Ford Performance engineers have over 100 hours and nearly 2,500 miles of data of from a full season of Best in the Desert off-road racing which they can use to ensure the production Raptor is ready for action.

Ford Performance engineers have over 100 hours and nearly 2,500 miles of data of from a full season of Best in the Desert off-road racing which they can use to ensure the production Raptor is ready for action. (Photo Credit: Ford Motor Company)

If you ever had any doubts that the latest rendition of the Raptor might not be as rugged as its predecessor, you can lay those to rest. Greg Foutz Motorsports just wrapped up the Best in the Desert series in the new truck and logged over 100 hours and 2,481 race miles through rough desert terrain and intense temperatures.

“We didn’t slap our name on a trophy truck like other manufacturers do,” Brian Bell, Ford Raptor marketing manager, said. “We ran a stock truck with full factory air conditioning, factory glass, AM/FM SIRIUS/XM satellite radio, the same engine and advanced off-road drivetrain and suspension that you’ll soon see at your Ford dealer.”

The race Raptor is largely a production truck that is enhanced by a custom-fabricated roll cage, MasterCraft seats. five-point harness safety belts, a Lowrance GPS and a RacePak digital dash and a datalogger. These trucks even make of factory features like the drive modes and satellite radio.

2017 Raptor Race Mods

• Race-optimized, 3-inch-diameter Fox Racing shocks

• Race-optimized front and rear springs

• Custom-fabricated roll cage

• MasterCraft seats w/ five-point harness safety belts and window nets

• Rigid Industries LED light bars

• Racing fuel cell

• Lowrance GPS

• RacePak digital dash and datalogger

The truck only had its suspension tuning tweaked to compensate for the additional weight of the safety equipment. And throughout the season this rugged duty the truck didn’t miss a beat. Engineers only swapped out its 10-speed automatic transmission at the season’s halfway point to evaluate its performance.

“I know how much we abused that truck, and they were able to capture a lot of data and provide updates as the Raptor readied for production,” Greg Foutz said.

The latest Raptor definitely proved itself, and since it is so close to the production truck, Ford Performance engineers now have a lot of valuable data to ensure the production trucks live up to the Raptor reputation.

Greg Foutz Motorsports wrapped up the 2017 Best in the Desert series 1200 pro truck class by finishing the Pahrump Nugget 250 in 10 hours, 21 minutes and 59 seconds, which is just a fraction of the 100-plus hours of racing the truck survived.

Greg Foutz Motorsports wrapped up the 2017 Best in the Desert series 1200 pro truck class by finishing the Pahrump Nugget 250 in 10 hours, 21 minutes and 59 seconds, which is just a fraction of the 100-plus hours of racing the truck survived.