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FORD RAPTOR R’S CONQUER BAJA The Bronco Raptor R and F-150 Raptor R Flex Their Capabilities By SCORE Journal Staff Photos by Get Some Photo As the Official Truck and SUV of SCORE International Off-Road Racing, Ford has consistently demonstrated its vehicle’s capabilities by participating in several SCORE Baja 1000 races. This past 2023 race up the Peninsula was slightly different, as it included vast stretches of high-speed areas, technical and rocky sections, as well as deep silt and whoops sections. For many race-built vehicles, these obstacles are enough to result in damage that prevents a finish. Despite these obstacles, Ford continues to prove its vehicles under these conditions, racing a stock 2024 F-150 Raptor R and a 2024 Bronco Raptor R in this race with two class finishes and victories with a team of capable drivers. “Ford is a family company with not only a goal to win but to also further develop our street Raptors for customers around the world to enjoy,” said Mark Rushbrook, global director of Ford Performance Motorsports. “The SCORE Baja 1000 not only served as a testament to all the hard work from people on the ground and those in Dearborn, Mich. but also emphasizes our continued global commitment to the sport and making better products for our customers.” The Drivers The Ford Performance team of experienced racers was headed by Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame Inductee Curt Le Duc, who advised the drivers and race plan with his many years of Baja racing wisdom. Brad Lovell, Jason Hutter, and veteran off-road racer Bailey Campbell piloted the Bronco Raptor. “This SCORE Baja 1000 was a hugely epic race and it feels great for our team,” said Brad Lovell. “I got to race with my son and that was amazing. We got some mud, rain, and fog at the end, but the car did great. We had very little downtime and I’m really proud of our performance. It was pretty cool to start and finish a race for the first time and I loved the Peninsula race.” “It’s been a shared goal for over a year between Lovell Racing and Ford Performance to get here. There is so much camaraderie and teamwork – with other teams that have been my competitors, my friends, and my teammates to get the vehicles here. It’s certainly not an easy task. The level of preparation, work, and planning for unexpected circumstances that go into a 1,300-mile point-to-point race is daunting. Today, I feel so much relief that the plan worked out, and overall, have pride in the vehicles in that we had the chance to show what the Raptor brand is capable of.” The F-150 Raptor R had Ultra4 Racing Class 4600 National Champion and King of the Hammers Champion Loren Healy, plus three-time King of the Hammers Champion Jason Scherer and John Williams behind the wheel. “What a wild epic day— I think around 40 hours,” said Loren Healy. “Jason killed it in the first section and brought us a clean truck. I had 18 hours in my section— the longest I’ve ever been in a race truck. Baja is going to bite you no matter what when you are racing a stock truck that came off the assembly line. We had a brake line problem and had to fix a differential leak. Other than that, we had very minimal problems. Just standard maintenance, putting fuel in the truck and keeping things rolling.” “Winning the Baja 1000 in the Raptor R will go down as one of my favorite victories in my racing career. The amount of work that went into the race efforts for both the truck and the Bronco Raptor is absolutely mind-blowing. Somewhere around 100 people came together as a family and made magic, getting both these stock production vehicles to win their classes in the second-longest Baja 1000 ever. It truly is an honor to be a small part of this epic, history-making team.” The Vehicles According to Ford Performance, the Bronco Raptor and F-150 Raptor R were virtually stock with stock engines, 10-speed automatic transmissions, and drivelines. The Bronco Raptor uses a 418 horsepower 3.0-liter EcoBoost engine, and the Raptor R has a 5.2-liter supercharged V8, making more than 700 horsepower. The only modifications were the addition of safety and performance modifications that met SCORE stock class regulations. Both vehicles also utilized FOX shock technology and BFGoodrich All-Terrain KO2 tires wrapped around Method Race Wheels. After more than 40 hours on the race course, the Ford Performance race trucks made it into Ensenada, with the Bronco Raptor finishing with an unofficial time of 40:37:47.820 and the F-150 Raptor R in 41:44:45.634. “We are so proud to be able to get these trucks across the finish line,” said Brian Novak, Ford Performance off-road racing supervisor. “Baja is one of the most difficult races in the world, and that is why we use it as a proving ground for our technology. The team is proud to show again this year how capable the Raptors really are.” SJ

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