For the third year in a row, the SCG Boot from Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus is officially the fastest road-legal vehicle to compete and complete the Baja 1000.
For 2021 the team at SCG stepped up to Class 1, which features faster competitors and an unlimited rule book. In the previous two iterations of the grueling off-road race through Mexico, the SCG Boot captured the production-based Class 2 honors–where it famously trounced the big-budget Ford Bronco R both times.
Out of the 299 entries, just 187 vehicles finished. The SCG Boot was the 127th vehicle across the line on Saturday after the crew faced 1,200 miles of rough terrain and equally tough challenges along the way.
Competing in the faster Class 1 pushed the limits of the still road-legal Baja Boot. Pre-race, the SCG team tuned the suspension for much faster cycling, which in turn transferred much more force to the actual components. After just 18 hours and 490 miles of racing the SCG crew had already been forced to stop twice to replace broken drive axles.
After those setbacks, more drive train misfortune found the SCG Boot. First, a rock tore one of the CV boots letting all the grease leak out, which then cooked a CV joint. Shortly after that, a stub axle broke meaning more repairs. The SCG team actually had to run a stock road Boot with axles and tools out to the stricken race truck in order to get back underway.
Even though the team didn’t take class victory as it had previously, the knowledge gained from running against pure race buggies in the unlimited Class 1 will make the Boot program stronger through a better understanding of what needs re-engineering to keep running faster.
The SCG team is already actively working on improvements for the 2022 race Boot, along with working on putting together a Zero Emission Boot challenge.
Meanwhile, Ford Performance has announced it will be returning to the 2022 event with its new Bronco DR race truck. It’s still unclear which class Ford will decide to enter, but with a Coyote V8 to better match the LT4 firepower of the SCG Boot, we hope that the rivalry will continue.
One last piece of notable news for all you sports fans out there: Alexander Rossi became the first driver ever to win the Indianapolis 500, Rolex 24 at Daytona, and take a Baja 1000 class victory. The 30-year-old Rossi was part of the Honda Off-Road Racing Team which campaigned a Honda Ridgeline in Class 7 for unlimited V6-powered race trucks.