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THE DESERT JACKAL Rhys Millen’s Race Vehicle Is A Custom Design Built For Endurance Races By SCORE Journal Staff Photos Provided by Method Race Wheels Rhys Millen is one of those racers who has experience in a variety of motorsports– from drifting, Pikes Peak International Hill climbs, US Pro Rally, SCORE Baja racing, and Hollywood stunt driving. But Millen’s passion for racing also led him to design race vehicles through his Rhys Millen Racing (RMR) company. This includes the company’s Jackal 4WD vehicles and Polaris UTV chassis built for customers who want to race off-road. It was the 4WD Jackal that Millen raced at the 2020 53rd SCORE Baja 1000, where he entered it in Class 7 and won. This Class 7 truck was designed specifically for endurance courses like the SCORE Baja 1000, where deep silt and other challenges can severely slow down the pace of other vehicles. “That year, the silt was deep and caught several racers, but to our credit, the Jackal had an automatic transmission like those running in Dakar,” said Millen. The company uses a Sadev 6-Speed sequential 4WD transaxle and 2-way adjustable front differential. “We saw an advantage to using this type of transmission and to build it around a four-wheel-drive drivetrain. We didn’t have as much horsepower as other Class 7 vehicles, but from what we learned in UTV racing is that a good power-to-weight ratio can be an advantage.” The version of the Jackal which Millen won the SCORE Baja 1000 in, was powered by a 2.3-liter Ford EcoBoost turbo that makes 400 horsepower and 440 lb-ft of torque– the same engine found in your 2019 and up Ford Ranger. RMS offers other engine packages such as a V6 and an LS3 V8 spec motor with 485 horsepower. Cooling is achieved via a CBR radiator with dual 16’ fans, along with a CBR intercooler and oil cooler. The custom body comes in either a buggy-style or a truck-style that is mated to a four-wheel-drive RMR-produced chassis. With the engine and drivetrain, the vehicle weighs 3,250 pounds, loaded with a wheelbase of 119 inches and a track width of 87 inches. The front suspension includes a double A-arm front with Fox 2.5 coil overs and 3.0 bypass shocks. At the rear, a 51-inch trailing arm is used with a three-link and 3.0 coil-over shocks and 3.5 bypass shocks. In all, it gives the Jackal a total of 24-inches of wheel travel in the front and rear. The steering is an RMR spec electronic power unit that makes it easy to handle the vehicle from slow rock crawling to high-speed dry lakebed blasts. Equipped with a set of Method 401R 15-inch wheels mounted to Tensor DASR 37x10x15 tires, the Jackal can get through just about any terrain with ease. Alcon four-piston calipers are used at all four wheels to bring the Jackal to a stop, while the lightweight body is available in either fiberglass or carbon fiber. The interior features Sparco racing seats and harnesses, while the dash features a Lowrance GPS. Communications are made through Rugged Radio intercom and radio. Exterior lighting comes from a set of KC HiLites LEDs, and a full spare is carried in the back for weight balance. While the RMS Jackal can be made to compete in a variety of different sanctioning body classes, winning in the SCORE Baja 1000 is a testament to Millen’s design abilities and capabilities. SJ

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