When it comes to off-road racing, there is no event that is quite like the SCORE Baja 1000. Known as the most dangerous race in North America, the 1,000 mile journey across California’s Baja Peninsula is as brutal on the machines as it is on the bodies and minds of all drivers who dare participate. Despite the mess that has been 2020, the 53rd iteration of the event kicked off this morning. In short, Round 2 between the Ford Bronco R and the SCG Boot at the Baja 1000 is officially happening.
Off-roading fans may recall that the Ford Bronco R was unable to finish last year’s Baja 1000, something Ford was not too pleased about. That said, Ford has returned to California this year with a revised machine and a stacked team of drivers. Baja champion Cameron Steele and Rebelle Rally winner Shelby Hall are slated to take the wheel of the racing Bronco, as are racers Johnny Campbell, Curt LeDuc and Jason Scherer. If you’re going to build a team to take on this monster of a race, it certainly doesn’t hurt to have this much veteran experience at your disposal.
Of course in order to be successful, the drivers will need an effective race truck. The Bronco R should be just that, thanks to the upgraded hardware it has been fitted with. The T6 chassis is retained from the factory models, as is the 2.7L EcoBoost V6 mated to Ford’s 10-speed automatic. The Bronco R does receive a unique transfer case, a redesigned independent front suspension, and a five-link race-prepped rear setup. Long-Travel Fox racing shocks with bypass dampers, as well as Fox pneumatic bump stops are mounted at all four corners. On the tech side, the SUV features an upgraded version of Ford’s HOSS System, and will serve as the final test-bed for the company’s Baja GOAT Mode.
If the Bronco R is to take the Class 2 Division crown, they are going to have to best the SCG Boot. The off-roader built by Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus managed to beat the Ford team last year, simply by finishing the race. That isn’t to say that the SCG Boot isn’t a capable machine, as it features a four-wheel independent suspension complete with 22-inches of travel. To help make up for the SUV’s massive 37-inch tires, SCG has also fit the boot with the 650-horsepower LT4 V8 from the C7 Corvette Z06. If you aren’t familiar with this rig, SCG made a whole film about last year’s efforts in the desert.
Arguably more impressive than the class win is the fact that SCG drove their race truck home from the event last year, something the Bronco R could only dream of doing. The company even uploaded a photo to Instagram yesterday that showed the race truck on a California highway, driving to the event start like its a typical grocery run.
The racing will run through Saturday, at which point we will one of these teams will have secured a class victory. Ford is eager to secure the win to help bolster the production Bronco, but SCG surely doesn’t intend to let that happen. Should the course not prove to be too much for the Bronco R this year, we may get a rather exciting sequel.
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