque to its maiden Dakar triumph in January.

    “I’m very excited by this new Dakar Rally project, to go back to working with Ford for the fourth time, and to return to M-Sport, to return to Malcolm [Wilson, founder of M-Sport] who I know very well, it’s really great to be back,” Sainz said.

    Joining Sainz in the Ford lineup is two-time Dakar winner Nani Roma, who has also been tapped to represent the Blue Oval in the 2024 event. The announcement comes as Ford reveals it has begun active testing with the 2025 Ranger Raptor, its all-new Dakar challenger set to take on the daunting rally in two years’ time.

    “The scale of our ambitions in off-road racing is unparalleled in Ford’s recent history and nothing is more clear in that ambition than our challenge to take the Ford Raptor to the legendary Dakar rally,” said Mark Rushbrook, global director of Ford Performance Motorsport.

    With Sainz and Roma at the helm, Ford is poised to make a strong push for Dakar glory in 2024, drawing on the vast experience and proven track record of its two world-class drivers. Motorsports enthusiasts can expect an exciting chapter in the storied history of the Dakar Rally as the American automaker flexes its off-road prowess on the global stage.

    ๐Ÿ”— Source