Long before we ever were introduced to the street-going verison of the Ford Bronco, we got to watch the Bronco R racer take on the 2019 iteration of the Baja 1000 in Mexico. While the SUV might not have had the result that the Blue Oval was hoping for on the 50th anniversary of Rod Hall and Larry Minor’s 1969 victory, Ford remains determined to conquer the grueling course. As part of the Bronco Day celebrations, it was announced that the Ford Bronco R will return to Mexico this fall to compete in the Baja once again. Rival team Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus was probably expecting this.
The Bronco R might look like a one-off tube-chassis racer, but it is actually built on the same chassis as the four-door Broncos and features many of the same parts. Of course it’s seen quite a few upgrades as well in order to compete at Baja, including a massive competition roll cage and composite body panels. There’s also the race-grade suspension, complete with custom Fox shocks that offers 14-inches of travel up front and 18-inches out back respectively.
Unfortunately, the terrain of the Baja 1000 proved to be too much for the racing prototype last year, with the SUV breaking down over halfway through the race. It was a disappointing end of the effort for the Blue Oval, especially considering their competition made a whole film about their victory. However, the effort in the desert was not in vain. Ford used the Bronco R as the basis for what they are now calling their Built Wild Extreme Durability testing that underpins all Bronco models.
As of now, the 2020 SCORE Baja 1000 is slated to take place from November 16-21. Assuming the situation with the global pandemic doesn’t interfere with organizers’ plans moving forward, we’ll get to see the Bronco R take another crack at the Class 2 Division crown.