It's an odd choice, but we'll allow it since the FIA has handpicked the performance pickup.
The Repco Supercars Championship has announced that it will use a Ford Ranger Raptor as its official safety car. Our American readers likely don't know much about the Supercars Championship, so here's a short intro before we go any further. It's an official FIA-sanctioned touring car series in Australia and New Zealand. The vehicles are loosely based on production cars, and V8 engines power the entire field. Ford uses its famous Coyote, while Chevrolet employs its 5.7-liter V8 small block V8. The vehicles they use down under should be familiar to Americans; the Mustang GT and the Camaro ZL1.
Until recently, Bert, the safety car driver, also used a standard Mustang GT, which will be sticking around as a backup if the Raptor ever breaks down. In a video shared on the Supercars Championship's Facebook page, you can see the moment Bert's new company car arrives, wearing a shocking yellow BP livery.
The championship is sponsored by BP (British Petroleum), explaining the high-viz livery. It signed on to be the official fuel supplier of the championship following a seemingly successful former three-year deal.
Every car on the grid will run on BP's new E75 Racing Fuel, a lower-carbon fuel. E75 is 20% BP Ultimate 98 Unleaded gas and 80% biofuel. It's not as impressive as the 100% guilt-free fuel produced by Porsche and HIF, but it is a move in the right direction and provides yet another high-profile platform for people to learn more about sustainable fuels, which may save internal combustion. Even the famous Goodwood Revival will run a flock of Porsches using only synthetic fuel later this year.
The press release doesn't say whether the Ranger Raptor will also run on this newly-developed fuel, but it does give BP a unique opportunity to see how well this new blend works in a standard road car.
And aside from the lights on top, the safety car you see here is a standard Ranger Raptor. Bert also needs to clear the track after crashes, so he also has a broom in the bed.
In Australian spec, the Ranger Raptor's 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 produces 392 horsepower and 430 lb-ft. The power output of the US-bound Ranger Raptor has yet to be confirmed, but we know Ford is close to starting production. The Australian power matches the output of the US-spec Bronco Raptor, so we're guessing it will be the same.
"We're looking forward to surprising people with the performance and versatility of Raptor as the BP Ultimate Safety Car this year; it will be fantastic to see our flagship performance truck leading the Supercars pack," said John Hatzimanolis, Ford Australia's general manager of marketing communications, .
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