The Baja 1000 is without doubt one of the hardest races on the planet, and the 2019 version had the added drama of a rematch between previous rivals. The Ford Bronco R and Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus (SCG) Baja Boot are reincarnations of off-road racers that confronted off 50 years in the past within the Mexican race. The Bronco gained that bout, however this time it didn’t even make it to the end line. The Baja Boot scored a category win, and was in ok form to drive again to the race’s place to begin.
Whereas the Bronco that raced within the Baja 1000 in 1969 was based mostly on a manufacturing mannequin, the Bronco R is a purpose-built car carrying styling from the upcoming 2021 Ford Bronco. The off-road racer was yet one more step in Ford’s agonizingly lengthy rollout of the brand new Bronco. One of many authentic SUVs, the Bronco maintains a powerful following amongst automobile lovers regardless of having disappeared from showrooms in 1996.
Each the Bronco R and the Baja Boot had been brand-new autos that had by no means raced Baja earlier than, casting query marks over their race tempo and reliability. However Ford appeared to have worse luck, as documented by public relations boss Mike Levine on Jalopnik. The lengthy listing of issues included broken and damaged elements, and a collision. The Bronco ultimately turned so beat up that Ford mechanics weren’t certain if they might repair it and nonetheless get to the end line earlier than the 34-hour race cutoff time. In order that they determined to pack it in.
The Baja Boot is predicated on a one-off racer designed by Common Motors engineer Vic Hickey within the 1960s, and subsequently purchased and raced by actor Steve McQueen. SCG founder Jim Glickenhaus purchased the unique Baja Boot a long time later, and determined to make his personal fashionable model. The 2019 Baja Boot options Corvette V8 energy, goes into restricted manufacturing with a six-figure price ticket.
The reincarnated Baja Boot gained its class, however it almost didn’t end in any respect. 9 miles from the end line with one hour to go earlier than the cutoff, a entrance brake caliper cracked and seized a wheel. Mechanics had been in a position to get the Baja Boot going once more simply in time: it completed with simply 47 seconds of race time remaining. Nonetheless, the Boot was in ok form for the SCG group to drive it again to the race begin level in Ensenada. We wouldn’t be shocked if SCG put the Boot on a trailer for the journey again to the group’s New York state headquarters, although.
We’ll have to attend and see if the Bronco and Boot return to Baja in 2020 for a rematch. Volkswagen has already confirmed that it’s going to return to Baja subsequent 12 months, however not with one of many Beetles or dune buggies it’s identified for. As an alternative, VW will enter an off-road race truck styled to appear to be its Atlas Cross Sport household hauler.